Skip to Main Content

Appendix 39: Visiting Scholars

Synopsis of Academic Personnel Manual Section 430

Effective September 1, 2015

>>Update on Visiting Scholar's Memo (Sept. 22, 2015)

>>Sample Visiting Scholar Appointment Letter

I.  Policy

A person who has an academic appointment at another institution or is engaged in other professional or creative activity may be appointed as a Visitor to participate in a short-term educational, research, or other academic project under the supervision of an academic appointee.  The appointment is without compensation.

A Visitor shall be designated as a Visiting Scholar if on leave from an appointment at an institution of higher education or research.  A person on leave from other employment (or a self-employed professional) shall be given the working title Visitor (Professional).

II.  Required Appointments in lieu of Visiting Scholar

This Visitor series shall be used only when another series is not more appropriate (based on the person’s professional status and proposed activities at UCLA), such as:

  • Post Doctoral Scholar, and no appointment as Visitor shall immediately follow an expiring appointment as a Post Doctoral Scholar, APM 390-17;
  • Visiting Series, With or Without Salary, APM 230 (e.g., Professor, Researcher, Project Scientist, Librarian, or Astronomer, APM 230-4.b);
  • Adjunct Series, With or Without Salary, APM 280;
  • Clinical Professor, Volunteer Series, APM 279[1];
  • Specialist Series, With or Without Salary, APM 330;
  • Research Associate or Research Fellow, Non-Salary Research Position, APM 355.

III.  Criteria for Appointment

The appointment must serve an academic purpose for the benefit of the unit sponsoring the appointment.  A Visitor must: be self-supporting; provide evidence of adequate support from external sources and of health insurance, appropriate to the duration of the appointment; and possess a terminal degree appropriate to carry out the activities for which the appointment is made.

IV.  Term of Appointment

Visitors are appointed for short periods not to exceed 12 months, and more typically for six (6) months or less. The appointment is self-terminating. Reappointment for an additional term of up to 12 months is permitted (provided that no other series has become more appropriate); a third term of up to 12 months may only be authorized by the Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel.  The University of California may at any time terminate the appointment without prior notice and withdraw associated privileges.[2] 

V.  Conditions of Appointment

a.   Service as a Visitor constitutes neither employment nor enrollment as a student at the University of California.

b.   A Visitor may not have employment (including as a contractor) or another appointment with the University of California.

c.   A Visitor may not be a student, including a UC-registered student.  Students at other institutions must seek a Visitor (Student) status as a Visiting Graduate Researcher (VGR) through the UCLA Graduate Division,, or as an Undergraduate Student Visitor through the Undergraduate Research Center,

d.   A Visitor is not eligible for salary or wages from the University of California.

i. Cost of Living Allowance. To help defray the amount spent on food, housing and other basic necessities, a Visitor may receive a cost of living allowance distributed through the Graduate Division Fellowship Award Transmittal process,[3]  following Dean’s approval that such support would serve the interests of the campus and is consistent with funding-source restrictions.[4] 

ii.   Reimbursement.  Upon presentation of appropriate receipts evidencing payment and subject to funding availability, Visitors may be eligible for reimbursement, up to a limit of $2500.00, of actual research-related expenses for official University business.[5]  

e.   A Visitor is bound by the rules and policies of the University of California, including but not limited to those governing ownership of intellectual property,[6]  safety,[7]  tobacco-free environment, and harassment.[8]

VI. Method of Appointment

Upon the recommendation of a departmental committee (or academic appointee), the Department Chair shall determine whether to prepare a dossier to be forwarded to the Dean.

The dossier shall consist of a Visiting Scholar Appointment Form,[9] a CV, evidence of self-support (including health insurance or the ability to purchase UCLA VSISP[10]).

The Dean has authority to make the initial appointment (of up to 12 months) and one reappointment (of up to 12 months). Further reappointment (of up to 12 months) may only be made by the Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel.[11]

VII.  Foreign Visitors: Special Issues

a.   For visa processing, a copy of the dossier shall be sent to the Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars (DCISS) or to the David Geffen School of Medicine Visa & Licensing Office, as appropriate.  Upon the Dean’s approval  of the appointment, the visa Certificate of Eligibility (DS2019) will be released to the Visitor. 

b.   Federal Export Control regulations prohibit disclosure of certain technical information to a “foreign person” without a license.  As part of the dossier preparation for all persons who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. resident aliens, the Chair shall assure completion of an Export Control Compliance Attestation[12] and forward it to the Research Policy and Compliance Coordinator in the UCLA Office of Research Policy and Compliance.  The Coordinator will sign and date the attestation with a recommendation and return it to the Chair and to the Dean for  review prior to approving the appointment. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 1 Visitors may not have direct patient contact.

 Privileges include:

BruinCard: An affiliate card may be requested via the Bruin Card Online Application with the applicable fee recharged to the department.               

Library Card:  For a fee, Visitors may join the “Friends of the Library” which provides borrowing privileges of up to 5 books. .   

Parking: A Visitor must in person present a Departmental Letter and a completed parking application to Parking Services and pay at the counter for the permit.  Using its departmental allocation, only the departmental parking coordinator may provide the Departmental Letter on departmental letterhead stating the name of the Visitor, that the individual is not an employee in the Personnel/Payroll System, and the duration of the visit.  The duration of a parking pass is a minimum of one month, one quarter or one year. 

Housing: Visitors are not eligible for University housing, but may contact the UCLA Community Housing Office for available listings.

 To request a copy of the award transmittal, please contact the Graduate Fellowships and Financial Services office at (310) 206-9791.

 An allowance to non-resident aliens may be subject to tax withholding per the Internal Revenue Code.

 5 A reimbursement to nonresident aliens may be subject to tax withholding per the Internal Revenue Code.

 6 See e.g.,

 7 See; However brief and regardless of status, any lab presence requires UCLA lab safety training.

 Visiting Scholar Appointment Form

 10 Within 31 days of the effective date of their UCLA appointment, Visitors must have enrolled or waived enrollment in the Visiting Scholar Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan (VSISP) through Garnett-Powers & Associates. To waive this requirement, Visitors must show  insurance with “comparable coverage” to the insurance offered through VSISP.  Visitors may begin enrolling 30 days prior to the effective date of their appointment.

 11 Title Code in EDB for Visiting Scholar and Visitor (Professional):  3299 VISITING SCHOLAR (Without Salary)

 12 Export_Control_Compliance



Web page created 9/2/14

Web page updated 5/18/2021