Application Information, Procedures, and Forms
Submit your application as early as possible. The application process, from acceptance by the Institute until arrival in the U.S., usually takes at least three months and can take up to six months due to visa regulations. Scholars should plan their arrival date accordingly and remember to factor in the time required to obtain a visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
All application material should be e-mailed to the ISEEES Executive Director Jeff Pennington at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 1 — Submit the following application materials (no application is complete until we have received all of these items).
- Cover Letter, Letter of Introduction, or Letter of Intent (in English).
- Curriculum Vitae (in English). Please include the highest academic degree earned, major academic or professional activities, relevant publications, and contact information including mailing address, home/cell and work telephone numbers, and e-mail address.
- Agreement from a Berkeley faculty member who is willing to serve as your faculty sponsor (copy of an e-mail or letter is sufficient). It is your responsibility to find a faculty member willing to serve as your sponsor; ISEEES cannot help with this.
- Research Plan (in English). The statement should be no more than five pages in length and include the following:
- Title of proposed project while in residence at Berkeley;
- Description of research project and plan of research, including research goals during period of affiliation;
- Description of how affiliation with the Institute will help you accomplish your research goals and indication of the Berkeley faculty member (or members) who will serve as your faculty sponsor;
- Proposed arrival date and length of stay.
Step 2 — The ISEEES Visiting Scholar Committee will review your application. If your research proposal, length of stay, and academic background are compatible with the Institute's academic mission, we will notify you of your preliminary acceptance by e-mail.
Visiting scholars who are applying for a Fulbright fellowship or other third-party fellowship will be sent a preliminary letter of invitation from ISEEES for use in their fellowship application.
Step 3 — After receiving preliminary approval, each visitor must submit the following:
- VSPA Form. You do not need to sign the form, so please just send the Word file by e-mail.
Download Form as a Word Document
Download Form as a writable PDF document
- DS-2019 Request Form. You do not need to sign the form, so please just send the Word file by e-mail. (Not required for U.S. citizens or permanent residents)
Download Form as a Word Document
- Copy of Passport. A copy of the biographical information and picture page(s) of your passport, and passports of any dependents (spouse or children under 21 years old) who will be joining you in the U.S. (Not required for U.S. citizens or permanent residents)
- Proof of Funding. The U.S. government needs proof that you have enough funds to live in the country as a visiting scholar (minimum $1,600 per month for scholar, plus $500 per month if you are accompanied by your spouse, plus $200 per month per accompanying child). 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. (Not required for U.S. citizens or permanent residents)
Funding may come from any of the following sources or a combination of them:
- Scholar's home institution — If your employer will pay your salary while you are in the U.S., submit a letter from your employer stating your yearly salary in U.S. dollars and the dates of your visiting scholar term. The document can be a letter from your university Department Chair, Dean, or Rector/President on university letterhead verifying and detailing funding for entire period of desired affiliation.
- A fellowship awarded by the applicant's home government or a recognized international organization — Requires letter of support which details amount of funding, use of funds, and date to which funding is guaranteed.
- Personal funds —Requires a bank statement (translated into English and converted into U.S. dollars) or letter from bank detailing the total amount in savings available.
- Fees* (see below for explanation). The ISEEES Visiting Scholar administrative fee ($1000 per semester or portion thereof) and, if required, the DS-2019 processing fee ($500 per visit) should be mailed to the following address:
ISEEES Visiting Scholar Program
University of California, Berkeley
Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
260 Stephens Hall # 2304
Berkeley, CA 94720-2304
Please note that we cannot process your visiting scholar appointment until we receive the ISEEES Visiting Scholar administrative fee and, if a J-1 visa is required, we cannot process your DS-2019 application until we receive the DS-2019 processing fee.
Step 4 — After receipt of all completed application forms, the ISEEES Visiting Scholar administrative fee, and, if required, the DS-2019 processing fee, the Institute will obtain appointment approval from the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) office.
