Our Program

The Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) welcomes applications from scholars and researchers in higher education from all over the world to conduct research related to the Center’s areas of expertise. We provide a scholarly home for Visiting Scholars for periods of one to 12 months. Short-term visits can also be arranged by contacting CSHE. 

Our goal is to host diverse, engaged visiting scholars, who share their global experiences at UC Berkeley and return to their home institutions with a broader understanding of higher education research and policies.

There are two considerations for us to accept a visiting scholar: 1) the research involves a need to be at CSHE and UC Berkeley; 2) that the higher education research is connected to an area of expertise of our faculty affiliates.

Visiting Scholars fall into three categories:

1. Senior Visiting Scholars, who have completed their Ph.D. more than five years ago;

2. Visiting Post-Doctoral Researchers, who have completed their Ph.D. less than four years ago, are either employed at a university or hold a fellowship and are fully funded according to UC Berkeley’s postdoc requirements;

3. Visiting Doctoral Researchers are enrolled students who have advanced to candidacy and are working on a dissertation topic that includes an American higher education component.

Selection Criteria for Visiting Scholars

  • Applicants must hold a doctoral degree for at least five years.
  • Conduct research focusing on higher education.
  • Applicants must have a clear reason for basing their research at CSHE and at UC Berkeley.
  • Candidates are required  to pursue research related to one of the areas of expertise at CSHE and to contact the CSHE scholar directly.
  • The research needs to be conducted at CSHE, but may include other parts of California or other universities for short periods.
  • If accepted, the CSHE scholar whose research is related to applicant’s will become the “sponsor.” 
  • Visiting Scholars are expected to be in residence at UC Berkeley for a minimum of one month to a maximum of 12 months.
  • Advanced English Language Proficiency

In order to obtain a J-1 visa, the US State Department requires that scholars must have sufficient proficiency in the English language, usually in the form of English language proficiency tests, and/or a degree from an English language institution.

The application requires one of three ways to verify English language proficiency: https://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/elp-documentation.

Prior to acceptance the proposed CSHE sponsor will conduct a zoom interview with the applicant to verify English language skills directly.

Privileges and Responsibilities

  • A CSHE Researcher will be your sponsor and will meet with you regularly to discuss your research.
  • You are expected to participate in the Center's scholarly life and programs, which include lectures, seminars, and conferences throughout the academic year.
  • CSHE holds regular Visiting Scholar meetings with the Center’s staff and affiliates.
  • For those Visiting Scholars staying more than one month, you will enjoy full access to UC Berkeley’s libraries and electronic resources and will receive a University e-mail account for the duration of your stay. Additionally, you will have access to shared office space.
  • You will be expected to make presentations on your research, including a final public presentation about the outcome of your research while at CSHE. 
  • Our expectation is that you will submit a research paper for consideration for the Center’s Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS).

Application Review

Those planning a longer stay are encouraged to apply a year in advance. CSHE reviews applications for visiting scholars twice a year. Preference is given to applications submitted before the deadlines.

  • For arrival during the Fall Semester (August 15 – December 20) – deadline is February 15
  • For arrival during the Spring Semester (January 5 – May 15) – deadline is September 15

Application Procedure

A complete application consists of:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in coming to the Center that includes:
  1. Proposed arrival date and length of stay;
  2. Indicate names of potential sponsors at CSHE;
  3. How and where you learned about the Center; 
  4. Brief statement on how affiliation with CSHE will help you accomplish your research goals and further your career development; and
  5. Description of funding sources for your visit.
  • A complete curriculum vitae, including full publication list.
  • A three-to-five page proposal that includes: 
  1. Title of proposed project while in residence at Berkeley
  2. Description of research project and plan of research
  3. Research goals during period of affiliation and a timeline
  4. The campus resources you intend to use while at CSHE. The project should be clearly articulated and specifically linked to the resources and opportunities available at the Center and on the Berkeley campus.
  5. See link for suggested proposal outline.

Submission of Application

Completed applications may be submitted in the way that is most convenient for you:

1) E-mail to: Anne Maclachlan and cshe@berkeley.edu

2) Mailed directly to:

Anne MacLachlan, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholars Coordinator
Center for Studies in Higher Education
771 Evans Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California 94720-2310

Completed applications are then reviewed by the CSHE Visiting Scholar Committee. Applicants will be notified of the Committee's decision in writing within a reasonable period of time.

After Selection

Successful applicants will be asked to submit additional application forms and pay required non-refundable fees upfront before the J-1 visa is processed and the appointment letter is issued.


Visiting Scholars are expected to pay a range of required fees to the university and US government for processing the visa and other services. Also, they must provide proof of health insurance, which may carry additional fees. See the current itemized fees list.

The CSHE Affiliation Fee for Visiting Scholars is:

  • $1,500 (6 months or less)
  • $3,000 (6 months to one year)

Proof of Funding

To obtain a J-1 (Visiting Scholar) Visa, international scholars are expected to provide proof of funding.

CSHE does not provide funding for visiting scholars/researchers it agrees to host. Applicants must submit documentation verifying and detailing funding for the entire period of their desired affiliation. If funding documentation is not in English, the applicant should provide a translation. See the latest requirements for providing proof of funding.

Note: If you are applying for funding from any international or national agency, such as Fulbright, it is very helpful in obtaining this kind of funding to be ALREADY accepted by the institution where you wish to work. So, apply early.

Helpful Links

Visiting Scholars and Post Doc Affairs

Berkeley International Office

List of Temporary Housing Options

Suggested Proposal Outline


We review applications twice a year.


  • Fall arrival: February 15th
  • Spring arrival: September 15th

E-mail applications and questions to Anne Maclachlan at: maclach@berkeley.edu