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Fees, Responsibilities, Restrictions, and Privileges for Visiting Student Researchers

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NOTE: Faculty or staff interested in creating a Visiting Student Researcher (VSR) position can get more details about the process and policies at the Inside Student Services website.

Stanford faculty can, in limited instances, permit someone who has not yet obtained a Ph.D. (or its foreign equivalent), or who is not a recognized expert in their field, to engage in research on the Stanford campus using Stanford research facilities. Such instances might include a student at another university who is engaged in graduate-level research in a field of interest to the faculty member, or a person doing a laboratory rotation as part of a more extensive research study or grant. These individuals are known as Visiting Student Researchers (VSRs) and are appointed as non-matriculated graduate students. 

If you are a current or prospective VSR, you should familiarize yourself with the following information about the fees, responsibilities, restrictions, and privileges associated with the role.

VSR Fees

See the Tuition and Fees for a complete list of applicable fees and tuition.

VSRs are subject to the following fees. You must:

  • pay the monthly VSR fee ($1,224 for the 2022/23 academic year). Stanford does not waive or prorate the fee; the student is responsible for the full amount.
  • pay the quarterly Campus Health Services Fee. Stanford does not waive or prorate the fee; you are responsible for the full amount. For more information, including fee, see Campus Health Services Fee.
  • Also, see health insurance responsibility (under VSR Responsibilities) below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your department may elect to use university funds to cover expenses (e.g., your health insurance, campus health service fee, stipend); however, the department must ascertain that the target funds allow for such expenses.

VSR Responsibilities

You are subject to the following rules and regulations of Stanford University. You must:

  • Sign the SU-18 Stanford Patent and Copyright Agreement (available electronically through the student Axess portal).
  • Observe the Honor Code and Fundamental Standard. Violations of these behavioral standards are subject to termination of your Stanford appointment.
  • Complete safety training. The faculty member who invited you is responsible to ensure that you receive any required training in order to be able to carry out research at Stanford, including appropriate health and safety training, instruction in the protection of human subjects, or any other instruction required by the work that you are assigned.
  • Have health insurance coverage. To ensure you are protected by health insurance, you are automatically enrolled and billed for Stanford’s student health insurance — Cardinal Care — for the duration of your appointment. For details on the cost, contact Vaden Health Services.

  • More on VSR Health Insurance Requirements
    • All VSRs are required to carry either individual health insurance or Stanford's Cardinal Care.

      • If you begin your appointment within the first 60 percent* (roughly seven weeks) of a given quarter, you are automatically enrolled in Cardinal Care retroactive to the start of the applicable quarter, and the corresponding quarterly charge appears on your bill. If you already have health coverage, you may elect to waive Cardinal Care, see Waiving Cardinal Care: Domestic Students or Waiving Cardinal Care: International Students. You must submit the form no later than the 15th of the arrival month to arrange a waiver or a fee is imposed.

      • If you begin your stay after 60 percent* of the quarter has passed, you are not automatically enrolled in Cardinal Care. You must contact Vaden’s Insurance Office to arrange for coverage for the remainder of the quarter or to show proof of existing coverage.

        You will be automatically enrolled in Cardinal Care at the start of the following quarter. For example, if you begin an appointment on December 1, you will not be enrolled in Cardinal Care for Autumn Quarter and must contact Vaden’s Insurance Office to arrange for coverage or to show proof of existing coverage. You are auto-enrolled in Cardinal Care beginning with Winter Quarter (January 1) and may either elect to remain enrolled or to contact Vaden to arrange a waiver (i.e., if alternative coverage is applicable). Your host department should email Vaden’s Insurance Office by submitting a Vaden Help request about your late arrival to minimize risk associated with inadequate or non-existent health insurance coverage.

        *The 60% date of each quarter is noted in the Academic Calendar under the title Term Withdrawal deadline.

      • Early Termination of VSR appointment and Health Insurance: If you are enrolled in Cardinal Care and your appointment terminates prior to the end of the Autumn or Winter Quarter, you may request early cancellation of Cardinal Care for the next quarter(s). You should submit a Vaden Help request. You should list your appointment termination date and should submit the Help request prior to the end of your appointment as the cancellation needs to be processed prior to the start of the next quarter. Early cancellation requests received after the start of the next quarter are not processed. Help requests for early cancellation should come from you, not the host department administrator.

VSR Restrictions

VSRs are subject to the following restrictions on their affiliation status. You:

  • are not permitted to enroll in or audit any classes
  • cannot have a Stanford fellowship or assistantship
  • are not eligible for Stanford loans

VSR Privileges

VSRs, through their affiliation status, are granted certain Stanford University privileges. You:

  • are provided a Stanford campus ID (including photo ID card) that
    • permits entry to and borrowing privileges from Stanford libraries
    • access to Stanford recreational facilities
  • are provided a SUNet ID that permits
    • access to the Stanford University network and some university systems (e.g., the student Axess portal)
    • access to Stanford University email services
  • are eligible for on-campus housing, on a space-available basis
  • may receive compensation for your research at Stanford