NO UC STAFF OR FACULTY ARE ALLOWED IN THE VSPA PROGRAM
Visiting researcher 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 researcher scholar is at least one month and appointments are granted one year at a time, with a maximum cumulative appointment time of two years. ***. Visiting researcher scholar positions are not compensated. However, units may provide a stipend of up to $10,000 per year. Such stipends can be used to cover things such as living expenses, travel costs, and incidental research expenses, but not as a form of salary compensation.
Visiting Researcher Scholars are granted a variety of privileges, including access to the University Library, access to certain campus parking facilities, and eligibility for membership in the campus sports recreational facility. For more information please visit the Visiting Researcher Scholar Benefits and Privileges page.
Visiting Researcher Scholar status does not guarantee assignment of an office or workspace. These must be negotiated with the sponsoring department or research unit.
* Equivalence can be established through degrees earned at foreign universities, or through personal or professional experience that provides a basis for pursuing the type of research and writing expected of someone holding the PhD. degree.
** Individuals who are participants in research projects of members of the Berkeley faculty and/or who are training under the direction and supervision of faculty mentors should obtain appointments as Postdoctoral Scholars. The complete definition of Postdoctoral status is found in the UC-UAW contract which can be viewed here.
*** When a unit wishes to extend the stay of a visiting researcher scholar beyond two years, it should make the request along with the rationale for doing so to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO UC STUDENTS ARE ALLOWED IN THE VSPA PROGRAM
Visiting student researchers are applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree program and are working to obtain a degree. Generally, visiting student researchers must hold a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent. 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 things such as living expenses, travel costs, and incidental research expenses, but not as a form of salary compensation. Applicants must satisfy all of the following specifications:
proposed visit is to conduct research for the purpose of meeting degree requirements from another university;
proposed research is of mutual interest to and endorsed by an academic department, ORU, or other Berkeley campus unit;
the appointment term must be at least one month and not more than one year in duration*;
have obtained at least a Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent.**
Students enrolled at a UC campus other than Berkeley who are resident at the Berkeley campus for short periods are granted the same benefits and privileges as Visiting Student Researchers. Consequently, they do not need to apply for Visiting Student Researcher status.
* When a unit wishes to extend a visiting student researcher's stay beyond one year, they must send in an exceptional approval request to email@example.com from the faculty sponsor/PI.
** Visiting student researchers that are undergraduates must obtain exceptional approval from the department chair and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. They must also show proof of institutional funding for the duration of their appointment.