Visiting Scholars Program

man inside a library reading a book

The Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) proudly offers visiting scholar appointments.

We strongly urge potential visitors to begin the inquiry process at least five months or more before expected arrival date in Berkeley.

Visiting Scholar Eligibility Criteria

  • Must possess a Ph.D. or foreign equivalent earned more than five years ago.*
  • Proposed research must fit closely within the research mission of IGS.
  • Must have a UCB faculty sponsor.
  • Initial appointment term must be at least one month and no more than one year in duration.
  • Must show proof of adequate funding.
  • May not be UC staff or faculty.

* 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 Ph.D. degree.

How to Apply

Visiting scholar applicants must complete the IGS application form.  We review applications twice/year. Deadlines for submitting applications are January 1 and July 1.


University Services fee: $750

This fee covers a Cal email address, ID card, library and university facility access, and more.

Visa fee (if applicable): $500

Shipping fee (only if visa is required): $40

Department fee: $4,000 per year 

IGS charges a fee of  $4,000 per year, which is due upon arrival. The department fee provides access to IGS work spaces and our library, invitations to various IGS seminars, colloquia and conferences, and limited administrative support.

J-1 Exchange Visitors

For questions related to your stay at UC Berkeley as a J-1 Visiting Scholar, please visit the UC Berkeley International Office website.

Health Insurance Requirements

All international visiting scholars on the UC Berkeley campus are required to have medical insurance, either through this program, from another insurer or provided by your home country. If you have other insurance, it must be considered ‘comparable coverage’ to the insurance offered through this program. If you are an international visiting scholar with your own coverage, that coverage must meet or exceed the J-1 Visa requirements, as well as provide this same coverage to your eligible dependents. The minimum levels of coverage that must be offered through your own insurance can be found on the Visiting Scholar Benefit Plan Portal under Important Information.

U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are not subject to these health insurance requirements, and do not need to provide Garnett-Powers & Associates proof of health insurance coverage.