Carnegie Mellon University

Collaborating Visitor Guidance

Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff are encouraged to collaborate with colleagues and students from other academic institutions, as well as scientists and scholars from industry or the public sector. This collaboration may involve inviting the Collaborating Visitors to visit the university for a period of time or spending time at the Collaborating Visitor's home institution.

Before inviting a Collaborating Visitor to visit Carnegie Mellon, the University must assure that granting Collaborating Visitor status and the attendant privileges will not violate applicable laws; regulations; institutional policies or contractual commitments to sponsors and the appropriate documentation is in place. Therefore, before extending an invitation, the sponsoring faculty/staff host and the sponsoring department must assure the Collaborating Visitors' process has been followed.

This process is required to give any Collaborating Visitor, as defined in CMU’s Collaborating Visitor Guidelines, access to any of CMU’s domestic campuses and locations (Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, and other U.S. locations) EXCLUDING any visitors to the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC).  SEI and NREC have separate processes for screening visitors that must be followed. Please contact those locations for further information. 

Collaborating visitor guidance flow chart
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What is a "Collaborating Visitor"?

The term Collaborating Visitor is used throughout the University for a wide variety of purposes. For purposes of these guidelines only, a “Collaborating Visitor” is defined as an individual who visits Carnegie Mellon to collaborate with University personnel on research and/or to access the University’s facilities, resources, or intellectual property that are not open or available to the public. Collaborating Visitors may include but are not limited to, a faculty member employed by another academic institution, a student who is enrolled in an academic program at another institution, an unpaid intern, an individual who is employed in industry or the public sector, and in less common circumstances, a self-supported scholar. 

For purposes of the guidelines, a Collaborating Visitor is NOT one of the following:

  • Paid employees (faculty, staff or students) and paid interns of CMU
  • Students who are, or will be, enrolled in classes at CMU while they are at CMU (including "visiting/non-degree students" who are enrolled in classes)
  • Individuals on leave from another institution who are granted paid temporary "visiting faculty" status under one of the Univesity's faculty policies (e.g. a faculty member on sabbatical from another institution who is temporarily employed by CMU as Special Faculty)
  • Individuals visiting CMU as, or on behalf of, a contractor; subcontractor or consultant where the subcontractor purpose and tenor of the visit are covered by a separate written agreement with CMU (e.g. a subcontractor visiting CMU to perform duties under the contract)
  • Individuals at CMU for limited purposes such as attending a conference open to the public, attending an academic conference, participating in a thesis review panel, participating in an interview, giving a talk and touring public areas
  • Spouses, domestic partners and dependent children of faculty, staff and students; or Emeriti faculty and retired faculty/staff who access certain University facilities (e.g. athletics facilities) under a sponsored ID card
  • Other individuals whose access to University property is governed by a separate written agreement or policy (e.g. individuals covered by consortium agreements with specific terms related to access to University property, individuals coming to the University as participants in human subjects research with a signed consent form)

Please note that if a department decides to supplement the financial support that is being provided to a Collaborating Visitor by his or her home institution, the individual may be deemed to be an employee of Carnegie Mellon for legal purposes (not a Collaborating Visitor), thus requiring that the university follow all employment practices and processes and meet applicable legal, regulatory and policy standards.

Collaborating Visitor Review Process for Departments

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