Visiting Student Research Collaborators (VSRC)
Description of VSRC Status
The following special rules apply to VSRCs:
- VSRC’s cannot enroll in courses for credit and do not receive a University transcript.
- They may not hold an Assistant Instructor (AI) appointment and may not engage in any other paid work on or off campus, beyond any Assistant Researcher payment they may receive from their sponsoring faculty member and/or department. International VSCR’s in F-1 and J-1 immigration status do not qualify for any off campus work permission, such as Optional Practical Training (F-1 students) or Academic Training (J-1 students). Only students pursuing a degree at Princeton are allowed to apply for Optional Practical Training or Academic Training.
- The standard cost-share rule for AR’s on research grants applies to VSRC’s.
- Students may remain in VSRC status from one month up to one calendar year (not more than 12 months). If, after 12 months, the sponsoring faculty member wants the student to continue, her/his status switches to Visiting Student and full tuition is charged. Note: New incoming faculty members who bring students with them to finish up at Princeton must use the status of Special Student (SPC), not VSRC.
- The 12-month limit is cumulative. Students may make repeat visits for shorter periods of time but cannot exceed a cumulative 12 months in VSRC status. Exceptions to this restriction will be considered only in cases where extenuating circumstances, such as the unexpected failure of research equipment, or an illness or other personal emergency, have prevented the completion of research within the allotted period of time. (Petitions for extension should be addressed to Dean Cole Crittenden in the Graduate School.)
Host Department Limitations
Visiting Student Research Collaborators must submit an application directly to the Graduate School. International VSRC’s must submit their application no later than three months in advance of their expected start date, in order to ensure adequate time for visa processing. Visa eligibility documents are issued only after the Graduate School has admitted a student as a VSRC. In addition to the completed application, students must submit the following:
- A statement by the sponsoring Princeton faculty member detailing the research project, duration of stay, and financial or other forms of support (if any), co-signed by the department chair (if the department will provide financial support, a departmental account number should be included);
- A statement from the applicant’s home institution advisor confirming enrolled graduate student status and describing the nature of the collaborative work and its relevance to the student’s academic and scholarly progress;
- Original evidence of sufficient financial resources, including original bank statements and letters from funders (for international VSRC’s requiring F1 or J1 visa eligibility documents only; this documentation is not required for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, F1s holding visas ussued by another U.S. institution, or F2 visa holders). [Note: Some funding documents, such as letters of financial support from the Chinese Scholarship Council, will indicate a range of funding available (“between $1300 - $1700/month”). In this case, the lower figure will be used to estimate the total amount of funding available. If the resulting amount is not sufficient, the student will be asked to provide documentation of additional resources.]
VSRC Fees and Financial Requirements
In fiscal year 2012-2013, the VSRC enrollment fee is $488/month. This fee includes the Student Health Plan, which is required for all Princeton graduate students. In addition, international (non-U.S. citizens and non- permanent residents) students must document their ability to cover all estimated living expenses for the course of their stay, in order to receive a visa. In FY 2013, living expenses for an individual VSRC are estimated to be $2112/month. Estimated living expenses for a spouse are $1635/month. $1091/month is required for each accompanying child. (See the Graduate School’s web site for more information).