How to Apply for a Visiting Graduate Researcher Appointment at UCLA

Prior to Arrival at UCLA

  1. Contact the faculty member with whom you wish to conduct research. The faculty member must agree to sponsor your research.
  2. An administrator from the faculty member’s department will initiate the application. The administrator will need the following information to start the application:
    • Your name
    • Your email
    • Research start and end dates
    • Faculty sponsor
  3. Once the department submits the information, both the faculty sponsor and the chair of the department need to approve your application. Then you will receive an email inviting you to apply online for a Visiting Graduate Researcher appointment.
  4. Fill out the online form and upload two documents:
    1. Your curriculum vitae
    2. Proof of Registration as a graduate student at your home institution: You may have your university’s registrar or equivalent office complete the proof of registration template. To be considered for approval, the proof of registration letter must include:
      • Official university letterhead, seal or stamp, and signature
      • Name, title, and signature of approving official from the university’s registrar or equivalent office
      • Program of enrollment (degree objective such as Ph.D. or MA)
      • Start dates of enrollment
      • Expected graduation date
      • Statement confirming that the graduate student is a currently enrolled student
      • An accompanying certified English translation (as applicable)

      As an alternative to the Proof of Registration, graduate students registered at institutions in the U.S. may provide a certified copy of their graduate transcripts.

  5. Type in a a short statement about what you intend to research while at UCLA.

    Pay any fees the sponsoring department is not covering for you. You must pay the fees by credit card. There is no other way for the Graduate Division to process your fees. If you need to pay fees, you will receive an email similar to the one below.

    Dear VGR,

    Thank you for submitting your UCLA Visiting Graduate Researcher application.

    Please submit your payment by credit card at [link to site will appear here] at our Online VGR Payment page. Prior to submitting your payment, you will be presented a breakdown of current fees due. The fees are non-refundable. Cash, check, and money orders are not accepted.

    Academic Services, UCLA Graduate Division

    Once you submit payment, you will receive a receipt screen. You can print this sheet for future reference. The fees below are for a one year appointment.

    Visiting Graduate Researchers Sample Receipt

    The department reviews your application before sending it to the Graduate Division for temporary approval. If you need to make any changes after you have submitted your VGR application, contact the sponsoring department.

    You will receive an email when you have been approved temporarily by the Graduate Division.

Upon Temporary Approval

  1. Pay any remaining fees. You will receive an email listing any remaining fees and a link to pay by credit card.
  2. The Graduate Division will provide an electronic, final approval of the completed application to you and your department.
  3. You will need a UCLA BruinCard for access to University privileges and facilities, please work with your sponsoring department to obtain a BruinCard. The BruinCard will not be issued until your VGR appointment information has been submitted to UCPath for additional processing. The Graduate Division submits all approved VGR appointments to UCPath for processing and sends a report to the BruinCard Office of all VGRs who have received final approval. Please allow 2-3 business days from the time you receive the Final Approval email before contacting the BruinCard office to ensure that a sufficient amount of time has elapsed to account for UCPath processing. When your sponsoring department provides you with a copy of the BruinCard confirmation, you can visit the BruinCard Office located at 123 Kerckhoff Hall. Note: Appointments of less than three months will not qualify for a BruinCard.
  4. Sign the Oath and Patent Acknowledgement Form. Your department administrator will have the form for you to read and sign. It will be retained in your records with the sponsoring department.

International Visitors:

  1. Work with your sponsoring department to obtain a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility Form. Use the DS-2019 to apply for the J-1 visa stamp at your nearest U.S. Embassy. See DS-2019 Procedures for more information. Refer to the UCLA School of Medicine Visa and Licensing Office for DGSOM VGRs.
  2. Purchase health insurance or apply for a waiver. The Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars (DCISS) and the School of Medicine Visa Office will work with Gallagher Benefits Services to verify mandatory health insurance coverage for all international Visiting Graduate Researchers. For complete information on health insurance procedures please visit the Visiting Graduate Researcher Health and Welfare Benefits page.

Domestic Visitors:

U.S. citizens or permanent residents who already have health insurance coverage will submit an insurance card or benefits summary to Academic Services, UCLA Graduate Division at 1255 Murphy Hall.

Need Help?

  • Your sponsoring department is the primary contact about your application.
  • Contact for assistance with the online application.