MMM's Visitor's Program
The Visitor Program for the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division at NCAR is a vibrant and vital activity within the division. Visitors number over 200 per year.
The benefits of a vibrant visitor program are self-evident. Not only does the influx of new ideas invigorate the science, but the presence of so many from foreign countries, universities, private industry, and domestic and foreign governmental agencies stimulates the research. MMM hosts several ASP postdocs. Universities send students here to complete projects. As advisors, staff scientists will frequently bring students to NCAR for more hands-on training.
The division hosts nine Affiliate Scientists: Larry Mahrt (Oregon State University), Lance Bosart (State University of New York), Xiaolei Zou (Florida State University), Bjorn Stevens (University of California at Los Angeles), Dale Barker (United Kingdom Meteorological Office), Shuyi Chen (University of Miami), Josh Hacker (Naval Postgraduate School), Harm Jonker (Delft University of Technology), and Ruby Leung (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory). For more information on the Affiliate Scientist appointment policy and procedure, see http://www.fin.ucar.edu/hr/polpro/manual. Other opportunities for visiting scientists in atmospheric science within UCAR and NCAR can be found on the UCAR opportunities page.
The division has set up a Visitor Program Office to coordinate and facilitate all visits. The administration of the office is handled by Kris Marwitz (email@example.com). They are available to answer any inquiries about the program. All visits are administered through this office.
The Visitor Advisory Committee (VAC) is a committee of three division scientists from various groups whose charge it is to advise the division director on the selection of long-term visitors and on the allocation of funds from the designated visitor budget. Visiting appointments are made on scientific merit, applicability to the division's scientific program, and overall cost/benefit. This committee meets two to three times a year, once in early Spring, once in the Fall, and often once in the summer. Morris Weisman (chair) Charles Knight (co-Chair), and Wojciech Grabowski serve on this Committee, representing all facets of the division. It is this committee's approval that is needed for all long-term visits and any requests that ask for division funding support over $2000.
The MMM Visitor Process
In order to be a visitor within MMM, there are a few essentials.
- Within MMM a visitor must have a host on staff to sponsor the visit. Even the one-day visitor must have a host. This host agrees to collaborate, schedule appointments or seminars, be a mentor, or direct the research or project i nvolved. Many university professors work with their colleagues in MMM and their students are often the benefactors of these collaborations.
- All visits must be approved by some person in authority. Short term visitors are approved by the group head of the host's group. If there is financial support requested, then various budget considerations are presented to committees or persons responsible for those budgets effected. Long-term visitors are approved by both the group head of the host's group and the MMM Visitor Advisory Committee whether or not there are financial considerations. Before approval is given, space, computer, and other intangible resources must be considered.
Financial Support for Visitors
Financial support from the division can be arranged in different ways. The overall policy is "no loss, no gain," therefore, some visitors request only reimbursement for travel expenses, others request more. Salaries are paid only for long-term visitors supported by grant monies. These are usually advertised positions.
1. Support from Division Visitor Funding:
- Background material is gathered to support the request by the host (staff member) and the Visitor Program Office. This includes: curriculum vita, statement of research to be done, funding needs specifying in what category (travel, lodging, family concerns, visa, per diem, insurance, GAUs).
- The VAC reviews all requests at scheduled meetings.
- The VAC sends their decisions to the Division Director for final approval.
- The Visitor Program Office coordinates visit.
2. Support from Group Visitor Funding:
- A Staff member requests funding from Group Head. If less than 6 months duration, this is the only approval needed.
- The Group head consults with the Visitor Program Office to determine if there are resources (space, computer time, monies).
- If approved, the Visitor Program Office proceeds with arrangements for the visit.
3. Support from grants:
- If the visit was for a salaried position, the competitive process is initiated with the Human Resources Office.
- Grant scientists take their decision to the group head and Director's Office for approval. The Visitor Program Office is consulted concerning space and other resources.
- The competitive process is completed through the Human Resources Department.
- The Visitor Program Office proceeds with arrangements for the visit.
For more information, contact the MMM Visitor Program Office, Kris Marwitz, firstname.lastname@example.org.