Visiting Research Fellows

Instructions for Visiting Research Fellows


To come as a Visiting Research Fellow the visitor must meet the following criteria:

  • All J-1 DS-2019 Requests must be sent to OISSS at least 3 months in advance of the requested start date. Some visa applications may be subject to additional security checks, aka (Administrative Processing).
  • Currently a student in their home country and coming to Brown for research purposes
  • Must receive an appointment through the Graduate School
  • Will not enroll in classes at Brown
  • Will not have official student status at Brown
  • All J-1 VRF appointees must provide proof of health insurance via GeoBlue (Formerly HTH Worldwide) Health Insurance for the entire duration of their VRF appointment with their application.

* No fees attached to the Visiting Research Fellow status (i.e. no enrollment fee, health service fee or health insurance fee)


1.  Sponsoring departments should submit the following to the Graduate School:

  • Completed Visiting Research Fellow Appointment Request Form
  • Completed VRF DS-2019 Request Form
  • English Language Proficiency Verification
  • Letters of endorsement by the program chair/ director and the faculty member who will advise the visitor at Brown
  • A copy of the student’s original appointment request to the program (i.e. such as an email correspondence with the inviting faculty member)
  • A copy of the student's passport biographical page
  • Letter from home institution confirming student's enrollment, field of study, degree being pursued, and anticipated date of degree completion.
  • Proof of financial support (minimum of $2455 per month)
  • Proof of a purchased health insurance plan for the entire duration of the VRF appointment, through GeoBlue*

2. Once the Graduate School receives the above documentation they will issue an invitation letter to the Visiting Research Fellow.

 3. Once the visitor accepts the invitation from the Graduate School, the Graduate School will  forward the appropriate documentation to OISSS.  (To help expedite this step you may wish to request a copy of the invitation letter from the Graduate School and scan/email the letter to the Visiting Research Fellow in order for them to accept the invitation more quickly)

 4. Once the DS-2019 is ready OISSS will contact the sponsoring department.  The sponsoring department will need to send the DS-2019 documentation to the Visiting Research Fellow.

Health Insurance Plan

An international Visiting Research Fellow is required to purchase the GeoBlue health insurance plan for the duration of their time in the United States. The GeoBlue health insurance plan is the only insurance accepted at Brown University.  Please follow the link for information regarding the GeoBlue health insurance and enter the Group Access Code provided:

Acceptable documents for demonstrating health insurance coverage include:

  • a health insurance card issued by GeoBlue with the Visiting Research Fellow’s name on it;
  • a signed letter on letterhead from GeoBlue stating coverage; or
  • proof of payment from GeoBlue.

The Brown University Graduate School will provide confirmation to the OISSS that the GeoBlue health insurance is in effect.  An international Visiting Research Fellow who does not provide proof of GeoBlue health insurance will not have their appointment activated and will not receive a Brown ID card.


1.) All Visiting Research Fellows must come to Brown University under the J-1 visa.

2.) Visiting Research Fellows who had already purchased the previous plan through HTH will continue to be insured through the expiration of the policy they purchased.