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Visiting Scholar Program

Visiting Scholar Program

Habib University invites academics, researchers, practitioners and graduate students from around the world to apply to the Visiting Scholar Program.

The Visiting Scholar Program connects Habib University to international academia by hosting professors, lecturers, post-doctoral scholars, doctoral students, researchers, independent scholars and practitioners for short-term visits that include teaching, research, interaction with faculty and students and engagement with the public.

The Program seeks to enrich the research and intellectual life of the campus, foster a research community at Habib, broaden and deepen academic research on Pakistan, and support the development of knowledge networks and infrastructure in the region.

Visiting Scholars at Habib can:

  • Conduct research in Karachi or elsewhere in Pakistan in collaboration with Habib faculty or independently, joining the Habib community of scholars and sharing their work with the intellectual community;
  • Teach modules in regular courses or special seminars and colloquia such as the Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar;
  • With Habib faculty, jointly design and develop new courses and programs or in enhance existing course and curricular materials;
  • Work with academic and administrative teams at Habib to help develop and implement best practices.

Visiting Scholars are hosted by an academic department or center at Habib and are invited to participate in academic activities on campus, all of which are conducted in English. In addition, Visiting Scholars may participate in other campus and outreach activities that may involve other institutions, community organizations and research centers.


The Visiting Scholar Program offers a wide range of opportunities including in-region research and teaching, extensive and in-depth engagement in the field, collaboration and advice on research, opportunity to test new ideas and approaches in the classroom, and work in a collaborative and innovative environment.

Habib University supports Visiting Scholars by offering the following:

  • Scholarly Engagement: Visiting Scholars have the opportunity to discuss research and interests with Habib University faculty.
  • Visiting Scholar Seminars: Visiting Scholars have the opportunity to present their research or work-in-progress to Habib faculty and invited faculty and researchers from across Karachi.
  • Visiting Scholar Public Lecture Series: Visiting Scholars have the opportunity to deliver public lectures.
  • Office Space: Habib provides reserved office space for the duration of the visit.
  • Housing: Habib can provide housing at a discounted rate at its guesthouse. If housing at the guesthouse is not available, Habib will help in finding suitable alterative accommodation.
  • Campus ID & Facilities: Visiting Scholars are provided with an HU ID that enables access to all campus facilities, including wireless internet and have full use of recreational facilities, including the gym and swimming pool.
  • Visas & Travel: Habib will assist visitors with obtaining visas and with travel logistics.
  • Stipend/Honorarium: Based on the length and purpose of the visit, Visiting Scholars may be eligible for a living stipend or a one-time honorarium.


Visiting Scholars: Habib University welcomes Visiting Scholars from any field in the social sciences, humanities, sciences and engineering as well as from practitioners including artists, writers, and journalists whose work is research-based or scholarly in nature. We especially keen on scholars whose work and methodology crosses disciplines, engages with South Asia and the developing world in new or unexpected ways, and advances understanding of global issues relevant to South Asia.

Applicants must hold a PhD (or a terminal degree for fields of study that do not require the PhD), or demonstrate a high level of achievement within a creative field. The Visiting Scholar Program accommodates short-term visitors, full-time or part-time, for any period ranging from two weeks to a semester, and from anywhere in the world.

Visiting Graduate Scholars: Habib also welcomes applications from Visiting Graduate Scholars, Master’s or PhD candidates in the social sciences, humanities or sciences who wish to conduct research in Pakistan and join Habib from any length of time from four weeks to a semester. Visiting Graduate Scholars must spend at least ten hours a week at Habib and are expected to participate in the intellectual community at Habib by involving themselves in teaching, conducting workshops and seminars, delivering talks, and conducting other activities.

Prospective Visiting and Graduate Scholars are encouraged to contact the University to find more about programs of study, academic centers, and faculty and how their areas of interest may fit with those of Habib University.


Applicants interested in Habib’s Visiting Scholar Program can fill out the inquiry form below or contact the Office for Global Engagement, who can connect them with the appropriate academic department or faculty member. In collaboration with the hosting faculty or department, the Visiting Scholar will develop a plan of activity including the length and purpose of the visit.

After the initial discussion, prospective scholars will be asked to submit an application that includes an CV, statement of intent, references and funding sources, if applicable. The final decision to host a Visiting Scholar, including determining benefits and remuneration, rests with the hosting department.

We welcome applications and can accommodate Visiting Scholars throughout the academic year and during the summer.

About Habib University

  • Founded in 2014
  • 750 students in four years
  • Gender-balanced student body: 54% female-46% male
  • 12:1 student-faculty ratio
  • 59 highly qualified faculty members
  • 4 major programs and 3 minor programs

Habib University is a first-of-its-kind undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution in Karachi, Pakistan, offering an interdisciplinary curriculum delivered by highly qualified faculty and supported through robust academic performance and student affairs programs. Habib University is the first institution in Pakistan that requires science and engineering students and arts and humanities students to take common interdisciplinary coursework. The academic experience is grounded in the Habib Core Curriculum aimed at producing critically-conscious graduates who will have a positive impact on society through undergraduate degree programs designed to address the complex developmental, economic, and cultural conditions of Pakistan.

