The following memo announces changes in the classification of nonmatriculated Visiting Student Researchers, to be implemented in Autumn Quarter 2011.
To: Deans and Department Chairs
From: John Etchemendy
Re: Visiting Student Researchers
Date: June 3, 2011
[ Fee amounts updated in February, 2012.]
On occasion, graduate students from other universities are invited to Stanford for a period of time to participate in research here, without matriculating in a Stanford degree program. Students who make more than a brief visit should be appointed as Visiting Student Researchers (VSR). Earlier this year, Stanford reviewed and changed some of the policies and procedures for appointing Visiting Student Researchers. Stanford wants to assure the students' safety and be able to communicate with them in the event of an emergency.
Key changes being implemented effective September 1, 2011 are:
Details about the VSR policies follow below. Questions should be directed to Judith Haccou, Senior Associate University Registrar [firstname.lastname@example.org] or Ann George, Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Policy [email@example.com].
1. Purpose of the Visiting Student Researcher Classification
Stanford supports the role of visiting graduate students as valuable contributors to research in our University. In order to assure the students' safety and our ability to communicate with them in the event of an emergency, such visiting students must be properly identified. We also recognize that invited students draw on a number of University resources, including faculty and staff time. For these reasons, Stanford requires that all students invited here from other institutions for more than a brief visit be identified and pay appropriate fees.
2. Appointment Procedure
[NOTE: These procedures were documented as part of GAP 2.3, Activating Nonmatriculated Graduate Students, in July 2011. See, in particular, Section 1.3.]
Any visiting graduate student who will be at Stanford for more than 30 days must be appointed into VSR status.
As in the past, appointments are initiated by the Stanford faculty member hosting the student and approved by that faculty memberís department. All appointments are subject to review and approval by Graduate Admissions, Office of the University Registrar, at least 30 days prior to the VSR proposed start date. Information related to the appointment process will be found on the Registrarís web site. SUnet IDs should only be sponsored once the VSR appointment has been approved.
Students may be at Stanford in this VSR classification for up to one year. Exceptions for extensions for up to one additional year may be permitted for compelling reasons. Extensions beyond the second year are extremely rare.
Visiting Student Researchers who are not US citizens must obtain and maintain appropriate visa status for their stay in the United States, as they do currently.
VSR fees and other charges will continue to be applied to their university bill until Graduate Admissions, Office of the University Registrar, is notified of the termination of the appointment. Termination procedures will remain the same.
The policy and appointment procedures for Visiting Student Researchers, including forms and a sample letter of invitation, will be updated over the next few weeks, and posted on the web sites of both the VPGE office and the office of the University Registrar.
3. Applicable Fees
Visiting Student Researchers continuing or appointed after September 1, 2011 will be charged a monthly fee for every full or partial month in which they are in residence at Stanford. For 2012-13, the VSR fee will be $894 per month. This is one-third of the TGR rate because Visiting Student Researchers are here in a role similar to advanced Stanford doctoral students. This fee will be applied to the studentís university bill on the 20th of every month during which they have active status at Stanford. The VSR fee will not be pro-rated for partial months. Visiting Researchers who were appointed at Stanford prior to September 1, 2011 will be charged the quarterly Permit for Services Only (PSO) tuition through Summer Quarter of this year, ending August 31, 2011.
The use of a monthly fee will decouple VSR appointments from Stanfordís academic quarters and regular tuition schedule. This is a significantly lower rate than the previous practice of charging Stanfordís Permit for Services Only (PSO) tuition for each quarter the student was in residence.
Unless they have comparable health insurance, Visiting Student Researchers are required to enroll in Cardinal Care. These students will NOT be able to waive Cardinal Care from Axess. In order to waive Cardinal Care, they must contact the Insurance Office at the Vaden Health Center directly and present evidence of comparable coverage. (See Vaden web site for additional information.)
Visiting Student Researchers are also required to pay the Campus Health Services Fee. These students will be charged the quarterly Campus Health Services Fee and quarterly Cardinal Care premium (if they are enrolled in Cardinal Care) for every full or partial quarter in which they are in residence at Stanford.
International Visiting Student Researchers requiring a visa will continue to be charged the one-time $125 visa processing fee.
4. Financial Support for Visiting Student Researchers
Visiting Student Researchers are not automatically entitled to any financial support from Stanford University. Departments that want to provide stipend support, or pay the studentís VSR or other fees, must use unrestricted departmental or faculty funds. These payments can be made in the Graduate Financial Support (GFS) application, and, as with regular Stanford students, one aid line can be used to pay a particular fee for up to a full year. Further information on GFS processing will be provided before the start of the 2011-12 aid year.
As nonmatriculated students, Visiting Student Researchers are not eligible to hold either research or teaching assistantship appointments. Hourly student employment on research grants or contracts may be possible, as long as the work is appropriate to the project and budgeted. Funds designated for the support of matriculated Stanford students may not be used to support Visiting Student Researchers.
Any payments of Stanford fees for nonmatriculated students, and any stipends provided for their living expenses, are tax-reportable for state and federal income tax. In addition, if the student is a non-US resident for tax purposes, and their home country does not have a tax treaty with the United States, Stanford is obligated to withhold or charge 14% federal tax on any of these payments. Departments that initiate payments for non-US resident VSR students, including any stipends or payment of their Stanford fees, should contact the Payroll Office regarding tax charges via HelpSU.