Academics
Visiting Scholar in New Media

Visiting Scholar in New Media

Applications are accepted year-round

The Berkeley Center for New Media invites researchers of new media to apply to be a resident New Media Fellow under the University of California’s Visiting Researcher Scholar and Postdoctoral Affairs (VSPA) program.

Application Information

Prospective candidates should initiate contact with possible Executive Committee faculty hosts at least five months before the date they would wish to start at UC Berkeley. Once candidates have confirmed a faculty sponsor, they must fill in this online application, where they will have the opportunity to describe their research project and reason for undertaking a fellowship at BCNM at this time.

The Executive Committee will review candidates’ applications and respond with a decision within two weeks. If approved, staff will work with candidates to complete university and federal paperwork.

Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis.

Once you have been approved by the BCNM, Campus Shared Services will contact you for your official appointment. You will need to provide them with: the biographical page of your passport, proof of funding requirements for your stay in Berkeley, and proof of English language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL score or a letter from your home institution or Berkeley mentor). After they have obtained the three documents, CSS will send you a DS-2019 that you will need to obtain your J-1 visa (if needed). This process can take up to 10 business days from the time the International Office receives the documents from CSS. Once you receive the DS-2019, make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy in your country to obtain the J-1 visa.

You will also need to prove that you have adequate health insurance for yourself and your dependents. Candidates may have the opportunity to purchase health insurance through a group plan at UC Berkeley. Since waiting periods can range from 3 to 36 days, scholars are advised to purchase travel insurance to cover this period. See Health Insurance for International Visiting Scholars for more information.

Scholars will only receive a formal offer of invitation once this process is complete.

When you arrive in Berkeley, Campus Shared Services on-boarding team will arrange a meeting to complete arrival documentation as well as to examine your passport/visa and DS-2019. You must attend a mandatory Scholar Information Meeting(SIM) within two weeks of arrival.

Fees and Responsibilities

The Center for New Media charges a sponsorship fee for each Fellow's appointment. The rates are as follows:

  • $3,000 per month
  • $5,000 per semester
  • $10,000 per year

This fee contributes to the VSPA appointment charge, visa processing, internet access, UC Berkeley email account and library privileges, along with 24-hour building access at Sutardja Dai Hall.

Scholars are expected to introduce their research program to the Center’s Executive Committee on the first Monday they are in residence. This presentation serves to launch their studies at Berkeley. At the conclusion of their visit, fellows will submit a written report on their research progress, which will be shared on the BCNM website. Scholars will then receive a letter of recognition of their participation in the Visiting Scholar Program.

Scholars may audit courses with a professor’s permission but will not receive academic credit. This privilege does not apply to courses offered by Summer Sessions or University Extension.

Fellows are solely responsible for organizing and financing their room and board. Scholars are eligible to use Cal Rentals services for an additional Housing Office fee. Please be aware that rents are very expensive in the Bay Area. Many former fellows have preferred independent services such as Airbnb. Fellows are also liable for finding and providing their own health insurance.

Scholars are entitled to obtain a Fee Lot Permit for use in campus parking lots at the faculty/staff rate upon presentation of a valid Cal 1 ID Card. They are also eligible for discounts on bus passes and the use of the campus shuttle service. Visit Parking & Transportation for more information on fees.

Fellows may also purchase a discounted membership at the Recreational Sports Facility, located at 2301 Bancroft Way.

Visit the Berkeley International Office’s site on Living at Berkeley for more information about transportation, money and banking, shopping, and service organizations in the surrounding area.