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Visiting Scholar Application Information

The Visiting Scholars Program

The Institute of European Studies welcomes applications for its Visiting Scholars program. Scholars who wish to be considered for the 2014-15 academic year should review the following information on the Visiting Scholars Program and the application process.

The deadline for applications for the 2014-15 academic year is March 10, 2014.

Every year, the Institute of European Studies is pleased to host numerous Visiting Scholars from the US and abroad. The Berkeley and IES communities provide an intellectually stimulating environment for those working on modern Europe. Scholars wishing to visit Berkeley as a Visiting Scholar or Post Doctoral Fellow must obtain a nominating letter from a UC Faculty member in their area of expertise.

The letter from the nominating faculty member should be a strong recommendation, attesting to the scholar's qualifications and explaining to the selection committee why it would be beneficial to the campus community for IES to host the scholar here. The nominating faculty member should express his commitment to be the Visiting Scholar's host here at Berkeley and his/her willingness to be responsible for the scholar's academic connections on campus. If the faculty host invites the Visiting Scholar to present a lecture at IES, the he/she will be responsible for making the arrangements and introducing him or her.

For the 2014-15 academic year, IES will admit a limited number of qualified candidates on a competitive basis. Visiting Scholars must have their own source of funding (such as a sabbatical salary or grant). The Institute does not provide funding for Visiting Scholars. Additionally, those visiting scholars from abroad must pay the processing fee associated with their J1 visas (enumerated below).

Details of Visiting Scholar Appointment

Visiting Scholar - The Visiting Scholar position carries with it a full University research appointment, which includes library and email privileges. A limited number of shared offices at the Institute are available, but a desk is not guaranteed with acceptance as a Visiting Scholar. While the position can be extended for a second year in some cases, a desk cannot be held for more than one year. The extension of visiting scholar status will be considered on a case by case basis.

No other position, including positions in other Berkeley departments or faculties, whether paid or unpaid, can be held at the same time, without discussion and approval by the Institute's administration. Additionally, payments of any kind for lecture services at other institutions must be approved ahead of time by IES administration. The appointment is not final until is has been approved by the Dean of International and Area Studies.

Non-Americans will enter the country on a J1 Exchange Visitor Visa supported by UC Berkeley. Please note that for some countries, there is a two year home country residency requirement following a stay in the U.S. on a J1 visa when holders of the visa are the recipients of funding from their home country governments. For more information on the two- year home country residence requirement, please consult a U.S. embassy or consulate. There is a minimum of three months needed to process a visa, which Visiting Scholars should keep in mind when planning to come to Berkeley.

Visiting Scholar Fees

UC Berkeley fees:

IES Visiting Scholar administrative fee:
Up to 5 months
Up to 8 months
Up to 12 months
DS-2019 processing fee (if required):
VSPA University Services fee:
  1. IES Visiting Scholar administrative fee ($1000 per semester or fraction thereof). This fee covers the administrative costs of processing your application and appointment as a visiting scholar at the institute. For international visiting scholars, this fee must be paid together with the DS-2019 processing fee; for U.S. citizens or permanent residents, this fee must be paid prior to processing your visiting scholar appointment. It must be paid in U.S. dollars and can be in the form of an international money order, cashier's check, or personal check payable to “UC Regents.” IES cannot process your visiting scholar appointment until we have received this fee.

  2. DS-2019 processing fee ($410 per visit; not required for U.S. citizens or permanent residents). This fee is for the Berkeley International Office (BIO), which produces your DS-2019 form. This form is required when you go to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to get your J-1 visa. This fee should be mailed to IES only after you have been accepted as a visiting scholar. It must be paid in U.S. dollars and can be in the form of an international money order, cashier’s check, or personal check payable to “UC Regents.”  IES cannot process your visiting scholar appointment until we have received this fee.

  3. VSPA University Services fee ($500 per visit). This fee goes to the university’s Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs office, which is in charge of all visiting scholar programs at Berkeley. Scholars can only receive their university ID card after paying this fee. It entitles you to use the library facilities of the nine-campus UC library system, to audit classes with professors’ permission, to use the university's wireless internet service, and to establish a Berkeley e-mail account.

