Graduate School

Visiting Research Fellows

The Graduate School offers the Visiting Research Fellow and non-degree student statuses to accommodate visiting graduate students from other institutions and other non-degree students.

The Visiting Research Fellow (VRF) status is for graduate students from other institutions who would like to come to Brown for durations of usually less than 12 months to conduct research with a Brown faculty member. Visiting Research Fellows are not enrolled in classes and do not have official student status at Brown. They are required to have a faculty advisor at Brown who will supervise and direct their activities. All requests for Visiting Research Fellow status are made by host programs to the Graduate School. See a full description of the program in the Graduate School Handbook.

Programs should submit the following documents to their Graduate School Admission Coordinator

For U.S. Citizens

  • Visiting Research Fellow Request Form
  • Letter(s) of endorsement by the program chair/director and the faculty member who will advise the visitor at Brown
  • A copy of the student’s original appointment request to the program
  • Proof of health insurance
  • CV

For International Students

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) Visiting Research Fellow webpage for details and a list of the documents required. Once the documents have been received and processed, the Graduate School will issue a formal letter of invitation as a VRF at the Brown University Graduate School. Upon the student’s acceptance of the invitation, the Graduate School will submit the appointment request to OISSS (Office of Student and Scholar Services) for processing of the appropriate entry form (I-20 or DS-2019).

Required Documentation for Appointment as a Visiting Research Fellow

I. Health Insurance

International Visiting Research Fellow

International students coming to Brown University as a Visiting Research Fellow (VRF) through the Graduate School will be required to purchase the Brown University International Scholars Insurance (Inbound) coverage for the duration of their time in the U.S. prior to the issuance of the DS-2019 certificate for J-1 visa eligibility. Find more information in the Health Insurance section of the OISSS Visiting Research Fellow webpage.

Domestic Visiting Research Fellow

At the time of appointment, a domestic Visiting Research Fellow (VRF) is required to provide proof of health insurance.

Acceptable documents from your U.S. based insurer for demonstrating health insurance coverage include a health insurance card with your name on it; a signed letter on letterhead stating coverage; or proof of payment. A domestic VRF who does not provide proof of health insurance will not have their appointment activated and will not receive a Brown ID card.

II. Financial Support

International Visiting Research Fellows Only

A Visiting Research Fellow (VRF) who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States and who requires the assistance of Brown to obtain a visa is required to provide documentation of their ability to meet all anticipated expenses during the period of stay. Current requirements stipulate $2,770 per month for the visitor, an additional $583 per month for each additional adult, and an additional $415 per month for each child age 18 or under. We recommend that you consider the required levels of support as the minimum you will need, actual expenses at Brown are likely to be higher. Proof of your ability to meet these costs is best provided in the form of a bank certificate/statement that indicates the current availability of the required amount in U.S. currency or funds easily convertible into U.S. dollars. The adequacy of your financial arrangements is subject to reviews by University authorities and by the U.S. consulate at the time of your visa application.