Visiting Scholar Agreements

Generally, UNH faculty members and researchers are encouraged to seek collaboration opportunities with colleagues, scholars 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, scholars, 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 Scholar on campus, require that the Visiting Scholar execute a Visiting Scholar Agreement (VSA).

“Visiting Scholar” means anyone (irrespective of degree) who is not otherwise subject to UNH or USNH policies for employees or students and 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. 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.

UNH faculty members should document the terms of a Visiting Scholar’s work at UNH using the template Visiting Scholar Invitation Letter.  Please consult with the university offices that are included as cc: on that template letter in advance of extending an offer to a Visiting Scholar. Visiting Scholars must sign their Invitation Letter and execute a Visiting Scholar Agreement (VSA) prior to their arrival on campus.

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

Second, the VSA confirms that any intellectual property developed by the Visiting Scholar using UNH’s facilities will be owned by UNH, and that the Visiting Scholar will be treated as a UNH “Innovator” under our Intellectual Property Policy and related policies (such as UNH’s Research policies), which may include a right to share in any royalties received from any licensing of the intellectual property.  These provisions are particularly important if the Visiting Scholar 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 Scholar is employed by industry, since many companies have policies on intellectual property ownership that conflict with those of UNH.

If the Visiting Scholar 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 Scholar 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 Scholar might object to our intellectual property terms. In those rare cases where (1) the employer of the Visiting Scholar is providing financial support for the Visiting Scholar 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 negotiate the terms of the VSA to appropriately allocate any intellectual property arising out of the research project will be jointly owned by UNH and the Visiting Scholar’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 must be reviewed by Victor Sosa; in addition, any revisions to the VSA related to ownership of intellectual property must be reviewed by UNH Innovation..

Note: Visiting Scholar appointments are temporary appointments, sometimes paid by the individual’s home institution and sometimes by UNH. It is possible to commit effort of Visiting Scholars on a sponsored project awarded to UNH.

If the Visiting Scholar is paid by UNH, the requirements of UNH’s Effort Reporting Policy apply. If the Visiting Scholar 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 Scholar 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

Melissa McGee, Assistant Director
Research Integrity Services
Phone: (603) 862-2005