    Scholars pay this fee when they arrive and check-in with the Institute. It is payable online by credit card or may be paid in the form of an international money order, cashier's check, or personal check in U.S. dollars payable to “UC Regents.”

All fees, with the exception of the VSPA University Services fee, must be in U.S. dollars and can be in the form of an international money order, cashier’s check, or personal check payable to “UC Regents.” The VSPA University Services fee can be paid by check or online by credit card. We are not able to accept wire transfers or payment by Western Union for any fees.

U.S. Government fees*:

Department of Homeland Security SEVIS processing fee:
$ 180
U.S. Embassy/Consulate J-1 visa application fee:

*U.S. Government fees are subject to change without notice. Please refer to the relevant websites and for the most up-to-date fee schedules.

Income Requirements

The University requires proof of your funding, as well: at least $1,600 per month for yourself, $500 per month more for a spouse, and $200 per month more for a child. Please also understand that in addition the university requires that you possess adequate health insurance as outlined in the VSPA website.

Additional Information for Post-Doctoral Fellows

This position is available to recent post-docs who may not yet have a teaching position. Post-doctoral fellowships can be held for up to three years and are non-stipendiary. The position carries with it the same rights and obligations as the Visiting Scholar position. The appointment is not final until it has been approved by the Dean of International and Area Studies and the Director of IES. Post-Doctoral Fellows are expected to have received their doctoral degree by July 1, 2014 if they are starting in the fall semester of 2014. Non-American Post-Doctoral Fellows should be aware that there is a minimum of two months needed to process a visa, and visa processing cannot begin until he or she has been awarded the doctoral degree.

IES expects that Scholars will contribute to the intellectual life at the Institute by attending lectures and conferences, interacting with faculty and students and encouraging the work of other Visiting Scholars.

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Office Space

Office space for Visiting Scholars is very limited and is not guaranteed. Offices may be provided for a maximum of one year. For the fall semester (September- January), for the spring term (February- May/June), or for the summer. All offices are shared. Computers are not provided in offices and Scholars are encouraged to bring a laptop with them. The visiting scholar office has a wireless connection (Airbears) that allows scholars access to the internet . A few computers are available for shared use in several public facilities at UC Berkeley.

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Off-Cycle Applications

Applications for short-term affiliation during irregular academic periods will be considered by the Director at any time. These applications must contain the same materials as described above, and applicants must fulfill the same criteria for affiliation as listed below for Visiting Scholars and Post-Doctoral Fellows.

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Living in Berkeley

Scholars will be sent detailed information about Berkeley and information on housing, healthcare, childcare, transportation, and other orientation matters. Fellows are responsible for securing their own housing accommodations.

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Visa Issues & Requirements

A stay of three months or less does not require a visa, and scholars who come on a tourist visa or business  waiver visa can obtain visiting scholar status and library privileges if their applications are accepted. Nonetheless, the Institute prefers longer term visits and will give preference to scholars who wish to come for a longer period.

IES cannot accept applications for Visiting Scholar status from students unless they are applying under one of our exchange agreements.

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Application Information

Scholars who wish to be considered for the 2014-15 academic year should submit the following materials:
  • Cover letter including requested period of residence
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Three to five page description of research or project to be carried out at IES
  • 100 word abstract of research description
  • Title of research project
  • Letter of nomination from a UC faculty member.
  • In the case of non-native English speakers, a letter attesting to competency in spoken and written English
  • Statement of financial support and funding sources

All correspondence should be written in English.

Deadline for applications: March 10, 2014.

Applications and recommendation letters should be addressed to IES Director, Professor John Efron and may be submitted via post or email.

Option 1) Mail hardcopy applications to:

Professor John Efron, Director
Institute of European Studies
207 Moses Hall, MC 2316
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2316

Option 2) Email electronic applications to:

Gia White (gia [@]

All questions and inquiries concerning Visiting Scholars should be addressed to the Associate Director of the Center, Beverly Crawford (bev [@]

Decisions on applications will be made by the Institute's Steering Committee in late March. Acceptance as a Visiting Scholar is not final until approved by the Dean of International and Area Studies. 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), although no information on allocation of office space will be available until all applications are reviewed by the Steering Committee.

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More Resources

More resources are available on our Resources page.

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