Visiting Scholar Definition
Visiting Scholars are individuals who possess a Ph.D. or its equivalent*, and whose primary purpose for residence on the Berkeley campus is to conduct independent research. The length of stay for a Visiting Scholar is at least one month and, normally, not more than two years.
Visiting Student Researcher Definition – Applicants must satisfy all of the following specifications:
Please see the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) website for more information.
Benefits and Privileges – Appointees to the Visiting Scholar and Visiting Student Researcher titles are eligible for a UC Berkeley Cal 1 ID card, a Calmail e-mail account, and access to University library services. There is a $500 annual University Services Fee for these services, which can be paid by the sponsoring faculty or department, or by the scholar. For a full list of Visiting Scholar benefits, click here.
Appointment Process – Please complete the Team 9 Visiting Scholar/Visiting Student Researcher Authorization Form and submit it to your HR Generalist with the scholar's CV, if available. The HR Generalist will solicit required supporting documents from the scholar, secure the appointment approval, and, if necessary, process the DS-2019 application for a J-1 visa.
Processing Times – In order to allow ample processing time, please notify Team 9 HR of any Visiting Scholar or Student Researcher actions as early as possible. The processing time required depends on the scholar's visa status. Please see below for the length of time before the appointment start date that Team 9 should receive the Authorization Form:
J-1 Visa – Scholars pursuing research at UC Berkeley may be eligible for J-1 status for up to five years. International scholars entering the country for the purpose of a Visiting Scholar or Visiting Student Researcher appointment must be on a J-1 visa.
J-1 Visa Fees:
Supplementation – Visiting Scholar and Visiting Student Researcher positions are not compensated. However, units may provide a stipend of up to $10,000 per year. Such stipends can be used to cover expenses such as living expenses, travel costs, and incidental research expenses, but not as a form of salary compensation. Your HR Generalist can provide you with the Visiting Scholar Payment Request Form to initiate this process.
Health Insurance – All international and domestic visiting scholars and visiting student researchers are required to maintain medical coverage that meets specified benefits levels. They and their dependents can enroll in the UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar Benefit Plan (UCBVSBP), or choose the United Chinese plan if they are eligible. Scholars can also show proof of medical coverage and opt out of the benefit plan. Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers will not be granted access to campus services until they have satisfied the insurance requirement. The Visiting Scholar Benefit Plan meets the J-1 visa requirements established by the U.S. State Department. Click here for more information.
Getting Started at UC Berkeley