Visiting Fellow


The visiting fellow title allows fellowship holders and scholars on leave from other academic institutions, or persons from business, industry, or government, to be affiliated with and participate in the research program of the appointing unit. They have no teaching responsibilities, but they can be invited to present specialized seminars or lectures. Visiting fellows are not considered Cornell employees and do not receive salary from Cornell; however, to grant access to university facilities and services, formal appointments must be made. Visiting fellows need not hold a fellowship. Visiting fellows are members of the RTE Faculty but without University Voting Rights.

Administrative Notes

  • Appointment to the “visiting fellow” title is exempt from affirmative action regulations.
  • Appointments of visiting fellows may be for as little as several weeks or up to one year; these appointments are renewable, but the total time spent as visiting fellow cannot exceed three years, irrespective of departmental affiliations.
  • Visiting fellows ordinarily hold advanced degrees and are well established in their discipline. The title should not be used to appoint external graduate students, either foreign or American. In exceptional circumstances and when the department chair makes a strong case, the dean may authorize the appointment of an external graduate student if the student will contribute to, rather than take from, the department’s academic program; the appointee is not permitted to enroll in classes, graduate or undergraduate, or to receive course credit. A foreign student already in the United States on a student visa sponsored by another university cannot be appointed as a visiting fellow at Cornell unless all degree requirements have been completed and the visa has been extended for “practical training.” Before issuing an offer letter to any foreign graduate student the department chair should contact the International Students and Scholars Office Cornell graduate students cannot be appointed as visiting fellows unless all degree requirements have been met.
  • All visiting fellows must be assigned a percentage of effort, and those who are appointed half time for at least one semester (i.e., a full six-month period or the four and one-half month academic semester) are eligible to purchase endowed health and accident insurance. Department chairs must ensure that offer letters to visiting fellows describe in detail those departmental, college, or university resources that can be expected while at Cornell, e.g., staff support, office or research space, funds for supplies, computer time, long-distance telephone service.
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