New process for collecting VSPA Visiting Scholar fee starting 8/1/19

July 19, 2019

Editor’s note: The following CalMessage was sent to Berkeley faculty on July 18, 2019. It represents a collaborative team comprised of Berkeley Regional Services (BRS), Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA), the Berkeley International Office (BIO), UCPath and the VC Research Office who have developed a revised process for the timely collection of University Services fees for Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers. This change was required as critical system checks in the previous process could not be supported through UCPath without significant customization. 

Although this represents one more change during a time of overall change at Berkeley, the team anticipates improvement in both the time and effort required when processing our many Visiting Scholar and Visiting Student Researcher appointments.

Vice Chancellor for Research masthead

This message is intended for faculty who host visiting scholars and visiting student researchers. Please forward to others as appropriate. 

 Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to notify you of an upcoming change in the timing and process for collecting fees for Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers.

Beginning August 1, 2019, Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers will be required to pay their University Services Fee up front, prior to receiving their appointment letter. This change is necessary, as the system that allowed the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs Office (VSPA) to verify payment of fees was discontinued with the implementation of UCPath.  

Although this represents a change, we anticipate that the new process will, in fact, speed up the onboarding process for Visiting Scholars and Student Researchers once they arrive in the US, as appointments will no longer be held up for non-payment of fees.

Should Visiting Scholars and Student Researchers not have sufficient funds to pay their fees up front, the sponsoring unit/faculty member will be asked to pay the fee on the visitor’s behalf, and seek payment from the scholar/researcher once they arrive and can access their funding.  Scholars whose appointments are not approved will receive a full refund.

Please note that any applications currently in process before August 1 may be completed using the current process of collecting fees upon onboarding.

Our goal is to implement this new process smoothly and efficiently. If you have questions about how this change will impact you, or the Visiting Scholars/Student Researchers that you host, please contact your Berkeley Regional Services (BRS) HR Manager or Regional Director.

Thank you for your patience as we all work together to continue to improve the experience for our visiting colleagues. 


Randy H. Katz

Vice Chancellor for Research

Yvette Lane-Newton

Director, Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs Program

BRS Regional Directors and participating project team members