Changes to administration of visiting students

January 22, 2024
Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education | Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research, 2013–2024 |

Dear Colleagues,

Effective today, administration of the visiting students program will move from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) to the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC). This change is designed to facilitate access to the MIT services that support visiting students. 

While we anticipate a seamless transition, we are writing to provide an updated set of resources and key contacts for your reference:

Primary contact for faculty and staff: Jessica Bonitatibus (, 3-107) will provide support to the visiting student program. Having recently joined the Office of Graduate Education (OGE), she also administers the Graduate Student Experience Grants and the Graduate Community Fellows program. Faculty and administrators with questions about the visiting student program may continue to seek assistance by contacting, which will now be monitored by OGE staff.

Becoming a visiting student: The program supports students who are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an institution of higher education other than MIT, and who have been invited by an MIT principal investigator (PI) to participate in research here as a visiting student. Invited visiting students should, as before, coordinate their visit with the DLCI of the PI who is hosting them. The International Students Office will continue to review all visiting student applications in iMIT, process all approved student visits, and manage the registration process – for domestic students as well as international students.

Hosting a visiting student: PIs who invite a visiting student to conduct research on campus have certain responsibilities, including paying a processing fee, providing meaningful mentoring, and conducting a final student evaluation. Information and resources may be found in the Guide for DLCIs to the Visiting Students Program (Touchstone required), under Department responsibilities. Note that the location of the Guide has recently moved; you may wish to bookmark it. 

Managing appointments: The Guide for DLCIs, linked above, also provides useful information for department sponsors about the application process, students’ responsibilities, and managing fees and payments, as well as answers to frequently asked questions. As a reminder, the Institute limits the number of visiting students that can be accommodated in a given year. Each School/College determines how to allocate their allowable visiting student months. Please work with your department to ensure you are within these allocations.

Mentoring and evaluations: PIs hosting visiting students are expected to provide a meaningful training experience. A mentoring/training plan template is available. At the conclusion of the visit, the PI and the visiting student should each complete an evaluation: use the forms for evaluation by the host or evaluation by the student.


Please feel free to pass this information along to the PIs in your unit(s). Note that we do not anticipate that current visiting students will experience any changes; they may rely upon existing resources for support. Moreover, those hosting students need not take any immediate actions. 


Ian A. Waitz
Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education

Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research