Fellows and staff engaging at Belfer Orientation 2019

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs offers research fellowships during the academic year to individuals who wish to devote their time to research and writing in the fields of science and international affairs. Fellows are selected by the Center's major research programs and are expected to work collaboratively with other Center researchers, as well as on their own projects. 

Belfer Center fellowship programs establish a cohort of academic and professional thought leaders, who receive direct access to faculty members and other affiliated experts. Fellows research a wide variety of topics aligned with the Center's research areas, ranging from security issues such as nuclear proliferation and terrorism to climate change and energy policy.

In line with the HKS Diversity statement, the Belfer Center does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, disability, source of income, or status as a veteran. It is our goal to promote historically underrepresented groups within our organization and within the field of science and international affairs, and members of such groups are particularly encouraged to apply to the Center's fellowship programs. 

Areas of Research

To review the research areas of available fellowships, please consult the 'Fellowships' tab. For proposals that span different Belfer research programs, applicants may direct their applications to more than one project or program on the application form. Please note that applicants are expected to have relevant academic or professional experience in their fellowship's research area.

Expectations

The Center's programs and projects offer a variety of both professional and academic research fellowships. Professional fellowships are geared towards mid-career professionals, while academic fellowships include predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty positions. Fellows are appointed for ten-month appointments from September through June, with a possibility for renewal.

Fellows are expected to devote some portion of their time to collaborative endeavors, as arranged by the appropriate program or project director. Predoctoral research fellows are expected to contribute to the Center's research activities, as well as work on — and ideally complete — their doctoral dissertations. Postdoctoral fellows are also expected to complete a book, monograph, or other significant publication during their period of residence. Faculty and professional fellows are expected to complete a substantial research project or series of papers during their time at the Center.

Under normal circumstances, all fellows are expected to be in the Cambridge area for the duration of their fellowship. Harvard University is currently operating in a modified manner resulting from restrictions related to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Residency requirements are pending University health guidelines for the 2021-22 academic year. 

Stipend Information

Stipends for research fellows vary by fellowship. Please review the individual fellowship pages through the 'Fellowships' tab for specific funding information.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply for other sources of funding. All applicants should indicate on their application form whether they are seeking full or partial funding from the Center.

Submission of a formal application through the "Apply Here" tab is required for all fellowship applicants, regardless of whether funding is required.

For more information

Please email belfer_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu

The fellowship application period to join the Belfer Center during the 2022-2023 academic year will open on October 1, 2021. The application period will close on December 1, 2021. Recommendations will be due on December 15, 2021. Decisions will be announced by February 15, 2022.

Academic Track Fellowships

Fellowship applicants are welcomed from a diverse field of academic disciplines and departments. Across the Center's various fellowship programs, applications are sought from the fields of political science, history, law, economics, the natural and hard sciences, and other diverse and interdisciplinary backgrounds of study. The Center encourages applications from women, underrepresented groups, and citizens of all countries. 

Academic Track fellowships are offered through the programs below: 

  • Arctic Initiative Fellowship
  • Cyber Project Fellowship
  • Energy, Climate, and Technology Policy Fellowship
  • Ernest May Fellowship in History and Policy Fellowship
  • Geopolitics of Energy Project Fellowship
  • International Security Program Fellowship
  • Project on Managing the Atom Fellowship
  • Middle East Initiative Fellowship
  • Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship

Predoctoral Candidates

Predoctoral fellows contribute to the Center's research activities while working on - and ideally completing - their doctoral dissertations. 

For consideration, applicants must have passed general examinations and have made significant progress on the completion of their dissertation. 

Postdoctoral Candidates

Postdoctoral fellows also contribute to the Center's research activities while completing a book or other substantial publication during the time at the Center.

For consideration, applicants must have received their Ph.D. within the last five years from September of the coming academic year. (e.g. to qualify to be a postdoctoral fellow during the 2021-2022 academic year, the applicant's Ph.D. must have been granted no sooner than September 2016.) Postdoctoral fellows must commit to a full-time appointment. 

Faculty Candidates

Non-Harvard faculty members may apply to pursue their own research in association with the designated fellowship program. Past projects have included book projects or other manuscripts, article series, and other substantial research projects. 

General Application Requirements

Please visit the individual fellowship pages for specific application requirements, which may vary.

  • CV/ Resume
  • Unofficial transcript (predoctoral fellow applicants only)
  • Research statement (3-5 pages)
  • Writing sample (less than 50 pages)
    • The sample should be one published or unpublished piece written by the applicant. Co-authored pieces are not accepted. 
    • The sample should be written in English. Translations of written work will not be accepted. 
    • This can be a journal article, book chapter, dissertation chapter, white paper, or any other substantial research piece you have produced in your field.
    • For those applying to the cybersecurity fellowship, a cover letter replaces the writing sample requirement. Please visit the cybersecurity fellowship's application requirements page for more information. 
  • Contact information for 3 recommenders submitting letters on your behalf

All applications must be submitted via the online application portal. Emailed or other methods of application submission will not be accepted. 

