GWS Visiting Scholar Programs

How to become a Visiting Scholar in Gender & Women’s Studies

The Department of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley is able to accommodate a limited number of visiting scholars each year to engage in significant independent research projects.

If, in addition to working on your independent research project, you wish to work together with other visiting scholars to share works-in-progress and provide feedback, consider applying to the Institute for Gender and Sexuality Research programs.

If you wish to focus solely on your independent research project, or are a visiting graduate student, see the below GWS application instructions.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Graduate students are eligible to apply as “Visiting Student Researchers” when they meet the following specifications:
  2. US-based and international scholars are eligible to apply as “Visiting Scholars” when they meet the following specifications:

The Application Process

All visiting scholars and visiting student researchers must receive an invitation from a GWS faculty member.

  1. Prospective visiting scholars and visiting student researchers who do not have an active collaboration in place with a GWS faculty member can look for a GWS faculty member whose research interests match their own. Faculty profiles can be found here.
  2. Once a scholar has identified a potential faculty sponsor, they should provide the faculty member with the following information via email:
    1. current CV
    2. brief description of intended research(length should be 200 words or less)
    3. beginning and end date for their visit
  3. If the scholar receives an invitation from the faculty member, the scholar should then contact Gillian Edgelow at for details on the pre-arrival process.

For those scholars who do not receive an invitation, here are some other options for affiliation with UC Berkeley. GWS Visiting Scholar Memorandum


There are several fees involved in the process of obtaining Visiting Scholar status at UC Berkeley.

  1. $1,000 department administrative fee if you are staying in excess of six months/$500 if you are staying six months or less
  2. $650 for DS2019 host document for the J-1 Visa (there will also be a SEVIS fee for the visa itself)
  3. $750 University Services fee (to be paid online prior to processing of appointment)

NOTE: A department administrative fee reduction may be requested if a scholar is arriving without institutional support or where there is financial hardship. This request should be included with your application. Please note that the J-1 visa fee and University Services fee are both mandatory and cannot be waived.

Information Regarding Visas

J-1 Visas
Foreign visiting scholars will need to obtain a J-1 Visa to pursue their research in the Gender & Women’s Studies Department. J-1 Visas are obtained by the issuance of a DS-2019 (which is the “certificate of eligibility”). There are several steps to securing a J-1 Visa and each step takes time. Plan for the visa application process to take 3-4 months, depending upon your home country.

Please note: Documentation of an “objective measurement” of English language proficiency is required for all J-1 Exchange Visitors. Either a recognized English language test (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, etc)
or signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school.

Additional Information

While we may be able to provide administrative advice, we ask that visiting scholars assume full responsibility for matters relating to visa applications, health insurance, housing and living expenses.


Visiting scholars have access to the University’s libraries and are given normal borrowing privileges, and have access to shared office space. Visiting scholars do not have access to administrative services, office supplies, and generally do not have the use of telephones or express mail services. Visiting scholars are often able to consult with faculty members interested in their field of study, and to participate in the intellectual life of the department by attending presentations and colloquia.

Visiting scholars in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies will be given access to the following:

  • Use of the department copier
  • Use of the department scanner
  • An email address
  • A departmental mailbox

Health Insurance

Visiting scholars must have adequate health insurance during the entirety of their appointment at UC Berkeley. For details, visit:


All questions about the GWS Visiting Scholar Program should be sent to:

Gillian Edgelow
Research Program Administrator