Visiting Student Researcher

Faculty at CCRMA are sometimes asked to supervise the research of visitors who are not Visiting Scholars under current Stanford policy. The qualifications for appointment as a Visiting Scholar state that a person must hold a Ph.D. (or its equivalent from a country other than the United States) or be a recognized expert in the field. There are a limited number of instances, however, when it would be to the benefit of Stanford faculty to permit graduate students who have not yet attained the Ph.D. to engage in research on the Stanford campus using Stanford research facilities. Such instances might include students at other universities who are engaged in research at the doctoral level and who are doing research in a field of interest to a Stanford faculty member, or a student who is doing a laboratory rotation as part of a larger research study or grant.

When agreeing to invite such graduate students to conduct research at Stanford, CCRMA faculty is mindful of the need to place primary emphasis on providing research opportunities to regularly matriculated Stanford students. In addition, invited students must be qualified to conduct research at a level comparable to that of other Stanford graduate students, and the research must be of benefit to Stanford as well as the visitor. Visiting graduate students must work VERY INDEPENDENTLY at CCRMA in order to be successful.

Any visiting graduate student who will be participating in research at Stanford for more than 30 days must be appointed into nonmatriculated student status as a Visiting Student Researcher. Students may be classified as Visiting Student Researchers if they are here fewer than 30 days. (No SUnet ID can be sponsored until the VSR appointment has been approved and processed by the Office of the University Registrar.)

Visiting Student Researchers will be registered in the category: "Non-Matriculated Graduate Students - Visiting Student Researchers" (VSR). They will be charged a monthly VSR fee, set annually by the Board of Trustees. Visiting Student Researchers will also be charged the quarterly Campus Health Services Fee, and, unless they document that they have comparable coverage with another carrier, they will be charged for student health insurance.
Persons registered in the VSR category are not permitted to enroll in any classes. If Visiting Student Researchers wish to take classes at Stanford, they should contact the Graduate Admissions, Office of the University Registrar, and request an application for nonmatriculated graduate student enrollment status. A complete application, including letters of recommendation, official transcripts and applicable test scores, would be required by the nonmatriculated application deadline set by Graduate Admissions, Office of the Registrar. Nonmatriculated students must register for a minimum of eight units and are charged the regular tuition rate.

Visiting Student Researchers from other U.S. universities who have educational loans cannot be certified by Stanford for loan deferments because they are neither matriculated at Stanford nor are they carrying a full-time course load. If the researcher is still matriculated at another university in the United States, s/he should contact their home institution regarding eligibility for loan deferments.

VSR status is valid for one year. The status may be extended once for an additional year.

Email a letter of proposal to Nette Worthey ( and include the following:

After the CCRMA staff and faculty review your initial proposal; you will be notified whether your proposal is accepted or denied by CCRMA. If it is accepted you will be asked to submit additional paperwork to be reviewed by the Registrars Office.

Citizens of other countries who enter the United States for the purpose of being Visiting Student Researchers at Stanford must have a DS-2019 (certification for J-1 visa status) issued by the Bechtel International Center via CCRMA prior to their arrival in this country. Visiting Student Researchers must be registered throughout the period of their residence at Stanford, in order to maintain their visa status. Students from other countries will also need to complete a Declaration of Finances form to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to pay the associated fees and to live in the U.S.

If you need Stanford to sponsor a visa for your visit, please submit the following documents:

Last minute visa requests cannot be honored.

Visiting Student Researchers are responsible for paying the VSR fees and any other applicable fees. CCRMA does not have scholarships or funds available for financial support. Nor is CCRMA able to pay any fees on the researcher's behalf or to provide a stipend for living expenses.
Visiting researchers are not eligible to be paid as graduate research assistants or as graduate teaching assistants. They may not receive stipends from University scholarships/fellowships. Funds designated for the support of matriculated Stanford students may not be used to support Visiting Student Researchers. They may however be employed on an hourly basis to perform work, including work on a sponsored project assuming that the work is appropriate to the project and funds are available.

Note: When departments provide stipends or pay fees for non-matriculated students, these payments are considered taxable income to the researcher. If the student is a non-US resident for tax purposes, and their home country does not have a tax treaty with the United States, Stanford is obligated to withhold or charge 14% federal tax on any of these payments.
Visiting researchers must remain current in their payments to the University to maintain their Visiting Student Researcher status. Persons who are delinquent in their payments will lose their status and, if applicable, their J-1 visa status will be terminated.


Persons who are registered as Visiting Student Researchers will be entitled to receive a student photo identification card. The card will permit entry and borrowing privileges from the library at the same level as other non-matriculated students and use of recreational facilities. Researchers will also be eligible to open computer accounts. These services will only be available during the months when the VSR fees have been paid. CCRMA will provide access to our facilities, courses and limited technical support.  CCRMA has an open space work environment and NO DESKS or OFFICES are assigned to visiting student researchers.

Graduate student housing is available, as for other non-matriculated students, only after all matriculated Stanford students have obtained housing. For the purposes of planning for housing, it is best to assume that student housing will not be available on campus for Visiting Student Researchers.

We wish you the best of luck in your application. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (650) 723-4971 ex.300