Visiting Researchers / Scholars


Effective May 1, 2014, the visiting researcher/scholar hosting and onboarding procedures detailed on this web page are required to host a visitor on the UGA campus. These procedures have been updated effective March 15, 2017.

Visiting Researcher and Visiting Scholar (VRS) refers to visitors who are not UGA employees, contracted for services or enrolled students, but who are coming to UGA to observe or collaborate in research or to participate in activities that require access to UGA facilities, systems or services.

If a potential visitor meets any of the following criteria, he/she is considered a Visiting Researcher/Scholar or VRS:

  • The visit to any UGA campus is 21 or more consecutive days
  • The visitor is observing or participating in research
  • The visitor’s activities require access to UGA facilities, services or systems, therefore requiring a UGAID

For each VRS, the Faculty Sponsor should initiate the hosting procedures described below in the Visiting Researcher/Scholar Hosting Procedures section. If at any time an individual who is already on campus extends their stay, changes the nature of their work, or meets any of the criteria above, then they are a VRS and the Faculty Sponsor should initiate the VRS process if they have not already done so.

Who is not a visiting researcher/scholar: None of the following are considered Visiting Researchers/Scholars

  • Short-term visitors who are not participating in research and will not need access to UGA facilities and services. Short-term is defined as LESS THAN 21 consecutive days.
  • Individuals enrolled at UGA. If officially enrolled at UGA, then the individual will be brought onboard as a student.
  • Individuals compensated or contracted by UGA or compensated for expected work or services performed. If he/she will be compensated by or through UGA Payroll for services rendered or he/she will be appointed to a UGA faculty or staff position, then the individual will be brought onboard as an employee.
  • Adjunct faculty or others involved in formal instructional roles (support is offered by the Office of Faculty Affairs)
  • Postdoctoral Research Scholars (support is offered by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs)

There are three distinct types of Visiting Researchers/Scholars that relate to the professional level of the visitor, and each type carries a maximum duration for the visit.

  • Scholar in Residence.  Visitors at the postdoctoral level or above who will be involved in temporary research or scholarship, independent or collaborative; a Scholar in Residence may stay in this role for up to 24 months.
  • Visiting Graduate Student Researcher.  Visitors at the graduate student level who are not enrolled at UGA and who are temporarily involved in research or scholarship, independent or collaborative; a Visiting Graduate Student Researcher may stay in this role for up to 24 months.
  • Undergraduate Interns.  Visitors at the undergraduate level who are not enrolled at UGA; an Undergraduate Intern may stay in this role for up to 12 months.


If a Faculty Sponsor wishes to extend the visit past the original visit end date or past the maximum visit duration for the VRS type, please see the “Instructions for Extension of Visit” section.

Hosting Procedures:

  1. Visit details should first be agreed upon between the UGA faculty sponsor, the visitor and the hosting UGA unit before initiating the Office of Research VRS Hosting Procedures.
  2. Obtain required visitor documents (as applicable to the visitor). See “Visitor Requirements” section below.
  3. The Faculty Sponsor (or staff proxy) should complete the online Visiting Researcher/Scholar Questionnaire.  See VRS Questionnaire section below more information and click here to view a list of all potential items on the questionnaire.
  4. Office of Research staff will collect and review the questionnaire. If there are no questions or concerns regarding the questionnaire Office of Research will assign and send the visitor’s UGAID to the staff contact as soon as possible.  Visa sponsorship procedures can be completed if needed.  All visa questions should be directed to the Office of International Education’s Immigration Services.
  5. Office of Research staff will create and send a VRS OnBoarding packet soon after the UGAID is assigned. It is the sponsoring unit’s responsibility to ensure the visitor completes the VRS OnBoarding module soon after they arrive on campus.
  6. The Faculty Sponsor and staff proxy should read the “Other Important VRS Information” section.


