Hosting a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer

Potential hosts should contact lecturers directly to book events.  Hosts should be specific about dates, lecture topic, scope of the lecturer's visit and any special accommodations that may be called for.

Chapter hosts are required to provide an honorarium of $300. Chapters are encouraged to schedule multiple activities for a lecturer during his/her visit, so it may be appropriate to increase the honorarium based on the extent of the itinerary and length of the visit. Any additional honorarium should be decided between the chapter and the lecturer.  However, lecturers should not refuse an invitation based on the amount of the honorarium.

Financial Support

  • Consider asking the institutions affiliated with the chapter for support for the lecture. Other support may come from academic societies, businesses or industry that are particularly interested in the topic.
  • Applications for a subsidy through the Sigma Xi Administrative Offices are due by March 1.

Make Arrangements

  • Arrangements should be confirmed in writing with the lecturer.
  • Arrangements should be made as early as possible. Lecturers frequently have busy travel schedules and early planning will optimize the chapter's chances of getting their first choice for lecturer.
  • The Committee on Lectureships, through the Sigma Xi Administrative Offices, should be informed of the arrangements as soon as they are confirmed. Please contact the offices through mail, phone 800-243-6534 x 206 or contact us by email.

Cosponsor Visits

  • When making the initial arrangements for the lecturer's visit, contact nearby chapters about co-sponsoring the lecture or having the lecturer visit both chapters. Because airfare is typically the largest expense in hosting a Distinguished Lecturer, this can significantly lower the cost. Chapters that are able to be flexible on the dates of the lecture can save money.

Expectations for Lecture

  • Review with the lecturer the expected length of the talk and question and answer period. Also what audio/visual equipment the lecturer will need.


  • Be sure to adequately advertise the lecture. This includes notifying the public affairs office of the institutions affiliated with the chapter. Copies of the Distinguished Lecturer's C.V. can be obtained from the lecturer. Announcements should be made to appropriate classes as well as on the institution's calendar. If it is a public lecture on a topic that could be understood by K-12 students, contact the local schools with information about the lecture. Contact us for a high-resolution photograph of the lecturer to use in advertising.

Maximize the Opportunity

  • While the lecturer is at the chapter, consideration should be given to having the lecturer engage in additional activities such as speaking to a class, having a meal with students and/or faculty, meeting with the local press or visiting an area school. Many lecturers have commented that meeting students and faculty members and seeing campuses they might not otherwise see is the greatest reward of being a Distinguished Lecturer.
  • Strong consideration should be given to having a public lecture. If the lecture is part of the chapter banquet, consider opening up the lecture to the public after the meal function. Consideration should be given as well to including populations that might not otherwise have access to high quality speakers.
  • Each Sigma Xi member should invite a nonmember to the lecture. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce colleagues to Sigma Xi.
  • Don't forget to invite senior administrative staff to the lecture.


  • Every effort should be made to ensure that the lecture proceeds smoothly. This includes the standard checks of room readiness, projection equipment, etc.
  • Assist the lecturers in confirming plane reservations and related travel arrangements. Inform the speaker whether a member of the chapter will provide transportation to and from the airport.
  • Shortly after arrival at the institution, the lecturer should be shown the auditorium or room where the lecture will be held. At this time double-check audio-visual equipment.
  • The lecturer should be given the honorarium and expense reimbursement as promptly as possible.
  • Unless otherwise requested by the lecturer, the host is responsible for all local arrangements including transportation, lodging, meals, etc.


Financial Support

  • Ask provost, chancellor, deans, heads of laboratories, or senior administration staff, other academic societies, businesses or industry for support.
  • Apply for subsidy for Distinguished Lecturer. Deadline is March 1.


  • Announcements to classes.
  • Announcements to media.
  • Announcements to local schools.
  • Announcements on institutional calendar of events.
  • Announcements to chapter.
  • Arrange media interviews for lecturer.

Sigma Xi Administrative Offices

  • Notify once date of lecture is set.
  • Send Lecture Report Form after lecture.

Nearby Chapters

  • Coordinate visit with nearby chapters if possible.
  • Invite nearby chapters to attend.

Arrangements with Lecturer

  • Confirm in writing all arrangements.
  • Agree ahead of time on the lecturer's activities (lecture, class discussion, media interview, etc.).
  • Show the lecturer the location of the talk as soon as possible after arrival.
  • Check room and equipment directly prior to the featured talk.
  • Pay lecturer promptly. Lecturers have agreed to accept a $300 honorarium per visit. Chapters however can offer a larger honorarium.