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Visiting Student Researcher

In limited instances, it is to the benefit of Stanford faculty to permit persons who have not yet obtained a Ph.D. (or its foreign equivalent) to engage in research on the Stanford campus using Stanford research facilities. Such instances might include students at other universities who are engaged in graduate-level research in a field of interest to the faculty member, a person doing a laboratory rotation as part of a larger research study or grant, or employees of companies who are conducting research which requires specialized equipment available only at Stanford. Invitations can be extended for up to four quarters. In order to be a Visiting Researcher at Stanford GSE, one must be invited by a Stanford GSE faculty member by an official invitation letter that includes the amount of time for which the visitor will be conducting research (no appointments are finalized until approved by the Office of Registrar and confirmed by Academic Services).

Visiting Student Researchers must be registered as “Non-Matriculated Graduate Students.” They are charged a registration fee of $1137/month (for the 2019-20 Academic Year).  There is no prorating of the fee, so corresponding the start and end dates of the appointment with the quarter start and end dates is important.

In addition, international students must show proof that they will have a quarterly estimated living expense of $4482/month while here on campus (this can be a fellowship, personal savings, etc.). All visiting researchers must show proof of health insurance or buy Cardinal Care through Stanford while they are appointed. Cardinal Care costs for the 2019-20 academic year are $5592.  Students must also pay the monthly campus health fee of $224.

International visiting student researchers will need to have their visa paid for by the faculty sponsor. Stanford charges a $125 fee for preparation of the initial and transfer DS-2019 documents for J-1 Visiting Scholars and family members, which the faculty member may request to be reimbursed by the Visiting Researcher upon arrival at Stanford GSE.

The benefits given to Visiting Student Researchers are as follows:

  • Official affiliation with Stanford University (Stanford ID, $25 fee to be paid at ID card office)
  • Stanford computer account
  • Library privileges
  • Access to Vaden Health Center (campus health fee applies: $224/quarter)
  • Use of recreational facilities
  • Graduate student housing, only if available after matriculated students are housed
  • Access to off-campus housing information
  • Not permitted to enroll in or audit any classes. If VSR wish to take classes at Stanford, they should contact the Office of the University Registrar and request an application for nonmatriculated graduate student enrollment status.
  • Campus parking privileges for a fee (arranged through Parking & Transportation Services)

If you are in contact with a prospective researcher that you would like to sponsor as a Visiting Researcher at Stanford GSE, please contact Wesley Horng ( three months in advance of the anticipated start date in order to begin the application process. The exact process for applying to be a Visiting Researcher will depend on various factors (student status, citizenship, etc.). See also the Procedures for Registering Visiting Researchers,

Note that this category of non-matriculating student is different from that of a Visiting Scholar, a non-student category of individuals holding a doctoral degree or recognized as an expert in their field. The Research Policy Handbook includes documents on both Visiting Student Researchers and Visiting Scholars.

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