Conflicts of InterestHuman Subjects Research

Contingent Worker Guidance


The WashU Research Community encompasses a diverse spread of individuals within and outside the University.  A significant number of individuals not employed or holding an appointment at WashU may be involved (directly or indirectly) in research or other WashU activities.  This includes domestic and international research collaborators, visiting researchers and faculty, and students (across all educational levels).  Additionally these individuals may engage remotely while others have a physical presence on campus and in laboratories.  Lastly, there are also groups that contract with WashU to utilize space or resources at WashU for their own pursuits and interests that are distinct and separate from WashU activities.

In order for Non-WashU personnel to obtain the necessary training and security access two options are available and primarily depends on the anticipated needs and role with WashU:

  1. Contingent Workers: Non-WashU person with direct involvement in WashU research, under an agreement to use WashU space/equipment for non-WashU purposes, or requiring WUSTL key access to a number of WashU systems. 
  2. Guest WUSTL Key: Option for obtaining a temporary WUSTL Key to complete a one-time training through Learn@Work, and for which having a Contingent Worker profile in Workday is not necessary. 
    Examples of this include BJC employees needing WashU human subjects or Good Clinical Practice training, or Research Monitors who need to complete HIPAA training.  

It is critically important to correctly identify using option 1 or 2, and for Contingent Workers, the subtype.

Contingent Workers (CW)

For non-WashU persons having an ongoing substantive interaction (more than 2 days) with WashU based on role, systems access, or training needs, they must be entered in Workday as a Contingent Worker.

  • Contingent Worker is a category within Workday and covers various types of non-employees across the whole of WashU
    • 14 subtypes based on role and relationship to the University, most of which are not used for research purposes.
  • Only WashU personnel with the appropriate security access in Workday (typically HR Partners) can create/edit Contingent Worker profiles within Workday. 
    • Department Admins and faculty should work closely with their respective HR Partners or other authorized individuals to ensure Contingent Workers are set up appropriately within Workday.
    • Important to correctly identify subtype (subtypes are not all equal)
      • The subtype helps convey key aspects of the overall relationship between the person and WashU
      • Collaborating Investigator and Facility Access Only will use their home institution email address (not a WUSTL email account) for work email and will need to be entered into Workday at the time the profile is established/updated.
      • Contingent Workers must be assigned to a Sup Org and Cost Center within Workday.  With few exceptions these should match the department and faculty member overseeing the related research.

Contingent Worker Subtypes

Commonly Used for Research Population

(with few exceptions, non-WashU persons involved in research with WashU will be in one of these subtypes)
Infrequently Used for Research Population

(funding source for person may require these subtypes to be used)
NOT to be Used for Research Population

(subtype must be changed to an acceptable research subtype)
Collaborating InvestigatorResidentExternal Time Approver
Visiting Researcher*Non-Paid PostdocStudent Clerkship
Visiting FacultyNon-Paid Fellows (Clinical Fellows)Security Access Only
Non-Appointee*Independent ContractorLeased Affiliates
Facility Access OnlyAgency Temp
*must complete non-appointee process

Detailed Descriptions of Contingent Worker Subtypes Used for Research Population

Full list and detailed descriptions of all contingent workers are located here.

CW TypeDescriptionKey DifferentiationsExamples
Collaborating InvestigatorNon-WashU person, NOT on site, collaborating with WashU researchers on specific projects and having a direct role in WashU research, or is a sub recipient on a WashU research project.

Sub-award recipients may also need to be set up as Contingent Workers, exceptions are sub-award recipients opting to follow their own institution’s PHS compliant policies as part of the contractual agreement with WashU for the sub-award.

Any person or group opting to follow WashU’s COI policy or providing an assurance of compliance from their home institution (no formal sub-award agreement with their institution) must be set up as a Contingent Worker.
If individuals are on site use Visiting Researcher/Visiting Faculty.

If individual is offsite (remote) but involved in broad research collaborations (e.g. not limited to a specific project) validate if Visiting Researcher should be used.
Site PI on a research sub agreement from WashU.

Non-WashU scientist listed as ‘External Consultant’ on a WashU grant.
Visiting ResearcherResearcher or Pre-doc/Postdoc/Grad Student from another institution coming to WashU to gain specific experience/knowledge in specific research or laboratory processes or techniques or having, direct involvement in WashU research activities.
May have an appointment at another academic institution or entity.

Non-appointee packet is required to be completed.
If primarily off-site and engagement is limited to a specific project, use Collaborating Investigator.

If primary purpose is training and will not have direct involvement in WashU research, use Non-Appointee.

Dept. must inform IRB and seek their approval as appropriate.
Students on Training Visas (J-1 Visa holders)

Non-WashU Pre-docs, Post docs, and Graduate Students
Visiting FacultyFaculty from another institution visiting WashU to gain experience/knowledge on a particular research or clinical processes or techniques or may have direct involvement in WashU educational and research activities while on site.

Must hold faculty position at another academic institution.
Paid Visiting Faculty must be entered in an employee role.

