Visiting Scholar and Visiting Scientist

Visiting Scholar
Visiting Scientist


The visiting scholars and visiting scientist titles allow persons on leave from other academic institutions or persons from business, industry, or government to be affiliated formally with and participate in the research program of the appointing unit. Visiting scholars and visiting scientists have no formal teaching responsibilities, but they can be invited to present specialized seminars or lectures. Visiting scholars and scientists are members of the RTE Faculty but without University Voting Rights.

Administrative Notes

  • Visiting scholars and visiting scientists 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 scholar or visiting scientist 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 scholars or visiting scientists unless all degree requirements have been met.
  • Visiting scholars and visiting scientists can be appointed either with or without salary for as little as several weeks or up to one year, renewable up to a total of three years, irrespective of departmental affiliation. Appointments, whether paid or unpaid, must be assigned a percentage of effort as visiting scholars and visiting scientists are eligible to purchase endowed health and accident insurance if they are appointed at least half time for one semester (i.e., a full six-month period or the four and one-half month academic semester). Offer letters to visiting scholars and visiting scientists must describe fully those departmental, college, or university resources that are available during a stay at Cornell, e.g., staff support, office or research space, funds for supplies, computer time, longdistance telephone service.
  • Appointment to the “visiting scholar” or “visiting scientist” title is exempt from affirmative action regulations.
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