Research Volunteers

Downstate fully supports volunteers, both voluntary faculty and non-faculty volunteers.

In onboarding a non-faculty research volunteer, it is the departments' responsibility to provide a State account number where the background check will be charged. For voluntary faculty, the HR process remains the same; however, please complete the form below as part of the supplemental onboarding process.

The federal government has regulations in place surrounding research volunteers (regardless of whether they are faculty or non-faculty) and the following regulations must be met when submitting grant applications, proposals and progress reports.


  • Collaborations must be disclosed on Other Support and/or Biosketches, depending upon sponsor. NIH expects researchers—at a minimum—to disclose the in-kind support that visiting scientists provide as part of the “Other Support” portion of the grant application. Furthermore, NIH also requires prior approval of a foreign component if the visiting scientist will continue to perform any of the NIH grant work scope upon return to their home country.
  • Visiting Scholars, Volunteers and/or Students are considered in-kind contributions if they are working on your research project and must be disclosed. 
  • “Receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity” includes visiting scientists funded by foreign sources who are engaged in NIH work scope while collaborating with NIH-funded faculty in the U.S. are considered “participants” and must be reported to NIH. See RPPR instruction guide dated May 22, 2017, 6.4 Section D – Participants. These regulations apply to foreign involvement in any of the work scope, regardless of whether NIH funds are actually expended on directly pay for such involvement. Renumeration is NOT a factor when it comes to foreign influence.

The regulations also apply:

  • to unfunded collaborations where a foreign entity or person performs work contributing to the NIH work scope, at no charge to the NIH grant (e.g., performing an analysis, animal study)


Onboard a Voluntary Researcher

Any questions, please contact Tirtha Ratnam for assistance.

Voluntary Resesarcher Request form and SOP

Voluntary Faculty Supplemental form and SOP