In limited circumstances, faculty transitioning out of the university but have residual activities that may require system access, WUSTL Key, email, etc. be maintained may be placed in this category as well.
If primarily off-site, use Collaborating Investigator.Visiting Faculty
Facility Access OnlyIndividuals with an entity that has entered a business agreement with WashU to utilize services, space, or equipment and need access to facilities or online software/databases as part of that agreement. The usage of the service, equipment, or space is for non-WashU purposes.

Activities are independent and distinct from WashU activities (not part of WashU operations or research).
Physical areas and equipment to be made available are established via a formal facilities use agreement between WashU and external groups/companies and any training provided by WashU is intended to safely and effectively transition activities over to Non-WashU personnel and included in contractual agreement.
Key element is the complete separation from WashU activities, making this group distinct from Visiting Faculty/Researchers/Collaborating Investigators.

If on-site for training purposes only and then transitioning offsite; use Collaborating Investigator.
VIR Employees using contracted WashU space.

UHSP (formerly STLCOP) affiliates using contracted WashU services.

External/Company Start-up employee onsite to use WashU lab space as part of a facilities use agreement.
Non-AppointeesA visitor seeking a learning opportunity with WashU that comes to WashU to shadow, observe or a hands-on learning opportunity for a particular process or topic from one of WashU’s faculty or staff. Any individual who is not being paid by an external party to conduct activities at WashU (See Visiting Researcher CW if being paid by outside party) or is a minor on campus to observe. Non-appointees generally do not have an appointment nor are they paid through payroll.

Non-WashU students (undergraduate or minors) must be enrolled in an affiliated academic program outside of WashU for the purpose of completing requirements to receive academic credit as part of a clinical education course, or class.

For all others, the purpose is for training/learning/ observing/ shadowing only, cannot have direct involvement with work involving research activities (data entry, collecting, analyzing, or reporting) or clinical practice.

Non-Appointee Student, Visitor/Observer Process
For non-students with direct involvement in WashU research activities; use Visiting Researcher.

For non-students; verify Facility Access Only should not be used as the type before using this one.

Required entry in Workday if non-appointee will be on-campus for more than three days.
Goldfarb NP Student, UMSL Students of Social Work, SLU Students of Psychology.

Visitor one-day request to observe a surgery or Visitor five-day request to shadow a Physician.

High School and Non-WashU Undergraduate Students.

Contingent Worker FAQs

To assist in ascertaining the appropriate subtype:

What is the difference between Visiting Researcher and Collaborating Investigator?

Collaborating investigators are off-campus and involved in specific projects (usually only one) with a very specific role.  Visiting Researchers are typically involved in a variety of projects, may be onsite or remote, and typically receiving training in addition to being engaged in research.  Visiting Researchers must go through the non-appointee process.

A staff scientist is leaving WashU but will continue to have a small role in wrapping up a research project, what steps are necessary?

In addition to following off-boarding processes, their appointment in Workday will need to be updated to a Contingent Worker profile, Collaborating Investigator subtype.

I have a Non-Appointee CW who would like to continue to use their non-WashU email address, is this possible?

No, only Collaborating Investigators and Facility Access Only subtypes are able to use a non-WashU email address as their Work Email Address.  All others have the Work Email Address field automatically populated with a WashU email address.

If a non-WashU person seems to meet more than one CW definition, which one should we use?  (e.g someone is an Independent Consultant for non-research related project but now is also going to serve as a mentor on a grant)

  • Whenever possible, the research role should be given priority over other roles, however if there is a legal need (such as funding source) to list a person as another type (e.g. Agency Temp), then that should be given priority. 
  • As for the research roles, priority is as follows: Visiting Researcher > Facility Access Only > Collaborating Investigator > Non-Appointee.  Work with your research administration contact if you are uncertain which subtype is most appropriate.

My non-WashU research is currently a ‘Security Access Only’ subtype, why am I being asked to change them to another subtype?

The different subtypes help to establish how this person relates to WashU.  Having individuals in the wrong subtype can result in an inaccurate understanding of what this person’s role at WashU entails and in some instances, result in the incorrect access to systems or resources being provided.

I am adding a Facility Access Only/Collaborating Investigator who already has a email address as an alum, can they use that email address?

They will need to use the email address for their current employer or institution.  The exception would be if it is a type of questionable security ( and the wustl email address is used to address security requirements/concerns.

My visitor is only going to be here for less than three days, do they need to be a Contingent Worker profile created in Workday?

It is important for the University to be aware when visitors are on campus, as there are safety considerations for laboratories along with confidentiality of data and PHI as well.  HR guidance states that individuals normally identified as Contingent Workers but requesting access for less than 3 days may use a WUSTL Guest key in lieu of entry in Workday.  Non-appointees and Visiting Researchers will still be required to complete the appropriate paperwork.

Additional FAQs will be added based on feedback, and as new information becomes available.


For questions regarding Non-WashU Researchers and Contingent Workers contact:

  1. Your Department Administrator or Business Manager
  2. Conflicts of Interest Program or 314-747-4181
  3. Institutional Biological and Chemical Safety Committee at
  4. Environmental Health & Safety at
  5. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at
  6. Office of Research Integrity & Ethics at
  7. HR Dept. – Non-Appointees at

Access the full Contingent Worker and Guest ID Guidance for Workday.