Information and Application Procedures for Prospective Visiting Researcher Scholars

Overview Types of Appointment
Application Process
Required Health Insurance
Benefits & Privileges
Related Links

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The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is able to accommodate a number of visitors each year under the University's Visiting Researcher Scholar and Postdoctoral Affairs program (VSPA).

APPLICATION INFO & DEADLINES: Prospective candidates, initiate contact with your prospective faculty host at least five months before the date you want to start working at UC Berkeley.

Look at the EECS Department faculty's research specializations at and make direct contact with the faculty members whose research aligns with yours. Staff will not begin to work on your application until they receive confirmation from a faculty member that you have an appointment.

EECS FACULTY: To make sure that your visitor arrives on the date that the two of you have chosen, please submit your written request for visiting appointments/reappointments to Team 2 - ERSO HR, Provide:

Note that it is the responsibility of scholars and postdocs to remember their appointment end-dates, and to plan ahead for possible reappointment requests.

The Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs Office and the Berkeley International Office also have fees for the processing of visiting appointments (see sections below).

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Types of Appointment

Postdoc appointments are different from Visiting Researcher Scholar appointments. Visiting Researcher Scholars have graduated, generally more than five years before their appointment, and are usually funded for their visit by their salary or savings. They must hold a Ph.D. or its equivalent in research experience. Their status is opposed to Paid Direct postdocs, who have recently completed a Ph.D. and hold a fellowship that will fund their visit to your group.

UC Postdocs have a labor contract (represented by the United Auto Workers) which now governs their employment in the University. There are two main types of Postdoctoral appointments under UC policy:

  1. "Employee" or "fellow" Postdoc status: These postdocs receive a salary from your research funding.

  2. "Paid-Direct" Postdocs: these postdocs hold a postdoctoral fellowship from an extramural agency, and that agency pays the postdoc directly. However, if the stipend from that agency falls below the salary paid to other postdocs at UC, the paid-direct postdoc's host faculty member will be required to pay the difference.

There are also mandatory benefits charges for Paid-Direct Postdocs. The faculty host must identify the funding source for all such appointments before the case can proceed.

The VSPA Office also has a program for students who have not yet graduated - Visiting Student Researchers - who are in the final stages of completing the Ph.D. By rare exception, domestic undergraduate students can hold the VSR title, but international undergraduates cannot, effective April 2012. Instead, they are given the title "Student Intern."

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Fees for Visiting Researcher Scholars / Paid-Direct Postdocs

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Visiting Researcher Scholar/ Paid-Direct Postdoc Application Process

CANDIDATE APPLICATION DEADLINES: To ensure completion of the lengthy application process for an on-time arrival, prospective visitors should initiate contact with their prospective faculty hosts at least five months before their desired start date.

Faculty hosts should begin the application process by contacting:

    Team 2 - ERSO HR

  • VSPA Approval

    Application materials are submitted by ERSO/Team 2 Shared Services to the department for payment of the department fee and then to the EECS Chair for approval. Subsequently, the application goes to the VSPA Office for approval and finally, for international visitors, to the Berkeley International Office (BIO) for review. VSPA and BIO approval are required before a DS-2019 (required for a J-1 visa) can be issued. Please note that obtaining these approvals can take many weeks and that there can also be delays in getting a visa after you receive your DS-2019 from Berkeley. Therefore, visitors are urged to complete and return all parts of the application package as quickly as possible.

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    Required Health Insurance

    All domestic and international Visiting Researcher Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers are required to have health insurance for themselves and their dependents.

    Visiting Research Scholars who do not have health insurance may purchase a group plan through University Health Services. This must be done within 31 days of arriving at UC Berkeley. Insurance coverage may not be effective immediately; waiting periods can be from 3 to 36 days. Scholars are advised to purchase travel insurance to cover this period. See Health Insurance for International Visiting Scholars or you can contact the Visiting Scholars Insurance Advisor by telephone at (888)-441-3719 or by email

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    Benefits & Privileges for Visiting Researcher Scholars


    Visiting Researcher Scholars who have paid the $500 University Services fee have access to the UC Berkeley Library's extensive materials and are given normal borrowing privileges. For further information visit the Doe Library Main Circulation Desk, Cards and Privileges: 510.642.6647

    Visiting Researcher Scholars may audit courses with the professor's permission, but will not receive academic credit. Please note this privilege does not apply to courses offered by Summer Sessions or University Extension.

    UC Berkeley Email accounts can be set up following payment of the $500 University Services Fee; visit the User and Account Services Office, 206 Evans Hall: 510.642.7355.

    Please note that EECS Department email accounts are not covered by the University Services Fee, but must be paid for separately. Visitors should discuss the possibility of having an EECS account with your host, before you arrive.


    Visiting Researcher Scholars/Student Researchers/Postdocs are eligible to use Cal Rentals services for an additional Housing Office Fee (510) 642-3642. Visit the UC Housing Office, 2525 Channing Way, (510) 642-0706. University Family Student Housing may be available if no Berkeley students are on the waiting list. Contact the Family Student Housing program at (510) 642-4109. Private rental agencies also exist in Berkeley.

    Living Expenses

    Visit the Berkeley International Office's webpage on Living in Berkeley for information about transportation, money and banking, shopping, obtaining a Social Security card or a California Drivers License; and service organizations that help newcomers settle in and make the stay of international students, scholars, and their families more pleasant.


    You are entitled to obtain a Fee Lot Permit for use in campus parking lots at the faculty/staff rate upon presentation of a valid Cal 1 ID card. Visit Parking & Transportation or call General Information at (510) 642-4283; Permit Issuance (510) 643-7701. You will also be eligible for discounts on bus passes and use of the campus shuttle service.

    Athletic Privileges

    If you have paid the $400 University Services Fee, you may purchase a discounted membership at the Recreational Sports Facility, located at 2301 Bancroft Way, (510) 642-7796.

    Scholars may also purchase a faculty/staff discount card to attend football or basketball games at the Athletic Ticket Office, located at 2223 Fulton Street. Visit Intercollegiate Athletics, 2223 Fulton Street: (510) 642-3277.

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    Alex Burr
    253 Soda Hall

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    Related Links

    PLEASE NOTE: A prospective Visiting Research Scholar or Postdoc may not use their title for publicity purposes until final approval of the appointment by the Chair of the EECS Department and the campus VSPA program.

    This information is provided as a service. Although care is taken to provide correct information, there may be unintended errors, changes, or deletions without notification.

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