The Belfer Center’s Iran Project offers non-stipendiary one-year fellowships for pre-doctoral candidates as well as PhD recipients with an interest in furthering their research projects within the Center’s collaborative intellectual environment. The fellowship exposes researchers to Harvard’s interdisciplinary and dynamic setting and encourages them to take full advantage of Harvard’s academic resources.

Areas of Research

Researchers may apply to work on issues relating, but not limited to: Iran’s political system and domestic politics; the political economy of Iran; the Iranian nuclear program; regional Shi’a movements and transnational Shi’a politics; Iranian regional security policy (including in Iraq, Yemen, the Levant and its relations with Hezbollah, Hamas, and Syria); Iranian and Shi’a political ideology; Iranian scientific progress and science policy; Iranian energy and environment policies; Persian Gulf security; Iran’s relations with its Gulf neighbors; and, Iran-US relations.


Iran Project fellows are expected to be in residence during their fellowships and to be active members of Belfer’s research community. This includes participating in working groups and Iran Project events, presenting their research at a public event hosted by the Iran Project, and collaborating on research projects with the Iran Project Director, including contributing to Iran Matters  and producing a working paper on their focus research area. The Iran Project seeks candidates who can make original contributions to the field and push forward a new understanding of Iranian policy-making.


There is no stipend available for this fellowship.

Application Requirements

  • CV/ Resume
  • Unofficial transcript (predoctoral fellow applicants only)
  • Research statement (3–5 pages)
  • Writing sample (less than 50 pages)
    • Should be one published or unpublished piece written by the applicant (co-authored pieces not accepted) in English that will demonstrate his/her English-language writing ability
    • Can be a journal article, book chapter, dissertation chapter, white paper, etc. you have produced in your field
  • Contact information for 3 recommenders submitting letters on your behalf.



Fluency in English and research ability in Persian or one other Middle Eastern language preferred. Applicants must be PhD recipients, or, as pre-doctoral fellows, must be enrolled in a doctoral program, have passed general examinations prior to appointment, and have made significant progress on their dissertations to be considered.