I've recently transitioned to university B to continue my research following my advisor's move from University A. However, my enrollment and degree completion remain at university A.

This situation has led to some confusion regarding the appropriate designation of my current role. Should I refer to myself as a "Visiting Student" or a "Visiting Researcher"? My primary engagement is conducting research under the supervision of my advisor at the new institution. Additionally, I have completed my Ph.D. coursework at university A and am expected to graduate within a year.

I'm seeking clarity on how to accurately represent my position for both academic records and professional networking purposes. Insights from those with experience in similar academic or research positions would be invaluable.

Is it common to add the "Visiting Student" experience to my CV? For platforms like LinkedIn, should I retain my affiliation with the previous university A or is it more appropriate to update it to my current research location at university B?

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    This is a question for your advisor, since there likely was some agreement made with their new and old universities about you and your role. The people I know who are in your position were just students at university A, performing some work at B.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Feb 16 at 2:40
  • Are there any legal or institutional implications of the choice or is this just informal? Are you using (or providing) resources at B other than the professor's time and effort?
    – Buffy
    Commented Feb 16 at 10:17
  • @Buffy I have an unofficial position at University B. For example, I don't have an official email from University B. However, my advisor is giving me all his time and effort. Also, under special circumstances in Korea, I am serving in a military alternative service program for my doctorate program. There was a formal paperwork process to get approval for deployment to University B. Commented Feb 20 at 7:45

3 Answers 3


The mere fact that your advisor is now at University B and that you are hanging out at their campus does not make you affiliated with University B. So the first question to determine is whether you have any formal status with University B at all. Obtaining such a formal status would probably have involved some interaction with their administration, although there is a chance that your advisor was able to make arrangements for you. If this did happen, then the appropriate phrase to use is whatever phrase University B uses to describe your status with them.


In many universities in the US, visiting positions (researcher/student/fellow) are honorary positions that come with a formal affiliation with the university being visited, and other standard benefits such as having a school email account, designated office space etc.

My personal rule is to never put something on my CV that can not be verified via some formal procedure. Discuss with your advisor to find out if that can be arranged for you, it would make any such claim official and you will not have to wonder whether you are a Visiting Student or a Visiting Researcher, as it will be specified in the paperwork.


This is a matter for University B to decide not you. From what you've written it sounds like you have no formal relationship with University B. Yes your advisor now works there but by your own admission your enrollment is at University A. If you have no formal relationship with University B you have no right to describe yourself as holding a 'visiting' position. You need to sort this out with University B.

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