Visiting Scholars Program

CLAS welcomes scholars from around the world who wish to conduct research on Latin America and/or the Caribbean (broadly defined) with the intent to foster new ideas and collaborations.

Program Overview

Visiting Scholars are independent researchers affiliated with the Center for Latin American Studies and in residence at Berkeley. CLAS accepts Scholars who are pursuing a research project related to Latin America in any discipline. We welcome applications from academic researchers, university faculty members, and Ph.D. students, as well as from individuals with experience in government, business, or other professional fields who are likely to benefit from interactions with research scholars.  

Visiting scholars give public talks and participate fully in the intellectual life at CLAS.

Visiting Scholar appointents are temporary (3-12 months) and are categorized as either a Visiting Scholar (academic researchers and faculty who have held a PhD or equivelent degree for at least five years and hold a paid university position), a Visiting Student Researcher (currently enrolled MA or PhD students who possess a BA degree or its equivelent) or a Non-resident Visiting Scholar (a scholar who has held a In-Residence affiliation previously and continues their affiliation with CLAS remotely.)

Privileges of a Visiting Scholar/Student Researcher

  • Enjoy full access to UC Berkeley’s libraries and electronic resources.
  • Receive access to shared office space at the Center for Latin American Studies and a Berkeley email address.
  • Welcome to attend all public events on campus.
  • Audit courses taught at Berkeley, subject to the instructor's approval.  

Responsibilities of a Visiting Scholar/Student Researcher

  • Invitation to present in seminars or conferences organized by CLAS.
  • Invitation to write an article for the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies or the CLAS Blog. 
  • Share copies of work produced during the residency.
  • Please note that CLAS does not provide funding for the Visiting Scholars/Visiting Student Researchers it agrees to host. Applicants must submit documentation verifying and detailing funding for the entire period of their desired affiliation. For information about minimum funding requirements for issuance of a United States visa, please click here. 

Application Guidelines

The application process, from acceptance as a Visiting Scholar or Visiting Student Researcher to arrival in the United States, usually takes at least three months and can take up to six months to complete due to visa regulations. Scholars and Student Researchers should plan their arrival date accordingly.

Application Components

A complete application consists of:

  • A cover letter/letter of introduction (in English)
  • A research proposal that includes the following:
    • Title of proposed project
    • Description of research project and plan of research
    • Research goals during period of affiliation
    • Brief statement on how CLAS affiliation will help accomplish these goals or further career development
    • Proposed arrival date and length of stay
    • One letter of recommendation from scholars who are familiar with your work
  • Curriculum vitae (in English)
  • Proof of funding (for more information, click here
  • Copy of passport information page for scholar and any accompanying dependents

 Complete applications should be e-mailed directly to Julia Byrd ( sends e-mail))

Application Review

Completed applications are reviewed by CLAS. Applications are evaluated on the strength of the project, the scholar's ability to complete the research independently, and the availability of resources to support the scholar's research goals. 

Affiliation Process

If an applicant is accepted, CLAS and UC Berkeley will facilitate the affiliation and visa process. 

Once all fees have been paid and secondary application materials have been received, CLAS will process the applicant’s DS-2021 form, which allows the scholar to go to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy to apply for the J-1 (Visiting Scholar) visa. 

Once a Visiting Scholar/Researcher has the visa in hand and travel plans scheduled, they should inform CLAS of their arrival dates and schedule an appointment to complete the arrival forms required by the U.S. government.

Affiliation Fees

Visiting Student Researchers 

J-1 Visa Processing Fee


Campus Service Fee


Visiting Scholars 

J-1 Visa Processing Fee $500
Campus Service Fee