Visiting Scientists and Scholars

Information for the Host Department at UM

The Visiting Scientist/Scholar Policy requires that anyone who will be working, training or observing in a University laboratory or other facility and who is not subject to or covered under USM Employee or USM Student Policy sign a Visiting Scientist Agreement or Visiting Scholar Agreement. A visitor who will be spending time here working, training or observing and who is not on the UM payroll or is not a registered student at UM must sign the agreement.

This information applies to all visitors - U.S. citizens as well as foreign nationals.

  • The department should complete the appropriate agreement.

    • The Visiting Scientist Agreement should be used when a visitor will be involved with research and/or working in a laboratory.  This agreement includes the Intellectual Property Agreement (for a Visiting Scientist).

    • The Visiting Scholar Agreement should be used when a visitor will be spending time at the University as part of a scholarly activity and where the Visiting Scientist Agreement is not appropriate given the nature of the activity.

    • Page 1 of the Agreement must include a description of the visitor's planned work, training or other activities at UM.  If the visitor will work on a sponsored project (grant or contract) while at UM, the specifics may be included here or in the questionnaire

  • Signatures

    • The Agreement, with the blanks filled in, should be sent to the Visiting Scientist/Scholar for signature. It is still preferred that the visitor print two originals of the agreement and return both signed originals to the department for continued processing. ORD will accept electronic (scanned/emailed) agreements.

    • The Agreement must be signed by the Visiting Scientist/Scholar and by their home organization authorized representative (when required).

      • Signature by the home organization authority is required if the Visiting Scientist/Scholar will "represent" their home organization (for example, is on leave and plans to return). In that case, the visitor may be subject to contractual or employment constraints at that organization. The agreement must be signed by the Visiting Scientist/Scholar and by a representative of the organization who is vested with the authority to sign such agreements. The signed agreement should be returned to the faculty sponsor at UM.

      • If the Visiting Scientist/Scholar is coming to the University as an individual and is not subject to any contractual or employment constraints from an outside entity, the agreement must be signed by the Visiting Scientist/Scholar as an individual, and the signed agreement should be returned to the faculty sponsor at UM. .

    • Page 2 of the agreement must be signed by the UM Department Chair, Center Director or Institute Director.

  • Information about the Visiting Scientist/Scholar

    • J-1 Request Form - If the department is sponsoring a J-1 visa for the visitor, please email a copy of the form when you submit the agreement to the Office of Research and Development for signature

    • In the absence of the J-1 request form, the “VSA Questions must be completed by the department and submitted to ORD with the agreement. The completed questionnaire must be reviewed and signed by the Dean of the School or designee (except School of Medicine)

  • Submit the agreement and the J-1 form or Questionnaire to the attention of Janet Simons in the Office of Research and Development (Lexington Building, 4th floor).

    • ORD may request additional information or clarification of the information provided in order to complete its review. 

    • If changes to either agreement are requested by the Visiting Scientist/Scholar or their home organization, or if changes are deemed necessary by ORD, ORD will negotiate the changes with the Visiting Scientist/Scholar (for agreements with individuals) or with the organization. 

  • After the agreements have been signed on behalf of the University, a fully executed agreement will be provided to the faculty sponsor or designee.


Contact for questions regarding visiting scientists and scholars