Visiting Scientist Agreements

UNH faculty members and researchers are encouraged to seek collaboration opportunities with colleagues and scientists affiliated with other organizations. These collaborators may visit UNH and have access to UNH research facilities and resources. However, the rights and responsibilities of UNH and our research sponsors need to be protected when this access is permitted.  This guidance is intended to facilitate the interaction of UNH faculty and staff with other scientists, colleagues and students who will have access to UNH research resources and facilities that are not otherwise available to the public.

UNH faculty members should, prior to the arrival of a Visiting Scientist on campus, require that the Visiting Scientist execute a Visiting Scientist Agreement (VSA).

“Visiting Scientist” means anyone (irrespective of degree) who will be working, researching, training or observing in a UNH facility, e.g., a laboratory, (i) on substantial research, and/or (ii) for an extended period of time and/or (iii) on a recurring basis and who is not subject to or covered by UNH’s employee or student policies. This includes:

  • Individuals employed by or working in other organizations, whether public or private, who are representing and/or receiving financial support from their organization;
  • Students or other trainees who are not covered by UNH policies or registered as UNH students; and
  • Any other individuals who are external collaborators, consultants or observers who are not UNH employees.

The major objectives of the VSA are twofold. First, it ensures that Visiting Scientists agree to follow UNH rules and procedures while on our property (see, for example, UNH’s Research policies). This might include specific training (e.g. hazardous materials handling, HIPAA compliance, IRB or IACUC approvals), depending on the nature of their activities while visiting UNH, and to ensure that work is conducted safely and in a professional manner.

Second, the VSA confirms that any intellectual property developed by the Visiting Scientist using UNH’s facilities will be owned by UNH, and that the Visiting Scientist will be treated as a UNH “inventor” under our Intellectual Property Policy and related policies (such as UNH’s Research policies), which would include a right to share in any royalties received from any licensing of the intellectual property.  These provisions are particularly important if the Visiting Scientist will be working on any government or industry sponsored research project, since UNH ownership of intellectual property which arises out of those projects is required under related laws (e.g., Bayh Dole) or contract terms. These provisions are also important when the Visiting Scientist is employed by industry, since many companies have policies on intellectual property ownership that conflict with those of UNH.

If the Visiting Scientist is visiting UNH as an individual and is not bound by or to any contractual or employment constraints from another organization, the VSA can be signed by the individual. If the Visiting Scientist is covered by employment or other contractual restrictions of another organization, a representative from such organization should sign the VSA, as well.

In some cases, the employer of the Visiting Scientist might object to our intellectual property terms. In those rare cases where (1) the employer of the Visiting Scientist is providing financial support for the Visiting Scientist and some other contribution (e.g. contribution to the conception of the project, background intellectual property, research materials, etc.), and (2) objects to UNH’s Intellectual Property terms, UNH may agree to alter the terms of the VSA to provide that any intellectual property arising out of the research project will be jointly owned by UNH and the Visiting Scientist’s employer.

UNH faculty and staff members are encouraged to become familiar with the terms of the Template VSA. Additionally, anyone who is interested in pursuing a VSA should contact Victor Sosa, Director, Contracts and Export Controls or their Sponsored Programs GCA for more information. Any revisions to the template VSA (including those related to ownership of intellectual property) should be reviewed by Victor Sosa.

Note: Visiting Scientist appointments are temporary appointments, sometimes paid by the individual’s home institution and sometimes by UNH. It is possible to commit effort of Visiting Scientists on a sponsored project awarded to UNH.  If the Visiting Scientist is paid by UNH, the requirements of UNH’s Effort Reporting Policy apply. If the Visiting Scientist is paid by his/her home institution, such situation is to be fully disclosed in the respective research proposal or during the course of the award. At the end of each project year of the award, the Visiting Scientist is required to certify the effort spent on the project, as disclosed in the related progress report.

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Contact Information

Victor Sosa, Director
Contracts & Export Controls
Phone: (603) 862-2001
Email: Victor.Sosa@unh.edu

Melissa McGee, Compliance officer
Research Integrity Services
Phone: (603) 862-2005
Email: Melisa.McGee@unh.edu