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Updated restrictions on Visitors & other nonmatriculated students in response to COVID-19

an arcade at Stanford around the main quad, showing archways
Jason Leung/Unsplash
May 31 2020
Announcement, COVID-19, Research, Stanford, Students, VPGE

Sent on May 31, 2020, on behalf of Stacey F. Bent, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, and Kathryn Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research, who are co-chairing the Research Continuity Team of the COVID Academic Policy Group:

Dear Colleagues,

We have an update on the previously-communicated restrictions below on new appointments of Visiting Student Researchers, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholars, Visiting Scholars, and other nonmatriculated students, based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on campus research activities. The COVID Academic Policy Group discussed issues related to visitors on campus last week; we are sharing their decision.

Because of risks involved in providing formal visiting scholar or visiting researcher affiliations for individuals who are remote – including diminished oversight ability and enforcement of Stanford policies for someone who is not physically here (out of state or out of country), and potential data sharing concerns (e.g., contractual, export control, IT security, and data privacy), we are extending the restriction on new appointments until at least September 1, or until research activity reaches a level that visitors can safely return to campus.  

However, because there may be critical needs for some research programs, a request for an exception for high-priority and urgent programmatic needs can be reviewed, approved, and requested by the School Deans. Please contact your School Dean to discuss an exception.

For Visitors and other nonmatriculated students who are currently appointed:

  • Bechtel International Center and Graduate Admissions staff will not be asked to do work for nonmatriculated students for the remainder of spring and summer (through September 1).
  • Nonmatriculated students and other visitors will not be allowed into labs until Stage 3 of return to research.
  • Requests for extensions of current appointments must be carefully considered in light of the information above about the staged return to research and concern about remote visitors. 

We appreciate your understanding as we carefully plan for a safe, gradual, and staged return to in-person, on-campus research and scholarship and prioritize the needs of our faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students enrolled in a Stanford degree program.


Sent on March 12, 2020, on behalf of Stacey F. Bent, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, and Kathryn Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research:

Due to the uncertain COVID-19 situation, we have decided to restrict the appointment of all new Visiting Student Researchers, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholars, and Visiting Scholars until at least June 1, 2020. By limiting the arrival of new visiting researchers on campus, we can focus our attention on keeping our community as safe as possible. Also, as you realize, travel restrictions can be imposed at any time, further complicating plans for visitors to arrive on campus. 

We appreciate your understanding in this unprecedented situation, and recognize that this may affect your research plans. If you have Visiting Student Researchers, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholars, or Visiting Scholars who were planning to arrive on campus before June 1, please postpone their appointment until at least June 1 (recognizing that this date may change) by updating and submitting the relevant appointment documents.

If you have concerns or questions about this, please contact:

This is being shared via various staff and faculty lists and will be posted on the Health Alerts website and here.

Thank you for all you’re doing in this challenging time.