Prospective Scholars: Program Prerequisites & Privileges

If you have any additional questions about the program that are not covered on this site, please contact the Visiting Scholar Program Administrator at the email address below:

Skye VanValkenburgh


1+510.643.6322 (office)

Please submit all required application materials to

Please note: Applications sent elsewhere will not be reviewed. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Additional supplementary materials that are not listed as part of the application requirements will not be reviewed.

Prerequisites Affiliation Categories 

The Center for Chinese Studies Visiting Scholar Program accepts applications for three categories of Visiting Scholars. All applicants to the Center for Chinese Studies Visiting Scholar Program must meet the following prerequisites for their designated category in order to apply.

Affiliation Categories

Visiting Scholar

Applicants must:

  • Have a Ph.D. conferred more than five years ago and hold a teaching position at a university. If you are in traditional academia and have not held a Ph.D. for at least five years, please contact to discuss eligibility

  • Apply with the intent to conduct independent research at UC Berkeley

Visiting Student Researcher

Applicants must: 


  • Researchers outside of traditional academia who do not meet the prerequisites above may be approved on a case by case basis contingent upon the strength of the overall research proposal and the ability of the library resources on the Berkeley campus to meet the applicant’s research needs.

  • If you are one of such scholars, please email to discuss your eligibility. 

Additional Requirements:

If the applicant is not a U.S. Permanent Resident or Citizen, they must also meet all U.S. Department of State J-1 Visa Immigration Requirements for International Visiting Scholars. These documents are required for the processing of your DS-2019 form which the applicant will use to secure a J-1 Research Visa to enter the U.S. Although these documents are not required to be turned in until after the applicant receives their application results, it is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that they have the means to secure the required documentation before deciding to apply to the program. Failure to provide the required information in a timely manner will result in the scholar being disqualified from participation in the program. 

Privileges and Scholarly Responsibilities 

All visiting scholars/students accepted to CCS are considered “in residence” and are expected to conduct their proposed research at UC Berkeley. All scholars must reside in Berkeley or the surrounding cities in the Bay Area during the duration of their appointment period. Unless otherwise specified, Visiting scholars/students are expected to conduct research independently for the entire duration of their appointment period, actively participate in the Center's scholarly programs, and are encouraged to attend regularly-scheduled talks or seminars throughout their stay.  

Privileges include (but are not limited to):

  • Access to UC Berkeley’s libraries 
  • Access to electronic resources (via a CalNet account)
  • Issuance of a Berkeley e-mail account
  • Issuance of a Cal ID card
  • Access to shared office space (if available) exclusively for visiting scholars and visiting student researchers (due to space constraints, we are unable to provide private offices) 
  • Limited photocopy, and mailing privileges

These privileges are granted shortly after the required onboarding/registration meeting with the Visiting Scholar Program Administrator.

At the end of the appointment, scholars are expected to submit a final report on the outcome of their research, including submitting copies of publications or drafts of papers completed during their affiliation with the Center, as well as give a talk based on research done while at Berkeley (in Chinese or English) during the "Visiting Scholar Talks," organized for and by CCS visiting scholars/students. 

A visiting scholar's affiliation with the University of California Berkeley is limited. This means that visiting scholars cannot formally represent UC Berkeley. When a scholar works with organizations external to the UC Berkeley campus this work is considered independent. UC Berkeley does not sponsor, and cannot take responsibility for, the outcomes of these exchanges.

J-1 Scholar Classification

The J Scholar classification is not intended to be a work visa, and thus opportunities for employment are limited to working for the host institution (UC Berkeley) in research or teaching directly related to the scholar's program objectives, meaning the CIP subject field code on the scholar's DS-2019. Any employment, including employment with the host institution, must be authorized in advance by the Berkeley International Office. Therefore it is important to ensure the scholar has adequate funding for the duration of the J program without the expectation of any employment while in the United States.

The J visa regulations do allow payment for short-term lectures and consultations that are directly related to the research and/or teaching at UC Berkeley. More details can be found on the Berkeley International Office website. Any off campus payments must be authorized in advance by Berkeley International Office.

CCS, unfortunately, does not have the capacity to support employment at our Center and we are unable to provide administrative assistance in finding appointments or processing said appointments if found and secured independently of our department.