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Hosting Foreign Visitors and Scholars

UMMS welcomes academic visitors for educational collaboration, study, and research activities. We are committed to protecting U.S. research and innovation and the need to comply with federal directives and disclosure regulations. Our Immigration Services Office (ISO) liaises with U.S. federal agencies that monitor foreign nationals to keep UMMS in compliance with the complex federal regulations related to recruiting and/or retention of foreign national talent here at UMMS.

Required Vetting

Federal guidance includes a step-by-step process that contains automatic, restricted party screenings and an export controls review for visitors and visitor sponsors. In addition, UMMS must ensure that individuals are properly vetted and that their access to UMMS space and systems is appropriate for the proposed work.

Faculty interested in hosting visitors, postdocs and scholars to campus to participate in academic or research activities are responsible verifying that a visiting researcher’s prior experience and publication align with the planned activities at UMMS as part of the sponsorship process. Lab leaders are also expected to lay out expectations and protocol regarding data access and sharing for all lab members, especially visitors involved in federally funded or proprietary research. Any activity that raises suspicion should be thoroughly evaluated in consultation with [International Support Services].

Training & Compliance Requirements

Training requirements will vary according to each visitor’s activities. Visitors are permitted to perform only the research that is outlined and approved in their individual agreements and must undergo all University-based training that is appropriate for the specific research. This training will include both the required safety and regulatory training related to the specific laboratory he/she will be visiting (e.g., EH&S and IACUC) as well as any other applicable training (e.g., sexual harassment prevention). All training for long term visitors must be completed before the visitor begins any research activities. For short-term visitors, contact internationalsupportservices@umassmed.edu. The host department and faculty member(s) are responsible for ensuring that the required training is completed.

Research visitors are required to comply with, and should familiarize themselves with, all UMMS and University policies found here.

Long-term visitors (i.e., those staying for more than 30 days) must complete a participation agreement, which lays out expectations and ownership of intellectual property and liability. 

Visitors and “Deemed Exports”

International visitors present a risk of a “deemed export” – i.e., Releasing or otherwise transferring Technology (EAR) technical data (ITAR) or source code to a foreign person in the United States. Consider contacting International Support Services early if you expect the visitor to be near or work with any of the following:

  • Data that are not intended for the public domain (i.e. publication, seminars, etc.)
  • Data with military or space applications
  • Controlled projects where publication is not allowable (i.e. for proprietary, government controls or other agreements)
  • Projects where participation is limited by citizenship through a contract or other means
  • Technical data that are acquired through a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement
  • Projects/areas/items associated with a technology control plan