Professional Track Fellowships

Fellowship applicants are welcomed from a diverse field of professional disciplines and backgrounds. Across the Center's various fellowship programs, applications are sought from both public and private sectors with cybersecurity and technology backgrounds. In the National Security Fellowship and Recanati-Kaplan Foundation Fellowship, practitioners are internally selected by their respective government agencies. The Center encourages applications from women, underrepresented groups, and citizens of all countries. 

Professional Track fellowships are offered through the below programs: 

  • Cyber Project Fellowship
  • National Security Fellowship
  • Recanati-Kaplan Foundation Fellowship
  • Technology and Public Purpose Fellowship

General Application Requirements

Please visit the individual fellowship pages for specific application requirements, which may vary.

  • CV/ Resume
  • Unofficial transcript (predoctoral fellow applicants only)
  • Research statement or proposal 
  • Contact information for professional references:
    • For the Cyber Project Fellowship, contact information for at least 1 recommender submitting a letter on your behalf is required. 
    • For the Technology and Public Purpose Fellowship, contact information for 3 references is required.
  • Other Fellowship-specific requirements:
    • For the Cyber Project Fellowship, a cover letter describing why you want to be considered for the fellowship
    • For the Technology and Public Purpose Fellowship, answers the application's three short-answer questions

All applications must be submitted via the online application portal. Emailed or other methods of application submission will not be accepted. 

The Belfer Center's Commitment to Diversity

In line with the HKS Diversity statement, the Belfer Center does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, disability, source of income, or status as a veteran. It is our goal to promote historically underrepresented groups within our organization and within the field of science and international affairs, and members of such groups are particularly encouraged to apply to the Center's fellowship programs.

Applying for a Belfer Center Fellowship

  • Is my research topic compatible with a Belfer Center fellowship program's area of research?

    The Belfer Center offers a variety of different fellowship programs; please review the program descriptions carefully to find the fellowship(s) best suited to your research proposal. If you have further questions, please contact the fellowship's program coordinator listed on the fellowship program's webpage.

  • Can I apply for multiple fellowships?

    Applicants are expected to have relevant academic or professional experience in their fellowship's research area. Please only apply for fellowships that are aligned with your area of research.

  • What should be included in the application?

    Please click on the left-hand 'Application Requirements' tab to review. 

  • May I submit additional materials with my application (i.e. additional letter of recommendation)?

    No. We are unable to review any additional documents beyond the listed required materials. Please consult each specific fellowship's application requirements page for guidelines on letters of recommendation and other materials.

  • Who should write my recommendations?

    The strongest recommendations come from individuals who can speak to your scholarly qualifications. 

  • How should my recommenders submit their letters, and when are they due?

    When you submit your application, you will be required to provide contact information for three recommenders. Your recommenders will immediately receive automated emailed instructions on how to upload recommendation letters to our application database. Please ask your recommenders ahead of your application's submission to minimize last-minute surprises. 

    Recommendation letters are due by December 15. Please submit your application promptly to give your recommenders sufficient time to upload their letters. After submitting your application, follow up with your recommenders to ensure that they have received the submission instructions and understand the deadline.

  • How do I know that my recommender’s letter has been submitted?

    You and your recommender will receive an email confirmation from belfercenter@gmail.com once each recommender submits a document. If you do not receive an email from this address, check your spam or junk mail folders.

  • My recommender cannot find the email instructions. What should I do?

    First, instruct your recommender to check their spam filter for an email sent from belfercenter@gmail.com at the time you submitted your application. Additionally, please make sure that belfercenter@gmail.com is added to the recommender's approved senders list or request that the relevant IT department add it. 

    If your recommender still cannot find the email, e-mail belfer_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu with the name and email address of the recommender who needs the instructions resent.

  • Are letters of recommendation confidential?

    Yes. Individuals submitting recommendations on behalf of applicants will receive email instructions to submit their recommendations online. The Belfer Center will not share the contents of any recommendation letters received through this call for applications. 

  • What do I do if my recommender is no longer able to submit a letter on my behalf?

    In extenuating circumstances, please email belfer_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu to change the contact information with your recommender. In your email, please specify your full name used on the application and the program(s) you applied to.

  • Can I edit my application after it has been submitted? Should I resubmit my application if I have important updates before the application deadline?

    Applications cannot be edited after submission. Only submit full and final applications.

