The University hosts many visitors who do not hold academic appointments but use its libraries and research facilities. To accommodate the needs of individuals without academic appointments and to recognize their contributions to its intellectual life, the University has created two courtesy designations, visiting scholar/scientist and seminar associate. Under certain limited circumstances, the University also permits short-term visitors.

       Regardless of whether they receive a courtesy designation, visitors may not be paid for providing services to the University and may not engage in work that would normally be performed by salaried officers or staff. Those who are engaged in research at Columbia are expected to comply with the University’s policies designed to ensure that their work is conducted safely and in a professional manner. In particular, visitors who will participate in laboratory research must receive appropriate safety training and be familiar with the University’s policies concerning laboratory safety and the handling and disposal of hazardous materials. If their research involves human subjects, they need the approval of the appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB). If they will work with research animals, they must have the approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). No visitor may work with patient records or other protected health information without completing the University’s HIPAA training. Further information on these requirements may be found in the policy statement, Guidelines for Short-Term Visitors in Research-Related and Clinical Activities.

Updated November 28, 2022