All applicants must meet certain requirements to be eligible for a postdoctoral scholar position at UC Berkeley. These requirements include level of experience, health insurance, visa type, funding, and language level. In addition to meeting these requirements, you must first secure a UC Berkeley faculty member as a sponsor. Your first step should be to seek out faculty in a department you are interested in and see if anyone would be interested in collaborating with you on your research project. Each department’s website has a list of all current faculty members and their contact information. Once you have a faculty member who has agreed to sponsor you, the faculty's home department will work with you directly to complete an electronic application form and other necessary paperwork.
• Must possess a Ph.D. or foreign equivalent earned recently
• Must have an institutional source of funding, e.g., fellowship, traineeship, or equivalent external support
• Must pursue a program of research and training under the direction of a faculty member, with approval of an academic department or organized research unit (ORU) and registration with the VSPA Program
• May not have more than five years of postdoctoral experience, including that from other institutions
• May not have been employed as an assistant professor, associate professor, or professor
• Initial appointments must be at least one year in duration. With the concurrence of the Postdoctoral Scholar, reappointments may be for less than a year under certain circumstances (see PX Contract, Article 2-B.3 - Appointments)
Health Insurance Requirements
Postdoc health insurance is provided to all postdoc job codes. However, you can choose to opt out of the UC health and welfare plan if you would like to use your own health plan. If you are an international postdoc, you are required to have health insurance throughout the tenure of your appointment in addition to evacuation and repatriation insurance.
Postdocs are eligible to participate in the UC Postdoctoral Scholars Benefits Plan (PSBP), which includes medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability insurance, as well as worker’s compensation. More information about the PSBP can be found in the Health and Welfare Benefits section.
All postdoctoral scholars must obtain proof of funding from an institutional source -- no personal funding may be used as a source of funding. Postdocs must arrive with sufficient funds to cover the high cost of living in the Bay Area for all months of stay (including covering the first and last month's rent for housing). The minimum amount of funding required is $4018 per month.
If you are a citizen of another country, you must have the appropriate visa type. Visa arrangements must be made several months prior to your planned arrival date or visa renewal date. The appropriate visa status is critical to gain or retain an appointment and to remain in the country. You are encouraged to work with your prospective department or ORU staff to coordinate visa requests through the Berkeley International Office as soon as possible. An overview of the postdoctoral scholar visa types are listed here for your reference.
English Language Proficiency Requirements
UC Berkeley requires all international scholars to provide documentation of English language proficiency. This can be shown through the following ways:
• A recognized English language test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc)
• Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school
• A documented interview conducted either in-person or by video-conferencing, or by telephone if video-conferencing is not a viable option.