Visiting Scholars in Philosophy at Berkeley

The Department of Philosophy welcomes applications for Visiting Scholar status and Visiting Student Researcher status, and under special circumstances accepts applications for Postdoc Researcher status.

For applicaiton information see Visiting Scholar Application Process.

For additional information on Visiting Scholar, Visiting Student Researcher and Postdoc appointments see the VSPA Website.

Visiting Scholar Definition

Visiting Scholars are individuals who possess a Ph.D. or its equivalent (1), and whose primary purpose for residence on the Berkeley campus is to conduct research (2). The length of stay for a Visiting Scholar is at least one month and up to one year, with a maximum cumulative appointment time of two years. Visiting Scholars must have a program of research endorsed by a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and must be mentored and hosted by a faculty member from the department. (Applicants should approach faculty members directly. The Department Office cannot recommend faculty members to applicants.)


(1) Equivalence can be established through degrees earned at international universities, or through personal or professional experience that provides a basis for pursuing the type of research and writing expected of someone holding the PhD. degree.

(2) Individuals who are participants in research projects of members of the Berkeley faculty and/or who are training under the direction and supervision of faculty mentors should obtain appointments as Postdoctoral Scholars. The complete definition of Postdoctoral status is found in the UC-UAW contract which can be viewed here.


Visiting Student Researcher Definition

Visiting student researchers are applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree program and are working to obtain a degree. Generally, visiting student researchers must hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent. Applicants must satisfy all of the following specifications:

  1. proposed visit is to conduct research for the purpose of meeting degree requirements from another university, ideally in the last year of the Ph.D. process;

  2. proposed research is endorsed by a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy (applicants should approach faculty members directly, the Department Office cannot recommend faculty members to applicants);

  3. the appointment term must be at least one month and not more than one year in duration;

  4. applicant must have obtained at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent.

NO UC STUDENTS ARE ALLOWED IN THE VSPA PROGRAM Students enrolled at a UC campus other than Berkeley who are resident at the Berkeley campus for short periods are granted the same benefits and privileges as Visiting Student Researchers. Consequently, they do not need to apply for Visiting Student Researcher status.


Postdoc Definition

Applicants for Postdoc appointments must satisfy all of the following specifications:

1) Possess a Ph.D. or foreign equivalent;

2) May not have more than five years of postdoctoral experience, including that from other institutions;

3) Have an institutional source of funding, e.g., fellowship, or equivalent external support that meets the postdoc appointment minimum salary requirement;

4) Pursue a program of research and training under the direction of a faculty member with approval of the Philosophy Department and registration with the VSPA Program;

5) May not have been employed as an assistant professor, associate professor, or professor;

6) Initial appointments must be at least one year in duration. With the concurrence of the Postdoctoral Scholar, reappointments may be for less than a year under certain circumstances (see PX Contract, Article 2-B.3 - Appointments).