To compete and thrive in the 21st century, democracies, and the United States in particular, must develop new national security and economic strategies that address the geopolitics of information. In the 20th century, market capitalist democracies geared infrastructure, energy, trade, and even social policy to protect and advance that era’s key source of power—manufacturing. In this century, democracies must better account for information geopolitics across all dimensions of domestic policy and national strategy.
The Middle East Initiative Research Fellowship Program, part of the Emirates Leadership Initiative, offers one-year fellowships for researchers at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and junior faculty level for research related to Middle Eastern governance and public policy.
Eligible candidates include advanced doctoral candidates, recent recipients of a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, and untenured faculty members. Applicants for pre-doctoral fellowships must have passed general examinations, advanced to candidacy, received dissertation prospectus approval, and concluded all necessary fieldwork for the dissertation by the time of application. The strong expectation is that predoctoral fellows will defend their dissertations at the end of their residency with us. We welcome applications from political scientists, sociologists, economists, historians, and other social scientists. We also encourage applications from women, minorities, and citizens of all countries.
Priority will be given to applications pursuing one of these six primary areas of focus:
- Improving Governance: Promoting the inclusivity, accountability, responsiveness, and efficiency of governing institutions and empowering the region's citizens.
- Building Peace: Addressing the sources of domestic and interstate conflict and generating durable political settlements.
- Revitalizing the State: Improving the capacity of state institutions and reforming social service delivery systems, with a special emphasis on health, education, and social protection.
- Broadening Financial and Labor Markets: Working to ensure that financial and labor markets in the Middle East are open, competitive, and inclusive.
- Governing Technology: Assessing how governments in the Middle East adapt to and integrate technological changes such as the growth of cyberspace, automation, and artificial intelligence, as well as how these advances in technology have shaped governance.
- Adapting to Environmental Challenges: Exploring how the governments of the region can cope and are coping with the challenges of water scarcity and climate change.
Fellows are generally expected to:
- Complete a 25-30 page Working Paper to be published by the Middle East Initiative
- Present their research at seminars open to the public
- Attend seminars of other Middle East Initiative research fellows
- Participate in Middle East Initiative activities as appropriate
The Middle East Initiative offers ten-month stipends of $40,000 to pre-doctoral fellows and $58,000 to postdoctoral fellows. Pre-doctoral fellows are not benefits eligible. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply for other sources of funding. All applicants should clearly indicate on their application form whether they are seeking full or partial funding, and indicate other potential funding sources. Non-stipendiary appointments are also offered, but the application process remains the same.
Fellows who expect to complete their Ph.D. program prior to the fellowship can apply for a postdoctoral appointment. Confirmation of Ph.D. completion is required to receive the postdoctoral stipend rate and benefits. The fellow will be paid at the pre-doctoral rate and will not be benefits eligible until the Middle East Initiative receives confirmation of Ph.D. completion.
Fellows are expected to be physically present at Harvard for the duration of the two-semester fellowship. Pre-doctoral research fellows are expected to complete their doctoral dissertations while in residence. Postdoctoral or faculty fellows may use this fellowship to complete a book or develop other research projects.
- CV/ Resume
- Unofficial transcript (pre-doctoral 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
Current Middle East Initiative Research Fellows
Below is a list of the Pre-doctoral, Postdoctoral, and Faculty Fellows under the Emirates Leadership Initiative Research Program at the Middle East Initiative for the current academic year. To view all past and present fellows, visit the Experts tab. To view all current affiliates of the Middle East Initiative, visit the People page on the MEI website.