Habib University’s mission is to:

  • Educate promising students from all backgrounds, thereby enabling them to become competent, caring and critically-conscious members of society;
  • Engage outstanding academics with a passion for teaching to work with students and enrich their minds and lives, helping them contribute positively to the larger community;
  • Promote creativity, academic freedom, and the exchange of ideas in an intellectually stimulating environment characterized by mutual respect and collaboration.

Location: The University’s location in Karachi, one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic metropolitan areas, allows Habib to link with academia, industry and government in Pakistan and serve as a center for research and intellectual activity in the region. Offering opportunities for primary research and investigation in areas such as policy, energy and environment, Habib provides a platform for global academia and industry to create targeted solutions for the challenges faced by a developing country.

Students: Habib University enrolls students who demonstrate high academic potential and achievement as well as the ability to explore intellectual and creative pursuits outside of the classroom. Habib’s student body has grown from 108 students in 2014 to 500 today. In order to build an inclusive community of students from diverse socio-economic and geographic backgrounds, Habib offers fully funded scholarships, generous financial aid packages and robust academic support services. Habib is committed to ensuring gender parity in the student body and encouraging gender equality in all aspects of academic and extracurricular life during their undergraduate career. The University especially seeks to identify and support women’s participation in the sciences and other underrepresented areas.

Faculty: Starting with 19 faculty members in 2014, Habib faculty has now grown to 59, with expertise in over 25 different disciplines ranging from political sociology to transdisciplinary design in the arts, humanities and social sciences, and quantum information systems to microbiology in the sciences. Habib faculty hold terminal degrees in their fields from internationally renowned universities, with 91% holding degrees from universities outside Pakistan and 16% international faculty from the US, Canada, Germany, Australia and elsewhere.

Scope of Academic Offerings

The University offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences degree in Social Development and Policy, Communications and Design, Comparative Humanities, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, along with minor degrees in Integrated Sciences and Mathematics, Comparative Literature, and Languages and Literatures, through the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Science and Engineering.

Habib Core Curriculum: The philosophical foundation of the university, the Habib Core Curriculum, covers the humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences and examines knowledge from a variety of Eastern and Western traditions. Inspired by institutions such as Harvard University and Stanford University, the Core Curriculum provides a shared basis for understanding the historical and conceptual underpinnings of the modern era and contextualizing Pakistan’s place in the modern world.

The Core and all courses at the university are based on seven ‘Forms of Thought’: Historical and Social Thought; Philosophical Thought; Formal Reasoning; Language and Expression; Creative Practice; Quantitative Reasoning; Natural Scientific Method & Analysis. All students, regardless of major, are required to study a fixed series of eleven interdisciplinary Core courses, spread out over four years.

Academic Programs: Habib University emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to educate leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who can solve the complex, interconnected challenges of contemporary societies and develop novel, indigenous ways to benefit society. The School of Science and Engineering and the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences seek to redefine education in Pakistan through innovative programs that blend breadth of knowledge, disciplinary and technical competence, and collaborative, experiential learning. The academic programs foster independent inquiry, creative thought, and hone the skills necessary to effectively develop and communicate pioneering ideas.

Major Programs: Social Development and Policy, Communication and Design, Comparative Humanities, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering.
Minor Programs: Languages and Literatures (Comparative Literature, English Literature, Regional Languages and Literatures – Urdu, Sindhi), Comparative Humanities (Philosophy, History, Religious Studies), Integrated Science and Mathematics (Mathematics and Physics) visit here.

Academic Centers

Habib University’s academic centers provide platforms for research, practice, and engagement with the academic world and the public on cultural, social and developmental challenges specific to Pakistan and South Asia.

Interdisciplinary Development Research and Action Center (IDRAC): IDRAC fosters thoughtful research and action on key development challenges facing Pakistan and the South Asian region. It aspires to serve as a bridge between academic scholars, policy makers, and development practitioners so that critical arenas of social analysis and change can come together in collaboration instead of operating in isolation. Drawing upon the multidisciplinary strengths of the Social Development and Policy faculty, the Center hosts a series of activities that strengthen existing efforts at social cohesion and sustainable development in the region, while also exemplifying the role of a university in serving society and contributing to its meaningful well-being.

Arzu Center for Regional Languages and Humanities: The Arzu Center for Regional Languages and Humanities contributes to Habib University’s overall vision and institutional mission through fostering pedagogy, research and scholarship in the various languages from Pakistan. The Center’s scope of work covers a wide range including language instruction, translation from and into the regional languages, development of pedagogical material, cultural and literary preservation and the promotion of language-based activities.

