As a major research institution, Texas A&M often has visitors to its campus who come to collaborate on research and scholarly topics of mutual interests or to work on specific research to be conducted within university facilities. These are referred to as visiting scholars. A visiting scholar is not an employee of Texas A&M or The Texas A&M University System.
All visiting scholars on campus who will have access to Texas A&M research and/or clinical facilities and resources must have prior approval from the department or division head, the dean, and the Division of Research.
Although, visiting scholars are not employees of the university, through the appropriate approval process, they can be allowed access to university facilities and resources, issued a UIN, and NetID that will allow them to obtain an official Texas A&M email address, visitor identification card, and/or library card.
All individuals assigned under a visiting scholar title are subject to and are required to observe all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including, but not limited to, export control laws and regulations, and requirements of Texas A&M rules and regulations, including intellectual property rights and obligations. The rules may be found at https://rulesadmin.tamu.edu/rules/download/15.99.99.M0.01.
Additional information on visiting scholars can be found in the Standard Administrative Procedure:
- University SAP 15.99.99.M0.01 Visiting Scholars Not Involved in an Employer/Employee Relationship with Texas A&M University
A visiting scholar is an individual employed or affiliated with another organization who has been invited and approved by Texas A&M to come to the campus for an extended period of time to collaborate on specific research, clinical, or other scholarly activities. Visitors who 1) are accompanied by authorized university personnel; 2) do not need access to facilities or resources; 3) are not performing “hands-on” research or teaching; and 4) are visiting only for a short duration of time (approximately 10 days) are not considered to be visiting research scholars. Examples of these visits include campus tours, conferences, collaboration meetings, presentation of a paper, etc.
Visiting Scholars Versus Visiting Scientists
The major difference between the visiting scholar and the visiting scientist is that the visiting scholar is not an employee of Texas A&M or the A&M System members at Texas A&M facilities. Department heads and deans must be aware of and approve the presence and activities of the visitors. (The visiting scientist titles are being phased out since they are redundant with other research titles.)
There are some fundamental issues when considering bringing in a visitor. They include:
- Potential liability of the host faculty member,
- Liability of the visitor for accidents,
- Intellectual property/technology transfer (i.e., signing non-disclosure agreements) and
- Conflict of interest.
Consideration of all of the above will be done at the department level.
The Form 5VS will be initiated at the department level and approved by the department head (or associate department head) and the college dean (or associate dean or other alternate) then approved by the vice president for research or designee. The Division of Research will screen the application for export controls and other compliance issues. Upon approval by the Division of Research the applications for international visitors will be forwarded to Immigration Services for Faculty and Scholars http://isfs.tamu.edu/.
Visiting Scholars Form 5VS
The purpose of this form is to establish administrative approval of a visiting scholar agreement. These agreements are of a temporary nature. Generally, visiting scholar’s are approved for a period of up to one year, but extensions for subsequent years may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
The 5VS form or any modifications to a previously approved form (related to a change in the original agreement such as visitation period, host, research project, etc.) along with a resume or CV in English and the signed visiting scholar agreement must be submitted to the Division of Research for approval.
All visiting scholar forms, agreements and/or any questions can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.