Visiting Scholars

Processes, Procedures and Resources for Facilitating Arrangements for Visiting Scholars

As a renowned public university, the University of Michigan attracts a great many academic visitors each year. The use of established, formal processes helps facilitate arrangements to sponsor and host these visitors allowing them to participate in campus life and programs while they are here. The procedures and processes vary based on the nature and duration of the visit, the sponsoring unit, and other factors. Effective November 1, 2013, hosting units will process all new and renewing Visiting Scholar applications independently. Information about the application process, links to the application form and helpful resources are provided below. vis.scholar.renew

Download Visiting Scholar credentialing guide

Please note: Rackham Graduate School continues to administer programs for Visiting Scholars

Information for Research Graduate Students

Who is a Visiting Scholar?

Departments, programs and other academic units of the University of Michigan may invite faculty researchers from other universities as Visiting Scholars. This status is reserved for scholars who are invited to pursue a program of research during a limited term of residence. Visiting Scholars may have access to certain limited services and resources outlined below. Current faculty, staff and students of the University of Michigan are not eligible for this status.

Visiting Scholars are individuals who:

  • Have an earned PhD (or equivalent) or other comparable terminal graduate or graduate-professional degree (i.e., JD, MD, MFA, etc.), and hold a faculty or other permanent research position at another accredited university, college, or research organization or
  • Have a Master’s or equivalent intermediate degree and substantial professional experience that the host unit affirms to be equivalent to that expected of a member of the University of Michigan faculty; and
  • Are pursuing a program of research as their primary purpose; and
  • Are formally invited and ‘sponsored’ by a department, program or other University of Michigan academic unit; and
  • Will be in residence for a term of not less than one month and not more than three calendar years.

Visiting Scholar Application Process

Visiting Scholars must be sponsored by an academic unit of the University. Only the sponsoring academic unit may initiate the application for Visiting Scholar status. The sponsoring University department remains the primary contact for the Visiting Scholar and is responsible for administering the relationship throughout the duration of Visiting Scholar status.

Step Responsibility of: Procedure
1 Visiting Scholar Provide information to sponsoring U-M academic unit sufficient to allow them to prepare the Visiting Scholar Application Form and to assure eligibility for status.
2 Sponsoring academic unit For visiting international scholars: Obtain DS-2019 request for J-1 exchange academic unit visitor by contacting the International Center
3 Sponsoring academic unit Review MCommunity sponsorship policies for detailed information regarding the process of becoming an authorized sponsor in M-Community as a “Sponsor Administrator.” Sponsor Administrator: Create a “strong identity” for the visiting scholar in the M-Community Sponsor system, which will include UMID number and uniquname.Note: Visiting scholars may already have a UMID and/or uniqname from prior U-M affiliation.
4 Sponsoring academic unit After completing the sponsorship process in M-Community, the sponsoring academic unit should write a letter to the visiting scholar describing:
  • The proposed visitor’s activities and responsibilities
  • The start and end dates of the relationship (no more than one year at a time and 3 years cumulatively)
  • Any resources (e.g. access to office space, labs, information technology equipment and privileges, or other facilities; availability of staff support, if any to be provided; and any commitments with respect to assistance with living arrangements
  • The amount and rationale for any and all financial support funding from the sponsoring department/unit or other source and the reason for it

Visitors who are to be compensated for services to the University of Michigan of any sort must be appointed as employees through University Human Resource systems, or reimbursed as independent contractors, as appropriate.   In either case, such persons are not Visiting Scholars. For more information on compensation processes and procedures, contact your unit Human Resources administrator. Likewise enrollment for academic credit in University of Michigan undergraduate or graduate degree or certificate programs is also inconsistent with the purposes of Visiting Scholar status.

5 Sponsoring academic unit Send a copy of the letter to both the visiting scholar and Academic Human Resources
6 Visiting Scholar Obtain a University of Michigan photo identification card (Mcard) at one of several ID Issuing Stations on campus.

International Visiting Scholars

For visiting international scholars, the sponsoring unit must contact the International Center to obtain a DS-2019 request for a J-1 exchange visitor visa. In this case, the DS-2019 request process should be completed through the International Center before the creation of the scholar’s identity in M-Community.