The Center for Media and Design: The Center for Media and Design provides a multidisciplinary platform for research, practice and critical reflection in the fields of media, expression and design understood in the broadest sense. The Center’s activities respond to new communication technologies, media and expressive forms, and the rapid transformation of social structures. As well as developing interdisciplinary projects and local and international collaborations, the Centre acts as a hub for talks, symposia, exhibitions, literary readings, and arts such as film, video, music, dance, theater and performance.

Center for Pedagogical Excellence: The Center for Pedagogical Excellence facilitates discourse on pedagogy among the faculty, provides opportunities for professional development and fosters the development of an academically grounded, research-based approach to higher education in Pakistan.

Yohsin Center for Liberal Arts Studies: The Yohsin Center for Liberal Arts and Sciences (YCLAS) offers professionals and academics the opportunity to engage with social and cultural issues through the liberal arts, enhance the intellectual breadth and encourage life-long learning. YCLAS offers academic, career-specific and specialized programs, including workshops, seminars, and events, to an audience of professionals, students from other universities, vocational practitioners, and the general public. Additionally, the YCLAS provides custom consultancy services and serve as a venue for important public debates on a variety of contemporary issues arising in local, regional, and global contexts.

International and Regional Outreach

Habib University has an active outreach program to develop academic and scholarly exchanges, institutional collaborations, international learning opportunities, and bring best practices to the university. Through partner institutions, Habib faculty have access to platforms for collaborative research and teaching as well as professional learning and development. The University also brings conversations and critical dialogue on emerging issues to Habib University and the wider community through public lectures and visits from world-renowned scholars and cultural figures.

The University’s commitment to furthering knowledge and dialogue of and within Pakistan and greater South Asia is developed through a variety of programs, including:

  • The Annual Postcolonial Higher Education Conference, bringing together international scholars to reflect on the crisis and direction of higher education in postcolonial societies;
  • The Mahomedali Habib Distinguished Lecture Series on Pakistan at the Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California-Berkeley, improving and diversify conversations about Pakistan in the United States as well as creating dialogue between US- and Pakistan-based scholars;
  • Scholarly exchanges and knowledge sharing with institutions including Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Texas A&M University, University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies, Harvard University South Asia Institute.
  • Lectures and seminars by distinguished scholars and leading South Asia specialists, including Thomas Blom Hansen (Stanford University), Deborah Fitzegerald (MIT) Christophe Jaffrelot (Sciences Po) and Vali Nasr (Johns Hopkins University), and by distinguished scholars from around the world;
  • International study experiences for students at Stanford University International Honors Program, University of Michigan, National University of Singapore and Asian University for Women, Bangladesh.

Application & Approval Process

Approval Process:

  1. If, following discussion with the host faculty or program, the Habib University Visiting Scholar Program appears to be of mutual benefit, the host faculty will sponsor your application for approval by the program. At this stage you will be requested to submit the documents listed below.
  2. Once your application is approved, you will be sent a formal letter of invitation and visa application and travel arrangements will be initiated.
  3. Habib University may provide limited financial and stay support in the form of residence, international travel, stipends, and/or honoraria. Visiting Scholar positions are unsalaried. Funds for collaborative research must be discussed with the relevant faculty or programs. If requested, applicants must provide financial documentation indicating sufficient funds to cover the stay.

Additional Documents for Visiting Scholars (to be submitted after discussion with HU host):

  • Inquiry Form
  • Visiting Scholar Plan of Activities (developed in collaboration with Habib host faculty)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Names and contact information of three references

Additional Documents for Visiting Graduate Scholars (to be submitted after discussion with HU host):

  • Inquiry Form
  • Visiting Scholar Plan of Activities (developed in collaboration with Habib host faculty)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Abstract of master’s thesis/doctoral dissertation or published book
  • Title page, table of contents, and an excerpt of thesis or dissertation
  • Names and contact information of three references

Concluding the Visit:

At the end of your stay we request that you provide us with a brief report detailing your activities while here, gains made in your scholarship and research, and an evaluation of your experience.

Application Form

Program Requirements:

  • The Visiting Scholar Program is open to domestic and international graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, academics and independent scholars who meet the eligibility requirements outlined.
  • Visiting Scholars in residence for 8 weeks or longer are required to teach a course module or seminar.
  • Habib University welcomes Visiting Scholars for longer than one semester. Long term visits require further discussion with the host program at Habib.

Deadlines: Visiting Scholars who intend to be in residence for a period of 8 weeks or longer should apply by the following deadlines: May 1 for the Fall Semester and December 1 for the Spring Semester.

Click here to apply.

Contact Us

Prospective Visiting Scholars are encouraged to contact us to find more about programs of study, academic centers, and faculty and how their areas of interest may fit with those of Habib University.

For more information please contact us at global@habib.edu.pk or visit www.habib.edu.pk/global.