Columbia University hosts some visitors whose involvement with its programs does not merit an appointment as a member of the faculty or an officer of research nor does it qualify them for the designation of visiting scholar/scientist or seminar associate. Examples include, but are not limited to, high school students engaged in an educational program sponsored by their schools in conjunction with Columbia, individuals who come to the University to receive training in specific research or clinical techniques, and individuals who are invited to observe programmatic activities of the University. These visitors may not engage in work that would normally be performed by salaried officers or staff.
These visitors share several common characteristics. They come to Columbia for a short duration that generally does not exceed three months and they do not have a formal affiliation with the University. They do not actively contribute to the University’s programs, and do not provide it with services. They cannot replace or augment paid staff to do the work of paid staff, and cannot be compensated by the University.
To ensure that the activities of these individuals are conducted in a safe and responsible manner, the University has adopted policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of the visitors’ sponsors and departments to make sure that those policies and procedures are followed.
Short-term visitors are expected to register with the appropriate office of the University prior to their arrival and to comply with the policies applicable to all visitors. Depending on the nature of their activities, they may be expected to attend training sessions on such topics as laboratory safety, environmental health and safety, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provisions relating to privacy. Special provisions apply in the case of short-term visitors who are younger than 18 years of age, including the requirement that their parents or guardians sign a consent form, as well as the requirement that members of the Columbia University community who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors in programs or activities at the University, undergo the University’s Protection of Minors Training.