Official Visitor Agreement

UPDATE: January 12, 2016

It has been determined that letters of invitation (letters of intent from the host institution) can be issued to applicants for Borlaug and Fulbright fellowships without processing an Official Visitors Agreement (OVA) and other documents as listed in the September 1, 2015 memo. Should the applicant be selected for the Borlaug or Fulbright fellowship, the OVA and other paperwork can be submitted by the host department at that time. There may be other individuals whose visit is contingent upon selection who will need this same accommodation. Please call Sandy Williamson at 662-325-3570 if you have questions.

September 1, 2015

TO: Deans, Directors, and Department Heads

FROM: David R. Shaw, Vice President for Research and Economic Development

RE: Official Visitor Agreement

Within the last year a draft version of a Visiting Scientist Agreement (now referred to as an Official Visitor Agreement) has been circulated among the administrative offices including the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, Legal Counsel, the International Services Office, the Office of Research Security and the Office of Technology Management. The initial primary focus of this document was the loss of intellectual property rights. In addition, this will satisfy the written agreement requirement of Academic Operating Policy 13.22 Guidelines for Adjunct Faculty, Visiting Faculty, Visiting Scholars/Scientists and Visiting Executive Appointments. If needed, contact Sandy Williamson (research projects) or Don Buffum for assistance in completing the agreement.

For visiting U.S. citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents, the process will be as follows:

  1. The MSU collaborator’s department will complete a visitor packet. The packet will include the Official Visitor Agreement complete with the signature of an authorized representative of the home institution/employer (not the visitor themselves) and the required Attachment A (description of the project), the visitor’s curriculum vitae, and a contract cover sheet (from Procurement’s website) signed by the host faculty member, their department head and, if applicable, dean. The only exception to the requirement of a signature from an authorized representative of the home institution/employer is for visiting students. Visiting students can sign the Official Visitor Agreement themselves and are considered to be the “collaborating entity”. All visitors must sign the acknowledgement at the bottom of the agreement.
  2. The department will send the visitor packet to the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED), Mail Stop 9722, ATTN Sandy Williamson. Dr. David Shaw will be the signatory for Mississippi State University for research projects. Mr. Don Buffum, Director of Procurement and Contracts, will be the signatory for non-research projects. If the visit involves the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, a signature from Dr. Bohach indicating his concurrence must be obtain prior to submitting the visitor packet to ORED.
  3. Upon approval, ORED or Procurement will send copies of the fully signed agreement to the department and to the Office of Technology Management. The originals for research projects will be maintained in ORED. The originals for non-research projects will be maintained by Procurement.
  4. If the department intends to provide a stipend for living expenses or other expenses, a separate contract with a separate cover sheet must be processed through Accounts Payable prior to an offer being extended to the visitor.
  5. A letter of invitation should be extended to the visitor using the templates located at www.provost.msstate.edu/far/staff/letters/ .

For visitors who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents, the process will be as follows:

  1. The MSU collaborator’s department will complete a visitor packet. The packet will include the Official Visitor Agreement complete with the signature of an authorized representative of the home institution/employer (not the visitor themselves), the required Attachment A (description of the project), the visitor’s curriculum vitae and a contract cover sheet (from Procurement’s website) signed by the host faculty member, their department head and, if applicable, dean. The department will also include a DS-2019 Request Form. The DS-2019 form is located at http://international.msstate.edu/current/services/forms/pdfs/exchange-visitor.pdf . The only exception to the requirement of a signature from an authorized representative of the home institution/employer is for visiting students. Visiting students can sign the Official Visitor Agreement themselves and are considered to be the “collaborating entity”. All visitors must sign the acknowledgement at the bottom of the agreement.
  2. The department will send the visitor packet, and the DS-2019 Request Form to the Office of Research and Economic Development, Mail Stop 9722, ATTN Sandy Williamson. Dr. David Shaw will be the signatory for Mississippi State University for research projects. Mr. Don Buffum, Director of Procurement and Contracts, will be the signatory for non-research projects. If the visit involves the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, a signature from Dr. Bohach indicating his concurrence must be obtain prior to submitting the visitor packet to ORED.
  3. ORED will coordinate with the Office of Research Security and the International Services Office in support of the issuance of immigration paperwork. After the federally required Restricted Party Screening is completed and no negative results are received, the appropriate MSU signature authority will sign the visitor agreement. Copies of the visitor agreement will be sent to the department and the Office of Technology Management. Copies of agreements signed by Don Buffum will also be sent to the Office of Research and Economic Development. The original DS-2019 Request Form will then be sent to International Services.
  4. The International Services Office will notify the department of successful completion, provide directions for picking up the DS-2019, and bill the department the standard rate for issuance of the DS-2019.
  5. If the department intends to provide a stipend for living expenses or other expenses, a separate contract with a separate cover sheet must be processed through Accounts Payable prior to an offer being extended to the visitor.
  6. A letter of invitation should be extended to the visitor using the templates located at www.provost.msstate.edu/far/staff/letters/ .