Visitor Requirements:

  1. Visitor Agreements: Each visitor is required to sign a Visitor Agreement and the signed visitor agreement is to be uploaded to the VRS Questionnaire. See below to determine which agreement your visitor should sign and links to the required agreements.
    1. If the visitor is employed by, enrolled in as a student or associated with any entity he/she must sign the Standard Visitor Agreement with Employer/Institution Signature.
    2. If the visitor is not employed by, enrolled in or associated with any entity then he/she can sign the Standard Visitor Agreement-No Employer/Institution.
    3. If the visitor or visitor’s institution requests a custom agreement instead of the Standard Visitor Agreement, please contact Cheryl Junker (, 2-4216) in Innovation Gateway. The resulting signed custom visitor agreement should be uploaded when completing the VRS Questionnaire.
  2. If the visitor is a citizen, permanent resident of the United States, has a Social Security Number or a Canadian National ID then a background investigation approval or waiver from HR is required. The sponsor must initiate a background investigation by requesting the visitor complete the UGA Human Resources Consent to Background Check Form –  The completed form is submitted to HR to conduct the background investigation. DO NOT upload the Consent to Background Check form in the VRS Questionnaire.
  3. If the visitor is a non-U.S. citizen/non-permanent resident obtain a scan of his/her passport. The passport is required to assign a UGAID to non-U.S. citizens/non-permanent residents.


VRS Questionnaire Information:

  • Click here to access the online VRS Questionnaire. Save and return is not available so have all information and required documents ready.
  • The questionnaire requires the following information about the visitor: first and last name, country of citizenship (if foreign national), date of birth, gender, email address, employer or enrollment information.
  • The questionnaire requires Information about the visit: activities of the visitor while at UGA, funding source of the project if the activities include research, information about access to and involvement in development of intellectual property. (Examples of intellectual property include confidential information, proprietary technology, proprietary tangible materials, and inventions. Access to publications is not included.)
  • The questionnaire requires a UGA Staff Contact Person name and email.

Other important VRS information after the hosting procedures are completed:

  1. Once the UGAID has been assigned, the visitor can set up a UGA MyID through the Sponsoring Unit Staff Contact. The visitor will use the MyID to access a wide range of online services at UGA.
  2. Upon completion of OnBoarding, the visitor should receive an email with instructions on how to complete the SecureUGA module.
  3. Upon arrival on campus, one of the first actions by the visitor should be acquisition of a UGACard, using the visitor’s UGAID. This must be done in person at the UGACard office in the Tate Center. This card will provide the visitor with access to various other services (including buses).
  4. The UGACard number will give the visitor the information necessary to apply for library access.


Office of Research expects the Sponsoring Unit to assist the VRS with the following items: 

  • The Staff Contact and Faculty Sponsor should assist with housing arrangements. Housing arrangements may take different forms, depending on the needs of the visitor and family. Options for Visiting Researchers/Scholars are provided at the UGA Housing Division website. Some temporary on-campus housing has been made available on the Health Sciences Campus.
  • The Staff Contact and Faculty Sponsor should also help arrange family support. A visitor who is coming with family may need help with issues such as schools, transportation, language, banking, etc.
  • The Staff Contact should assist them in MyID creation and it is the responsibility of the Faculty Sponsor and Sponsoring Unit to ensure his/she completes OnBoarding.


If a Faculty Sponsor wishes to extend the visit past the original visit end date or past the maximum visit duration for the VRS type, please send a request for extension with explanation/justification of the situation to  The justification must include:

  1. Time-frame of extension
  2. If the person will remain on campus: Source of support for the visiting researcher/scholar’s living expenses during the extension period OR If the person will be leaving campus and collaborating remotely: Explain the nature of the remote access (from where will the person be accessing UGA systems, etc.).
  3. The activities of the visiting researcher/scholar during the extension period and if he/she will be involved in a research project that is externally funded through UGA (for example, working on the Faculty Sponsor’s research project that is funded by NSF).
  4. Provide a brief statement of justification describing the value of the visit for both the host and visitor.

Should the extension be approved, Office of Research will request the visiting researcher/scholar’s UGAID be reactivated. Note that an individual is considered a visiting researcher/scholar, and subject to the terms of his/her Visiting Researcher Agreement, throughout the full period of any extension, whether the VRS is working on a UGA campus or remotely through UGAID access.


  • Office of Research Visiting Researcher/Scholar, 706-542-4750
  • Office of International Education-Immigration Services (IS), 706-542-2900
  • EITS, 706-542-3106
  • Human, 706-542-2222