Visiting Student Research (VSR) Program

International students are welcome at VIU to participate in research led by a VIU faculty member or affiliated researcher on a full-time basis. A VSR can be a student enrolled in an undergraduate, master’s or doctoral program at a university in Canada or abroad. As an International Visiting Student Researcher you have access to student services on campus!

For more information, please visit our Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity Office to learn about the research opportunities at VIU.

Types of Research Opportunities

Students working at a laptop

VSRs with their own research project

Some participants come with a clear research question to address and they come to VIU to have access to our resources (i.e., libraries and labs). These researchers will have a home supervisor, when applicable, who is responsible for ensuring that the research project meets the requirements of their home institution and reviews the progress of the research project. Host supervisors provide some level of guidance and support throughout the participant’s time at VIU.

Student Record

VSRs supporting VIU faculty research

Participants that would like to have a research experience who do not have a specific research project in mind can join the research of a VIU faculty member or an affiliated professional researcher. These researchers will either join a research lab or complete research tasks as set by the hosting supervisor. Supervisors are required to develop a research plan for the participant and provide mentorship as the VSR is directly supporting the supervisor’s research.

Interested participants must

  • Intend to come to VIU with the purpose of conducting research on a full-time basis
  • When applicable, work on a research project that is part of their curriculum or academically relevant to their program
  • Have obtained approval from the host supervisor for the research activities to be conducted at VIU, and
  • Have obtained approval from their Home Institution/Organization, when applicable, for the research activities to be conducted at VIU

Academic research activities

  • Must not involve payment to the participant (scholarships are not considered payment)
  • Completion of research activities at VIU will result in credit credits from VIU (VRSR 500 (1) or VUSR 400 (1)

Duration of research stay

  • Minimum 1 month, maximum of 12 months

Please contact Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity to discuss your intended research and length of stay.

  • It is the responsibility of the VSR to identify, contact, and obtain approval from a VIU faculty member or an affiliated professional researcher to supervise their research activities
  • VSRs are encouraged to contact Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity to learn more about VIU research initiatives and associated researchers
  • VSR’s can contact VIU faculty/researchers directly to discuss the possibility of becoming a research supervisor
  1. Contact our Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity unit to discuss your research interests.
  2. Complete the VRS Approval Form and VRS Letter of Agreement the and collect all required signatures.
  3. Apply for Admission to VIU as an International VSR
    • Under Program Name: select Visiting Grad Research Student or Visiting Undergrad Research Student
    • Under Student Type: select Visiting Student Researcher
    • Pay $150 application fee
    • Send supporting documentation to VIU Education Abroad to complete your admissions application:
    • Your application will be processed once the complete admission package and all required documents are received. Please submit a complete admission package at least 4 months in advance of your planned arrival date due to Study Permit processing times and in consideration that your research project may require ethics approval.
    • Upon acceptance, you will receive a Letter of Acceptance from VIU for immigration purposes. Immigration guidance is provided once the student has applied to VIU as a VSR.
  4. Once you have received your Letter of Acceptance to VIU as a VSR, contact the SRCA for more information about your particular research project, any ethics approvals and arrival timeline.
  5. You will be enrolled in either VUSR 400 (1 credit) or VRSR 500 (1 credit).  
  6. All VSR’s are required to be enrolled in Guard.Me insurance for international students. Guard.Me is a mandatory insurance plan for international VSR’s that covers standard medical visits and part of other medical and hospital expenses during your stay in Canada.
  7. As a VSR, you will be eligible to apply to VIU Student Residences and access supports and services available to international students.  Please visit our International Student Services for more information.