    Under no circumstances should you submit a duplicate application. Duplicate applications generate duplicate emails to recommenders and complicate the recommendation submission process. If you are concerned about whether an application went through successfully, email Belfer_Fellowships@hks.harvard.edu for additional confirmation.

  • When will I hear back about my application?

    All applicants will receive notice about the results of their application by mid-February.

  • May I defer my fellowship offer to the next academic year?

    No, candidates are not allowed to defer fellowship offers. Fellowship offers are only extended for the academic year to which candidates initially apply.

Eligibility for Belfer Center Fellowships

  • If I do not need funding, do I need to formally apply for a fellowship?

    Yes, submission of a formal application is required for all prospective fellows, whether they are stipendiary or non-stipendiary.

  • Are Belfer Center academic fellowships available for non-Harvard affiliates?

    Yes. We very much welcome applications from non-Harvard students for these fellowships, all of which are listed in the upper "Fellowships" tab. Other Belfer Center fellowships and scholarship programs may have different eligibility requirements.

  • Will Belfer accept D.Phil. degrees as Ph.D. equivalents?

    Yes.

  • I am in a Ph.D. program, but have not passed general examinations; am I eligible to apply for a predoctoral fellowship?

    No, predoctoral fellows must have passed general examinations and have made significant progress on their dissertation.

  • May I apply as a postdoctoral applicant if I expect to have completed my Ph.D. degree by the time the fellowship begins?

    Yes. However, please note that fellows will be paid at the listed predoctoral rate and will not be eligible to receive benefits through their appointment until the program/project receives confirmation of Ph.D. completion.

  • May I apply for a fellowship if I am not a U.S. citizen?

    Absolutely. The Belfer Center encourages international applicants to apply. 

  • Is visa sponsorship available for fellowship recipients?

    Yes. 

  • Does the Belfer Center award fellowships for studies to be conducted at other universities?

    No.

  • Does the Belfer Center grant degrees?

    No. Prospective applicants wishing to pursue doctoral or master's degrees at the Harvard Kennedy School should consult the HKS Admissions Page.

  • If I receive a fellowship offer, may my spouse/partner receive a Harvard affiliation?

    No. Fellowship offers are for fellowship applicants only.

Additional Information

  • How long is the fellowship?

    Fellowships are typically ten-month appointments from September through June, and, in certain circumstances, may be renewable.

  • Does the fellowship come with a stipend, benefits, and housing?

    Stipends and benefits vary between projects. Please review the project's fellowship page for further information. Housing is not included in Center fellowships.

  • Do I need to be in residence for the duration of the fellowship? May I split my time with another fellowship program?

    Fellows are expected to be in residence for the duration of the fellowship and should spend no less than 4/5 of their time on their Center-related research and writing projects. If a fellow is teaching (or serving as a teaching fellow for) one course per term, you should not, in most cases, plan to commit to additional remunerative activities. Any such activities should be discussed in advance with your Fellowship Program Director. Outside obligations such as a concurrent fellowship appointment that interfere with the performance of your Belfer Center responsibilities are not acceptable.

  • What is academic life like at the Belfer Center?

    Research fellows play a very important role in the Belfer Center community. Fellows are encouraged to present their research within and outside the Center, collaborate on papers or projects with other fellows and faculty, attend and take an active role in Belfer Center seminars and conferences, and we hope that fellows will immerse themselves in the greater University community during their appointment.

Belfer Center Orientation

Belfer Center Orientation (September 2020) (Credit: Benn Craig)

Fellows at the Belfer Center play a very important role in our academic community. They are encouraged to present their research within and outside the Center, collaborate on papers or projects with other fellows and faculty, and attend and take an active role in Belfer Center seminars and conferences.  We also hope that fellows will immerse themselves in the greater University community during their appointment. Although being in person will be limited until circumstances improve, the Center has arranged virtual opportunities to connect fellows with one another and with the broader HKS community.

Community Resources

In most cases, research fellows move to Cambridge, Boston, or the surrounding suburbs for their ten-month appointment. Belfer Center fellows have access to all Harvard University facilities including libraries, gym memberships, and many activity discounts. Below are some resources you may find helpful if you are considering joining the Harvard community:

The Belfer Center fellowship application period for the 2021-2022 academic year is now closed. Please check our website for more information or send us an email at belfer_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu with any questions.


Website Link:  https://www.belfercenter.org/fellowships

Email Link:  belfer_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu

Harvard Kennedy School is committed to advancing the public interest by training enlightened leaders and solving public problems through world-class scholarship and active engagement with practitioners and decision makers. The school is committed to recruiting a highly diverse group of fellows and we work to ensure that our appointments and selection procedures consciously identify and evaluate people from underrepresented groups. We also actively strive to remove sources of unconscious bias.