Application Information for Visiting Scholars
IIS welcomes applications for its Visiting Scholar Program. Visiting Scholar appointments range from 3 to 12 months; extensions are possible on a case by case basis.
Scholars who wish to apply should review the following information:
- Applicants to our Visiting Scholar Program are expected to hold a PhD for more than 5 years and a paid affiliation to a university. Scholars who completed their PhD less than 5 years ago and hold a paid affiliation to a university will be considered on a case by case basis. Scholars who completed their PhD less than 5 years ago and do not hold a paid affiliation to a university will not be considered.
- Applicants must submit their application package at least 6 months before the beginning of the planned stay in Berkeley. Non-U.S. citizens will apply for a J1 Exchange Visitor Visa supported by UC Berkeley.
NOTE: Visa processing requires a minimum of 3 months. We strongly advise visitors NOT to make any travel arrangements until the visa is issued.
- Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English and cannot rely on staff support for translation services. Visit the VSPA site for more information on English language proficiency requirements. Upon verification, a confirmation of demonstrated proficiency in English can be issued by the IIS Director.
- Applicants must obtain a nominating letter from a UC Berkeley faculty member in their area of expertise.
- Applicants must have their own source of funding (such as a sabbatical salary or grant or fellowship from an extramural agency) and must provide evidence that they will cover their own health insurance during their entire stay in the United States. The Institute does not provide funding or health insurance for Visiting Scholars.
- A tentative acceptance can be provided in advance for those who are applying for fellowships that require a statement of affiliation with an American institution (for example, Fulbright grants).
Details of Visiting Scholar Appointment
IIS expects that Visiting Scholars will contribute to the intellectual life of the Institute by attending lectures and conferences, interacting with faculty and students and supporting the work of other visiting scholars.
All Visiting Scholars are expected to give a public lecture during their stay at Berkeley.
Visiting Scholar appointments include university library privileges, e-mail, and access to other campus facilities. A shared office at the Institute with a printer and wireless internet connection is reserved for Visiting Scholars. Computers are not provided.
Visiting Scholars may request personalized UC Berkeley business cards for the duration of their stay on the Berkeley campus. Business cards will mention "Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies for the Academic Year XXXX-XXXX." IIS charges an extra $250 fee for a package of 250 personalized UC Berkeley business cards.
No other position, including positions in other Berkeley departments or faculties, whether paid or unpaid, can be held at the same time, without approval by the Institute’s Director. Additionally, payments of any kind for lecture services at other institutions must be approved ahead of time by the Director.
The following fees apply to IIS Visiting Scholars:
1. IIS Visiting Scholar administrative fee:
- up to 5 months $ 2,000
- up to 8 months $ 3,000
- up to 12 months $ 4,000
This fee must be paid to IIS in U.S. dollars via wire transfer or cashier’s check payable to “UC Regents.” IIS is not able to accept payments via Western Union.
2. DS-2019 processing fee: $ 500
This fee applies to international Visiting Scholars only and is not required for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. This fee is for the Berkeley International Office (BIO), which produces the DS-2019 form required to obtain the J1 visa. It must be paid to IIS in U.S. dollars via wire transfer or cashier’s check payable to “UC Regents.” IIS is not able to accept payments via Western Union.
3. VSPA University Services fee: $ 750
This fee applies to all Visiting Scholars and is required by the University’s Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs office (VSPA) to obtain a university ID card and gain access to campus facilities and resources. NOTE: As of August 1, 2019, visiting scholars will be required to pay the University Services fee up front, before arrival at UC Berkeley. This fee may be paid online by credit card.
4. U.S. Government fees:
- Department of Homeland Security SEVIS processing fee: $180
- U.S. Embassy/Consulate J-1 visa application fee: $160
These fees apply to international Visiting Scholars only and are not required for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The fees are paid directly to the U.S. government (Consulate/Embassy) during the visa application process. Please note that U.S. Government fees are subject to change without notice. Please refer to the relevant website for the most up-to-date fee schedules.
With questions regarding fee payments, please contact IIS manager elliott.smith [at] berkeley.edu (Elliott Smith) by email.
Income and Health Insurance Requirements
The University requires proof of your funding. As of July 1, 2018, the minimum monthly funding requirement will be $1800 for yourself + $500 for a spouse + $300 for each child. Please also note that the University requires that you possess adequate health insurance. Visit the VSPA site and Berkeley International Office website for more information about minimum external funding and health insurance requirements.
Living in Berkeley
Visiting Scholars may visit the Berkeley International Office and the VSPA office for more information on housing, healthcare, transportation, family resources and other orientation matters. Scholars are responsible for securing their own housing accommodations and cannot rely on IIS staff support in order to do so.
Prospective visiting scholars should submit the following materials:
- Cover letter including a 100-word abstract of your research project and the requested period of residence (start and end date)
- Curriculum vitae (max. 3 pages)
- Description of research project to be carried out at IIS (max. 3 pages)
- Title and abstract of planned public lecture (max. 1 page)
- Letter of nomination from a UC Berkeley faculty member
- Statement of financial support, health insurance and funding sources (see here for acceptable documentation of funding)
All materials should be written in English.
Applications and recommendation letters should be sent to IIS Director, jdewulf [at] berkeley.edu (Professor Jeroen Dewulf) by email.
Decisions on applications will be made by the Institute’s Steering Committee. Acceptance as a Visiting Scholar is not final until approved by the IIS Director and the Visiting Scholar & Postdoc Affairs Office (VSPA).
Questions and inquiries concerning Visiting Scholars should be addressed to elliott.smith [at] berkeley.edu (Elliott Smith.)