Research Stays at UM or UVA
How do I contact the faculty member I would like to visit?
The best way to contact a faculty member for a research visit is to first arrange a meeting at an upcoming Academy. Ideally you would email the faculty member in advance, describe your research interests and your interest in arranging a research stay. Then the face-to-face contact would give you time to discuss potential interests, research topics and projects, goals and timeline. All of these things can also be discussed remotely, but don’t miss an opportunity to have a face to face meeting if at all possible.
If possible and appropriate, cc your faculty advisor on all communications so that s/he is apprised of the situation and can follow-up as needed.
When do I need to do this?
You need to do this as soon as you have an idea that you’d like to pursue a research exchange. Arrangements can take months to finalize, especially for international exchanges. At least 6 months lead time is advised, if not more.
When do I need to contact the LIFE coordinator of the site I’m hoping to visit?
We recommend contacting the coordinator of your home site and the destination site as soon as the hosting faculty member has agreed that a visit is possible. The coordinators need to be aware that a visit may be planned so that any constraints (potentially financial, visa planning, etc) can be identified and a timeline and process can be specified. The home and host LIFE speakers should also be informed that plans are being made, and any requirements for the visit (e.g., an application/proposal) can be submitted and approved.
What paperwork do I need (e.g., visa, health insurance documentation)?
At both sites, health insurance, travel registration etc. is required for outgoing fellows and the coordinators can assist and advise. Likewise for visitors to UM or UVA requirements may differ depending on nationality and the home and host coordinators must be contacted to determine what is needed.
What can the hosting site offer me (regarding funding, assistance with the search for housing, etc.)?
This varies depending on annual funding and other resources, so best not to assume support from UM/UVA as hosting sites. However, we can often assist with identifying local housing. UM/UVA fellows and members of the hosting lab can be available to help with other practical aspects of a research visit, so it is also helpful to be in touch with the host fellow speakers.
How long can I stay?
Length of stay depends on resources available to the fellow, the hosting lab among other things. The typical stay is 1.5–2 months, although shorter and longer times may be possible.
Can I take part in workshops etc. during my research visit?
Some workshops and courses may be open to visiting fellows, but this will depend on the specific workshop and who is organizing it.