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Important Information Regarding COVID-19

See the Registrar's COVID-19 and Academic Continuity page for information for students, faculty, and staff relevant to classes and academic activities and administration. (updated August 21, 2020)

COVID-19 Pandemic and VSRs, Nonmatriculated Students, and Summer Programs


Alo see Vice Provost for Graduate Education Stacey Bent's June 3 communication concerning "Updated restrictions on visitors & other nonmatriculated students in response to COVID-19."


Important Guidance on COVID-19 Impact on Current VSRs, Other Nonmatriculated Students, and Summer Programs

Following is the complete text of an email sent on March 26, 2020 on behalf of Vice Provosts Stacey Bent, Kam Moler, and Susie Brubaker-Cole. Please bring this to the attention to your faculty and other colleagues who have responsibility for sponsoring or appointing Visiting Student Researchers or other non matriculated students, including summer research programs.

Dear Colleagues,

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to elaborate on the March 12 guidance below about delaying new visiting researcher and other nonmatriculated student appointments until June 1. We are including guidance about summer, since we know some of you are already planning summer programs such as research experiences for undergraduates from other universities and early start programs for incoming graduate students.

We also want to point out that visiting researcher and other nonmatriculated student appointments require a significant amount of time from our staff in Graduate Admissions, the Bechtel International Center, VPGE, and School Deans offices and departments. Please recognize that our priority is to serve our current students enrolled in a Stanford degree program, our postdoctoral scholars who are appointed by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), and our prospective students who have been offered admission for Autumn 2020 and postdocs offered an appointment in the coming months.

We ask you to please halt all new nonmatriculated student appointments while we address more urgent issues our current students and postdocs are facing. In the coming months, Graduate Admissions and the Bechtel International Center will prioritize meeting the needs of our incoming students and postdocs, which will likely increase significantly given the ongoing global crisis.

Please also delay making any commitments to summer programs, including summer starts for incoming graduate students and research programs for undergraduates. We anticipate that the Academic Continuity committee, led by VP Sarah Church, will address Summer Session as soon as they can. Their recommendations should inform other summer programs involving both enrolled and visiting students on campus.

Here are options for currently appointed VSRs and other nonmatriculated students and visitors who are immediately affected by the shelter-in-place and travel restrictions.

Options for visiting researchers and other nonmatriculated students who are currently appointed at Stanford:

  1. Terminate early:

    • Process paperwork with Graduate Admissions and Financial Services; depart Stanford.

    • Update the Bechtel International Center when terminating the appointment of an individual under Stanford's visa sponsorship.

    • VSRs or other nonmatriculated students who terminate early may limit their options to be reappointed due to visa or other restrictions.

    • VSRs or other nonmatriculated students who terminate are not guaranteed a reappointment. All stakeholders must recognize that reappointment generates significant work for Stanford staff whose priorities are with our students enrolled in a degree program and our postdocs appointed through OPA.

  2. Maintain appointment and stay local:

    • Develop a remote research plan under the guidance of their faculty sponsor; return to research on campus when possible.*

    • Pay university fees associated with being an active VSR or other nonmatriculated student.

  3. Maintain appointment and leave area temporarily:

    • Develop a remote research plan under the guidance of their faculty sponsor; return to research on campus when possible.*

    • Pay university fees associated with being an active VSR or other nonmatriculated student.

    • There may be visa implications and travel restrictions for VSRs or other nonmatriculated students who leave area to return to their home country temporarily. Bechtel must prioritize the needs of our students enrolled in a degree program and our postdocs appointed through OPA.

      *Duration of (2) and (3) to be determined by shelter in place orders and by Stanford.

  4. Extend appointment:

    • If travel home is not possible due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place or travel restrictions, sponsor can request a 1-4 month extension of the VSR or other nonmatriculated student appointment (to Graduate Admissions, or to VPGE if beyond the maximum allowed 12 month extension).

    • If eligible for an extension, VSR's or other nonmatriculated student's visa may be extended via a request to Bechtel from the sponsoring department. Bechtel must prioritize the needs of our students enrolled in a degree program and our postdocs appointed through OPA.

Note:

  • VSRs or other nonmatriculated students do not have permission to continue remote research beyond the duration of the campus-wide research restrictions.

  • VSRs or other nonmatriculated students are not eligible for a leave of absence because they are not enrolled in a degree program at Stanford.