If needed, we will then apply for your DS-2019 form. The DS-2019 will allow you to go to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy to apply for your J-1 (Visiting Scholar) visa. The DS-2019 form and an invitation letter from the Institute will be sent to you together.
Step 5 — After receipt of the DS-2019 and related materials, applicants are required to pay a one-time U.S. government Department of Homeland Security SEVIS processing fee of $180 (http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/). Instructions on how to pay this fee will be sent to applicants with the DS-2019 and may also be found at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/ and http://www.fmjfee.com.
Step 6 — Once the SEVIS fee has been paid, applicants should contact their local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to apply for a J-1 visa. To find the address, phone number, and business hours of the nearest Consulate or Embassy, please visit the U.S. Department of State website: http://www.usembassy.gov/. The J-1 visa application processing fee charged by U.S. Embassies and Consulates is currently $160 (http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1263.html#temp), and usually an interview with the American authorities is required.
Step 7 — Once an invited Visiting Scholar has the J-1 visa in hand and travel plans scheduled, she/he should inform Institute executive director Jeff Pennington (email@example.com) of her/his arrival dates and schedule an appointment to complete the necessary arrival forms within the first week of your arrival in the United States.
*UC Berkeley Fees
(not including J-1 visa and SEVIS processing fees)
- ISEEES Visiting Scholar administrative fee ($1000 per semester or portion thereof). This fee covers the administrative costs of processing your application and appointment as a visiting scholar at our Institute. For international visiting scholars, this fee must be paid together with the DS-2019 processing fee; for U.S. citizens or permanent residents, this fee must be paid prior to processing your visiting scholar appointment. It must be paid in U.S. dollars and can be in the form of an international money order, cashier's check, or personal check payable to "UC Regents". ISEEES cannot process your visiting scholar appointment until we have received this fee.
- DS-2019 processing fee ($500 per visit). This fee is for the Berkeley International Office (BIO), which produces your DS-2019 form. This form is required when you go to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to get your J-1 visa. This fee should be mailed to ISEEES only after you have been accepted as a visiting scholar. The fee must be paid in U.S. dollars and can be in the form of an international money order, cashier's check, or personal check payable to "UC Regents". ISEEES cannot process your visiting scholar appointment until we have received this fee. (This fee is not required for U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents.)
- VSPA University Services fee ($500 per visit). This fee goes to the University’s Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs office, which is in charge of all visiting scholar programs at Berkeley. Scholars can only receive their university ID card after paying this fee. This entitles you to use the library facilities of the nine-campus UC library system, to audit classes with professors' permission, to use the university's wireless internet service, and to establish an e-mail account.
Scholars pay this fee when they arrive and check-in with the Institute. It is payable online by credit card or may be paid in the form of an international money order, cashier's check, or personal check in U.S. dollars payable to "UC Regents."
- ISEEES Visiting Scholar Support Services (optional, $1500 to $3000 per semester). To make the most out of their research visit, ISEEES strongly recommends that visiting scholars, especially those coming to UC Berkeley for the first time, take advantage of a unique offer of support. For an additional $1500 for four weeks of service or portion thereof, up to a maximum of $3000 for an entire semester of support, ISEEES will provide each visiting scholar with a graduate student facilitator. The graduate student facilitator will be drawn from ISEEES-affiliated doctoral students in the visiting scholar’s field of study or research domain. He or she will assist the visiting scholar with local logistics (guidance on housing and accommodations, campus and local orientation); help with library orientation and materials acquisition; aid in arranging meetings with relevant faculty members, graduate students, researchers, and other academics; provide advice on auditing classes; and assist the visitor with familiarization of the City of Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area.
To arrange for an appropriate graduate student facilitator, visiting scholars should indicate in their research plan or in an e-mail to ISEEES Executive Director Jeff Pennington (firstname.lastname@example.org) their interest in availing of the graduate student facilitator services. The fee should be paid together with the DS-2019 processing fee and Visiting Scholar administrative fee, or it may be paid when you arrive and check-in with the Institute. The fee must be paid in the form of an international money order, cashier's check, or personal check in U.S. dollars payable to "UC Regents".