Hosting a Visiting International Scholar
Department Guidelines and Procedures
(Additional guidelines for hosting grant-funded scholars are in shaded areas)
- Initiation of Communication: the Visiting International Scholar (VIS) communicates directly with the department and the hosting faculty member on details of research interests and department’s availability to host.
- Coordination of Hosting Details: the VIS and the hosting department determine the details and expectations of the program, including the funding sources, resource availability, (i.e. office space), whether the scholar will be bringing dependents, project timeline, etc.
Grant-funded: If the scholar’s visit to VCU is at all grant-funded (meaning, if VCU will receive/manage any grant funds attached to hosting the scholar), the faculty member must initiate a funding proposal in RAMS-SPOT based on the program details and grant requirements. For guidance on that process, the hosting faculty member, who will serve as Principal Investigator (PI) for the project, can reach out to the sponsored programs contact in their unit or communicate with the Office of Sponsored Programs directly.
Note: if grant funds are awarded directly to the scholar, without being routed through VCU (i.e. privately-sponsored Fulbright scholars), a funding proposal through RAMS-SPOT is not required.
- Invitation Letter: the hosting department, in coordination with their Human Resources associate (HRA), drafts an invitation letter outlining program expectations and details (including funding sources, both VCU and external), and sends this letter to the VIS.
- Immigration Services Review: the hosting department contacts VCU Immigration (GEOIS@vcu.edu) in the Global Education Office (GEO) for consultation on the visa process. The VIS, hosting department, and the department’s Human Resources Associate (HRA) will work together with VCU Immigration on this process, if a VCU visa is required.
Note: In some cases (i.e. Fulbright scholars), VCU is not issuing the visa for the VIS, and the hosting department does not need to contact VCU Immigration.
- Export Control: the hosting department contacts VCU Export Control to initiate an Export Control review of the program. At least 10 days before arrival at VCU, the hosting faculty/department must complete the International Visitor Pre-screen Form. For a VCU-sponsored visa, the VIS information will be sent to Export Control as part of the visa review process in ECO.
Grant-funded: The proposal and budget will undergo Export Control review through the Office of Sponsored Programs’ review procedure in RAMS-SPOT.
- Signed Agreement: the Visiting Scholar Agreement is executed and signed by the VIS and department/school. A copy of the fully-signed agreement should be sent to email@example.com.
Grant-funded: PI uploads signed agreement to RAMS-SPOT for inclusion in OSP documentation. At this point, RAMS-SPOT funding proposal can and should be unilaterally awarded by OSP Post Award.
- Logistical Support: the VIS can contact GEOIS@vcu.edu for information on housing, health insurance, and community/cultural engagement opportunities.