Guide to Visiting Scientist, Scholar, or Professor Appointments

During your time at MIT, you may be interested in bringing a non-student visitor outside MIT to your research group.  In order to be appointed to MIT as a visitor, the individual must hold a concurrent appointment outside MIT for the duration of their time in the Department. 

Non-student visiting appointments are up to one-year in length and are categorized into the following subtypes.

Visiting Scholar - MS degree or higher with 0 ‐ 4 years of research experience who plans to visit MIT to learn about a specific research area, project, or technique.

Visiting Scientist - MS degree or higher with 3+ years of experience who can conduct research on his/her own, and will participate in a collaboration with the faculty sponsor.

Visiting Professor - A faculty member at another institution, as evidenced by the CV. The exact title should correspond with the individual’s title at his/her home institution.

Research Affiliates - Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.  The academic appointment of research affiliate recognizes the status of an individual with whom the Institute wishes to acknowledge some degree of association. Research affiliates characteristically have no specific duties and are typically not in residence. This position is not meant to allow for a volunteer in the laboratory.  Research affiliates that perform duties similar to those of postdoctoral researchers must be classified as postdoctoral researchers.

Students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program are not eligible for the above appointment types and must come to MIT as a visiting student researcher.

Visiting Scholars, Scientists, and Professors are eligible for MIT visa sponsorship.  Certain funding minimums must be met for researchers coming on a J-1 visa (most common).  If you wish to bring a visitor into your group, please contact Human Resources Administrator Michele Harris to initiate the appropriate paperwork.  Please allow at least 75 days' lead time for visa processing, when necessary.