Information for Campus Adminstrators and Faculty
Visiting Scholars normally possess a doctorate degree or foreign equivalent, but may be appointed with a baccalaureate/master’s degree or be an undergraduate student visiting for the purposes of research or educational project.
Professional practitioners (e.g. government official, national organization administrator, journalist, or artist) without the minimum degree requirement or visiting student status may be proposed by exception if their visit will contribute to the research and educational mission of the University.
A Visiting Scholar is an official appointment. Before extending any invitation, consult with the Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs (“OPVSA”) to ensure that appointment requirements are met.
The Vice Chancellor for Research (or designate) has the authority to approve appointments and exceptions. The administrative unit responsible for the administration of this title is the Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs (“OPVSA”) in the Office of Research Affairs.
- Visiting Scholars are not permitted to engage in patient care or medical services. Appointments in a Health Sciences Department require certification that no element of patient care or clinical service is involved in their activity.
- Visiting Scholars may not be a registered UC student, contractor or have another appointment/employment with the University.
- University reserves the right to withdraw the privileges and terminate the appointment without prior notice.
Visitors are appointed for short periods not to exceed one year (12 months), and more typically, for six (6) months or less. The appointment may be made in advance of arrival and is self-terminating. Reappointment is permitted. The University of California may terminate the appointment without prior notice and withdraw associated privileges.
An initial appointment of more than one year or a reappointment that exceeds a two year consecutive period may be permissible if the program warrants a longer affiliation. To process this type of request, please upload an Exception to Policy Memo addressed to Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Miroslav Krstic to the Appointments tab in RSAS database. Include the following information in the memo:
- Name of the scholar
- Appointing department name
- Requested length of appointment
- Justification (e.g. visa, extended research length to complete project, and how the scholar will be supported, etc.)
- Brief description of research with an explanation of how the research benefits UCSD/PI
The exception memo will reviewed by OPVSA for the above criteria.
- Visiting Scholars are self-supported or receive fund directly from external sources.
- Visiting Scholars are ineligible for compensation through UC San Diego. If they are engaged in service or work that warrants compensation, they should be appointed into an appropriate paid title.
- Visiting Scholars may not receive payments in the form of stipends or subsistence in lieu of salary.
- Visiting Scholars do not have a payroll title code.
- Visiting Scholars can be paid by Exception for certain travel and/or living allowances or health insurance reimbursments. Please access the Approval Guidelines for Payments to Visiting Scholars drawer on this site.
We understand that Visiting Scholars may engage in activities such as presenting research at professional meetings, attending a conference or traveling to collaborate with other researchers on behalf of UC San Diego. Also, there are instances when a Department would like to reimburse a visiting scholar for a travel ticket to and from their home institution and/or certain living expenses. In these situations, where it would be appropriate to cover expenses related to travel, please follow the campus guidelines:
- U.S. citizens: W-9
- Non-U.S. citizens:
- U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number and Glacier Record
- Reimbursement Requirements for Foreign Visitors (some types may restrict payments)
1. Travel Payment Requests
Travel payments are requested via My Travel on Blink and are non-taxable income to the payee. For any travel payment to a visiting scholar, there must be a clear business purpose where UCSD is the primary beneficiary for the visit.
UC San Diego travel policy, as published in Blink, is decisive. It has been adapted to UC San Diego's organization, delegation of authority, terminology, chart of accounts and processing applications. The source for UC San Diego travel policy is UC Travel Policy and Regulations (PDF). Prior approval from OPVSA is not required for payment of travel related expenses for Visiting Scholars.
2. Disbursement Payment Requests
In addition, in rarer cases, as a courtesy to Visiting Scholars, departments may provide payments to cover health insurance (eg. as required by a visa) or living allowance for short term visits. Such payments may be requested through Disbursements on an allowable funding source and are not subject to prior approval by OPVSA.
For questions about compensation and payment to other visiting academic titles, please contact: