Download PDF
Effective Date: September 1, 2020
Policy

Policy on Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars


University Faculty may invite Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars who meet the Criteria set out below to Boston University using the procedures set out below. Faculty appointments for Visiting Faculty are subject to the “Classification of Ranks and Titles, Section B” in the Faculty Handbook.

  • Criteria for Appointment. The following are the minimum eligibility criteria for a Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar designation at Boston University:
    • the individual must have an advanced degree or recognized expertise in their
      field; and
    • the individual must have a source of financial support, including health
      insurance, from outside Boston University.

Appointments as Visiting Faculty or Research Scholars do not include any Boston University salary or other financial support. Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars are not University employees and the title may not be used for personnel or payroll purposes. The hosting academic unit may choose to make payments to Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars from the hosting unit’s own budget as provided in the guidance for Research Related Payments.

Schools and colleges may establish more restrictive eligibility criteria and may establish minimum levels for the outside financial support of Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars.

  • Duration of Appointment. Visiting Faculty and Research Scholar appointments are usually made for up to one year and may be renewed for a second year, although shorter appointments are possible. An extension beyond two years must be approved by the school or college’s Dean’s office and the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research (“VP Research”) and should be granted only for extraordinary and compelling reasons.
  • Appointment Procedures. The inviting department, program, Center or Institute is responsible for ensuring that a Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar candidate meets the criteria above. The inviting organization should submit a recommendation to the Chair or Dean of the inviting department, program, Center or Institute, which should include:
    • a description of the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar’s qualifications, and identification of the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar’s current affiliation(s);
    • all sources of financial support for the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar, including salary or other compensation from any supporting university or government;
    • all external research funding, including grants or other funding from any government, foundations, or any other source;
    • the host academic unit’s assessment that the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar meets the criteria for appointment;
    • the identity of the faculty member issuing the invitation;
    • the duration of the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar’s designation;
    • a description of the research or scholarly project on which the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar will collaborate;
    • a description of the space and facilities that the host academic unit will make available to the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar;
    • a copy of the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar’s signed Intellectual Property Agreement for Visitors; and
    • an acknowledgment that:
      • no salary or other financial compensation, including insurance or other health and welfare benefits, will be provided by Boston University in conjunction with the appointment; and
      • the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar will satisfy all regulatory requirements and comply with all University policies pertaining to full-time positions, as required by the Faculty Handbook or HR procedures, as applicable.

A template recommendation form is available here.

After ensuring that the recommendation is complete, the Chair or Dean should:

  • ensure that the expected activities of international Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar are appropriate and disclosed as required;
  • ensure that all visa requests are addressed by the University’s International Students & Scholars Office Process for Inviting a Visitor, and in particular that any export control issues are addressed;
  • identify all required University training (e.g., sexual misconduct, or other mandatory training);
  • issue an appropriate appointment letter; and provide a copy of the recommendation and appointment letter to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research.

A template appointment letter is available here.

  • Responsibilities of Host Faculty, Departments, Programs, Centers or Institutes.
    The host academic unit should ensure that the appointment is of benefit to Boston University and does not improperly limit the participation of University faculty or students in research projects, and that the visitor can participate as necessary without undue interference with responsibilities from the visitor’s home institution. The University Faculty member issuing the invitation should ensure that the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar is disclosed to research sponsors, including federal funding agencies, as appropriate. The University Faculty member issuing the invitation should identify all required Research Compliance training (e.g., lab safety) for the project. In addition, the hosting academic unit is responsible for assuring that the Visiting Faculty or Research Scholar:

    • receives all required University and Research Compliance training;
    • understands that he or she should not conduct proprietary work for his or her home institution or any other third-party in Boston University’s facilities during the visit;
    • complies with all University policies and external requirements related to the performance of work at Boston University.

Although the University does not provide financial support for Visiting Faculty or Research Scholars, the hosting academic unit may choose to make a special payment to a Visiting Faculty or Research Scholars if appropriate. Units should follow the procedures for awarding honoraria for one-time payments or for Research Related Payments for stipends.

  • Privileges
    Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars at Boston University hold their status at the pleasure of Boston University. BU may revoke the status at any time, including during the duration of the designation in its sole discretion, without the necessity of a reason. Similarly, there is no right to a renewal of the status at the end of the term. Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars are not employees or students of the University, and therefore are not entitled to University compensation or other benefits available to regular staff, faculty or students, including health insurance. Visitors may not serve as a Principal Investigator on grants or internal protocols, or apply for funding through Boston University pursuant to the Policy on PI Status.

A template acknowledgement letter is available here.

Copies of all three forms need to be submitted to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research at the following email address: visiting@bu.edu


Additional Resources Regarding This Policy

Related Documents

Effective Date
The Policy on Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars takes effect in the fall 2020 semester.

History
The Policy on Visiting Faculty and Research Scholars was drafted by the University Council Committee on Research and Scholarly Activity. It was approved by the University Council on 3/17/20.