Extended through Sept. 1, 2021: Restrictions on visitors & other nonmatriculated student appointments in response to COVID-19

Sent on behalf of Stacey F. Bent, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, and Kathryn Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research, co-chairs of the Research Continuity Team of the COVID Academic Policy Group:


Dear Colleagues,

  The Provost’s COVID Academic Policy Group has extended restrictions on new appointments of Visiting Student Researchers, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholars, Visiting Scholars, and other nonmatriculated students through Summer quarter, at least until September 1, 2021. The earlier restriction until at least June 14, 2021 was communicated on January 29, 2021. This extended restriction applies to all new appointments, whether the individuals intend to be remote or physically on campus, as explained below.

Stanford is still in Stage 2 of Research Recovery, with highly controlled access to research facilities due to public health guidelines and  campus density restrictions. Moreover, there are significant risks involved in providing formal visiting scholar or visiting researcher affiliations for individuals who are remote – including diminished oversight ability and enforcement of Stanford policies for someone who is not physically here (out of state or out of country), and potential data sharing concerns (e.g., contractual, export control, IT security, and data privacy). In addition, by limiting the arrival of new visitors and other nonmatriculated students on campus during the pandemic, Stanford staff and faculty can better serve students matriculated in a Stanford degree program and postdoctoral scholars appointed by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

New Apointments: Exceptions

However, because there may be critical needs for some research programs, the Vice Provosts will consider requests for exceptions to the restriction on new appointments for high-priority and urgent programmatic needs that are first reviewed and approved by the School Deans. 

The request for an exception should include a brief but specific rationale for the exception and include prior review and approval by the School Dean. This information will allow the Vice Provosts to review and grant exceptions to this university-wide policy in a consistent and equitable manner across Schools.

Current Appointments: Extensions

Finally, we understand the interest in extending the appointment of current visitors whose research and ability to return home may have been disrupted by the pandemic. Please review the policies listed below and carefully note the information required for a request for an extension. Note that extensions will not be further extended or a second extension granted.

Thank you for your patience as requests for extensions and exceptions are carefully reviewed by the Vice Provosts.

We appreciate your understanding as we continue the safe, staged return to in-person, on-campus research and scholarship and prioritize the needs of our faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students enrolled in a Stanford degree program.


Helen J. Doyle, PhD

Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Building 310

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305

(650) 736-1937 ph


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