Visiting Student Researchers

Visiting Student Researcher Appointments

Who is eligible for a Visiting Student Researcher Appointment?

Visiting student researchers (VSR) are students currently pursuing a degree in a degree-granting program at another university (not in the University of California system), and possess at least a bachelor’s degree. VSRs do not enroll in UC Berkeley courses for credit. The minimum length of an appointment is 30 days and the maximum appointment length allowed is one year. Remote appointments are not permitted; all visits must be conducted on campus.

Please note that students enrolled at any UC campus are ineligible for this type of appointment as they enjoy the benefits of reciprocity at UC Berkeley.  Visiting student researchers may not hold concurrent employment/appointment at UC Berkeley or any other UC campus during their visiting student researcher appointment (e.g. Graduate Student Researcher [GSR] title to conduct research for compensation).

Foreign visiting student researchers are primarily on the J or F-1 visa.  B-1/B-2 visas and waivers are not permitted for this research title. VSRs on external F-1 visas from another U.S. institution must submit a memo from that institution on official letterhead that they are authorizing the visit to Berkeley. The memo must include the dates of the UCB appointment. Additionally, copies of valid immigration documents should be submitted.

Are Visiting Student Researchers Compensated?

Visiting student researchers are ineligible for compensation, whether in the form of salary or wages, from UC Berkeley. Visiting student researchers are self-supported and appropriate to the duration of the appointment from external sources. However, individual research units/departments or the faculty sponsor may provide a living allowance of up to $30,000 per year to help offset the cost of living in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Departments may also request approval to reimburse a visiting student researcher's UC Berkeley business-related travel costs, and incidental research expenses, as long as they are aligned with UC Berkeley policy. 

How does one obtain a Visiting Student Researcher Appointment?

Please contact the academic department or a faculty member whose research aligns with your training and research goals. They will help you determine your eligibility and notify you if they are accepting visiting student researchers. They may also assist in covering the required University Services Fee on your behalf if you are unable to do so.