Visiting Student Researchers (VSR)

A Visiting Student Researcher (VSR) is a Canadian or international student conducting research on a full-time basis at the University of Ottawa, under the supervision of a University of Ottawa faculty member. A VSR must be enrolled in an undergraduate, master or doctoral-level program at a university in Canada or abroad.

Advantages of enrolling as a Visiting Student Researcher

Student Status

Depending on the student’s academic level at his/her home institution, a Visiting Student Researcher will be registered in RCH3000 (undergraduate) or RCH7000 (graduate). These are non-credit, non-tuition bearing course codes that denote full-time studies in academic research.

Visiting Student Researchers have access to:

  1. The University of Ottawa Library and email services,
  2. Mandatory enrolment in the University Health Insurance Program (UHIP) for international students only (fees: $51 a month), and
  3. Other services and facilities (sports services and transcripts), as available.
Eligibility criteria

Students must:

  • Be enrolled at an educational institution other than the University of Ottawa (in Canada or abroad),
  • Intend to come to the University of Ottawa solely for the purpose of conducting research on a full-time basis, on a project that is either part of the curriculum of study or academically relevant and in line with the academic program at their home university,
  • Obtain approval for research activities at the University of Ottawa by permission of both the host and home supervisors.

Academic Research Activities:

  • Must not be paid (scholarships are not considered as salary), and
  • Must not lead to receiving credits from the University of Ottawa.
How to find a University of Ottawa supervisor

It is the responsibility of the student researcher to identify, contact, and obtain approval from a University of Ottawa faculty member to supervise their studies in academic research as a Visiting Student Researcher (VSR). Students are invited to consult the lists of faculty members on the websites of academic units in order to find a supervisor. Most professors also have a personal web page that provides details about their research. The uOttawa Experts page is also a useful tool for identifying a potential supervisor by research specialization. Please note that the decision to take on a VSR is at the discretion of the faculty member.

How to apply to become a Visiting Student Researcher

Once you have determined your eligibility to come to the University of Ottawa as a Visiting Student Researcher (VSR) and secured a supervisor, your next step is to prepare your documentation. Note that we need to receive your completed documentation at least eight weeks prior to the planned start date of your research. Please take into account that the study permit and/or entry visa application processing times may vary and your visiting student researcher documentation should be received well in advance. This will enable us to provide the Letter of enrolment required for study permit and/or entry visa applications.

  1. Download and save the University of Ottawa Visiting Student Researcher Application Form.
  2. Complete the form and obtain the required signatures.
  3. Submit the form and a scan of your passport to the Office of Undergraduate Research via email (
  4. Apply for the appropriate immigration document (for example, study permit and/or Temporary Resident Visa, or Electronic Travel Authorization, if applicable) using the Letter of Admission that you will receive from the Office of Undergraduate Research.
    1. Students engaged in research lasting six months or longer require a study permit;
    2. Students engaged in research lasting less than six months are advised to apply for a study permit, but may complete their research under visitor status.
  5. Confirm receipt of Study Permit and submit request for registration via email to



VSRs will be registered at the University of Ottawa for all University of Ottawa academic terms that overlap with the length of their planned visit.

Travel documentation
  • A VSR will apply for a study permit - not a work permit. If you're applying online, indicate that you intend to study in the initial MyCIC questionnaire.
  • Avoid using the word “internship” when applying for your study permit. As a VSR, you have been accepted as a student at the University of Ottawa and are applying for a study permit. Study permits also allow you to work on campus during your time as a VSR.
  • Some students also require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.
  • Find out if you need an additional visa to enter Canada.


Helpful links

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

VSRs are required to enrol in the University Health Insurance Program, for approximately $51 per month (for international students only). As a non-permanent resident studying or working at a participating Ontario university, UHIP is mandatory as it protects you and your dependants against significant medical expenses in case of illness or injury.

For more information

Visiting Student Researcher program
Tabaret Hall, Room N111


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