Frequently Asked Questions

  • Faculty and Researchers
    International Request for Applications (RFA)

    Considering responding to an international RFA; what do I need to know?

    Faculty and researchers considering requests for proposals that will require operations outside the U.S., could benefit from reviewing the topics under the Getting Started section of the Global Support pages.

    International lecture or presentation

    I was invited to do a lecture in another country; how do I pay for logistics?

    Faculty members going to other countries to present or lead a lecture may need to pay for some logistical items there. Making payments, depending on the costs and the types of vendors in that country, can present added difficulties when this is done while traveling outside the U.S. There are several options to do this depending on the type of activity, the amount of the payments and the location. It could be helpful to review the Managing Expenses While Traveling page of the International Travel section the Global Support pages.

    International hiring

    Starting a project in another country; how do I hire staff there?

    Faculty or researchers working outside the U.S. on Columbia programs, have several options to staff operations; these options and the advantages and disadvantages for each, are described in detail in the Human Resources Matters page of the Working Globally section of the Global Support site.

    International research

    Before conducting research in a foreign country, what approvals are needed?

    In addition to departmental review procedures, the approval by a Columbia Institutional Review Board (IRB) is required prior to the conduct of any human subject research. International projects will also require review and/or approval by an ethics board or IRB in the host country. In addition, some projects may require review by the University’s International Research Committee. Finally, research that requires transporting instruments outside the U.S. may require export licenses from the State Department or the Department of Commerce.

    Researchers should review the section on Securing Approvals under Planning.  Regarding human subjects research, consult a Columbia IRB office for additional information, either CU Morningside IRB or CUMC IRB. For export control and other research compliance issues, contact the Office of Research Compliance and Training at research-compliance@columbia.edu.

  • Deans or Administrators in the U.S.
    International Legal Counsel

    Faculty wants to hire staff in another country; how do we stay legally compliant?

    When starting a project in a location outside the U.S., Deans and other administrators are responsible for ensuring that the University is compliant, not only with U.S. laws but also with the laws and regulations of the host country for their particular project. To this end, the Office of the General Counsel will likely work with the Department to secure local legal counsel; this process is described in detail in the Local Legal Counsel and Other Experts page of the Getting Started section of the Global Support site.

    International budget
    International Safety

    Staff and students are traveling for 6 months; how do we ensure their safety?

    Within the Safety and Emergency Preparedness page of the Working Globally section of the Global Support site, Deans and Department administrators can get guidance on preparations and processes that can be helpful in preserving the safety and security of their students and staff when they are traveling outside the U.S.

  • Aministrators and Staff Outside the U.S.
    International travel

    Students are coming to our international office; does CU have travel guidelines?

    Administrators and staff that work for Columbia operations outside the U.S. should refer students and other potential Columbia visitors to the International Travel section of Global Support.

    International safety

    Need to draft an emergency plan for a satellite office; what should we include?

    Administrators and staff outside the U.S. can find helpful guidance within the International Operation, Safety and Emergency Planning page of the Working Globally section of Global Support.

  • Students
    International travel preparation

    For a semester abroad, how can I be better prepared before I travel?

    After carefully reviewing guidance available from their Department and the Office of Global Programs, students can get helpful pre-travel advice within the Before You Go pages of the International Travel section of the Global Support site.

    International emergency assistance

    While traveling on a Columbia program, am I protected if there is an emergency?

    Most members of the Columbia community traveling internationally are covered under International SOS (ISOS) and/or other emergency assistance program. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance Coverage page of the International Travel section of Global Support for additional details.

    International location characteristics

    What should I research about another country before I leave for my year abroad?

    Members of the Columbia community should review the topics and resources included within the Individuals (Travelers) page of the Safety and Emergency Prepardness section of Global Support in order to better prepare for a prolonged stay in an international location.

    International research - course or degree requirement

    Before conducting research in a foreign country as part of Columbia course or degree requirements, what approvals are needed?

    In addition to departmental review procedures, the approval by a Columbia Institutional Review Board (IRB) is required prior to the conduct of any study procedures. International projects will also require review and/or approval by an ethics board or IRB in the host country. Researchers should review the section on Securing Approvals under Planning and consult a Columbia IRB office for additional information, either CU Morningside IRB or CUMC IRB.