The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs supports and collaborates with several student and professional organizations at the school on career development and policy-relevant events. The Center has proudly partnered with Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D), the Black Student Union, the Armed Forces Committee, the Women in Power Conference, and the Future Society to host seminars and conferences at HKS. We welcome opportunities to forge partnerships between students and the Center. 


Belfer Young Leader Student Fellows Cohort

Belfer Student Fellows Cohort Photo 

Belfer Young Leaders Student Fellowship

The Belfer Young Leaders (BYL) Student Fellowship Program helps prepare a community of high-achieving Harvard Kennedy School students to cultivate 21st century, global ideas and to gain the strong analytical and innovative leadership skills necessary to excel in the global affairs arena. The BYL fellowship program also aims to impart to students the importance of community, service, and leadership.  This fellowship includes the possibility of a financial award of up to $25,000.00 per academic year to be applied towards tuition; awards will be determined based on a student’s need, other financial awards, and academic performance of the student. 

Eligibility: MPP and MPA students at the Harvard Kennedy School can apply during 2 application periods - as a prospective HKS student during the admissions and financial aid process and as a rising MPP2/MPA2 student during March of their first year. This fellowship is not currently open to MPA-ID candidates. 

Duration: One year, eligible for renewal based upon an annual evaluation process and academic good standing. 

Prospective students: Applications are now closed.

Returning Students: Applications are now closed.

Please find additional information on the Belfer Young Leader Student Fellowship here.

BYLs with Eric Rosenbach

Belfer Student Fellows with Co-Director Eric Rosenbach

Funding Support 

The Belfer Center occasionally funds HKS students (or officially recognized Harvard student organizations) for research, publications, and events related to the core interests of the Center. These decisions are made on an ad hoc basis.

All applications are accepted through the application (below) in the fall-spring semester.

Please contact Mackenzie Heather ( with any questions.

Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D)

Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development, a student organization at the Harvard Kennedy School, aims to elevate the visibility and impact of women at HKS interested in pursuing careers in the fields of security, diplomacy, and development. The group provides an inclusive space and network for students seeking to enter or advance within these traditionally male-dominated fields. They aim to provide a platform for women to become more meaningfully involved in these issues at HKS and beyond.

Armed Forces Committee (AFC)

The Armed Forces Committee is a student-led organization at HKS that, with support from the Belfer Center, hosts “For the Common Defense,” a weekly speaker series held in the Belfer Library. The series features top-tier military and civilian leaders and focuses on the most pressing issues in the national security space, holds discussions about the civilian-military divide, and serves as the first interaction many HKS students have with members of the military. The AFC welcomes all veterans, active duty military, and students interested in national security.

Several of the Belfer Research teams and Senior Fellows offer opportunities for students during the academic year. Last updated on September 14, 2023. 

Arctic Initiative

Past, Present, & Future of the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Work: The Arctic Council, established in 1996, is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation and coordination among Arctic states, Arctic Indigenous Peoples, and other stakeholders in the region. The Council specifically focuses on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection. Over time, interest in the region has grown and the Arctic Council and the policy issues that it seeks to address have evolved. With more than 25 years of experience, to what extent has the Arctic Council contributed to the region’s sustainable development? The Arctic Initiative at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is now accepting applications for a research assistant. This role will be researching and co-authoring a book chapter and possibly other policy briefs and products. This role will be involved with collecting data and conducting research that contributes to an assessment of the Arctic Council’s sustainable development-related work overtime and, where appropriate, developing recommendations and advice for future efforts to support sustainable development in the region through the Arctic Council and other regional and international bodies. The successful candidate will work with Senior Fellow Jennifer Spence.

Contact: Tessa Varvares, Project Coordinator, Arctic Initiative

U.S.-Russia Cooperation in the Arctic in a Time of Conflict: In response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, nearly all cooperation in Arctic science and conservation has ceased between the West and Russia. In the US, thirty years of joint effort on fisheries and wildlife conservation, climate change research, protected areas management and many other areas of environmental science have come to a halt.  This project will develop an overview of bi-lateral programs, agreements and diplomatic instruments that have supported such cooperation; describe some of the outcomes of this work; and explore the question of whether and how some collaboration could be resumed.   This RA will work closely with Senior Fellow Margaret Williams in conducting research and interviews, writing; potentially hosting one or more on-line events (webinar or podcast).  Russian language is a plus.

Contact: Tessa Varvares, Project Coordinator, Arctic Initiative

Environment and Natural Resources Program / Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

The Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP) are currently hiring student research assistants (RAs) for the following roles:

Support ENRP/STPP Research on the Future of Hydrogen: RAs will contribute to research on renewable hydrogen adoption, including “hard-to-abate” industrial sectors such as green steel, ammonia as a potential hydrogen carrier or a fuel, and comparative analysis of incentive programs. RAs will work on one of two projects: 1) Developing country-level hydrogen studies on India, China, and Saudi Arabia. To investigate green hydrogen production, consumption, and trade among countries and regions, we use a mixed-integer linear programming optimization model to find the combination of domestic renewable hydrogen production and international imports that minimizes annual supply costs while meeting the hydrogen demand of one country or a region. Experience with energy modeling and or programming a plus. 2) Comparative analysis of incentive programs for green hydrogen in the United States, the European Union, and Japan. How will incentives affect investment in different regions, and how is each country thinking about generating the electricity required for green hydrogen projects? Experience in economics and energy markets preferred.

Contact: Rachel Mural, ENRP/STPP Research Associate

Support ENRP/STPP Research on Energy Technology and Climate Policy: ENRP/STPP faculty and postdoctoral fellows are identifying barriers to the accelerated deployment of clean energy technologies to meet the Paris Agreement targets. RAs wills contribute to research on a range of energy technologies and the available associated policy needs and options, including: decarbonizing buildings; carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) and direct air capture (DAC); and transforming the electric grid. RAs will prepare background materials for workshops and symposia and participate in our research cohort activities. Experience with energy issues and technical or economic research is desired.

Contact: Rachel Mural, ENRP/STPP Research Associate

Support the 2024 Roy Award Selection Process: The Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership, presented biannually, recognizes an outstanding cross-sector partnership that enhances environmental quality through novel and creative approaches. The RA will be responsible for investigating and evaluating nominations, and communicating with the selection committee and nominees from corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors. The RA will contribute to a research project assessing the effectiveness of cross-sector partnerships. Strong writing and communication skills are desired (multiple languages a plus).

Contact: Amanda Sardonis, ENRP/STPP Associate Director for Programming and Development

Support the Energy Policy Seminar Series: Held on Mondays during the spring and fall semester, the Energy Policy Seminar series brings academic experts and policymakers to HKS to discuss current issues related to energy systems. This RA will have the opportunity to interact directly with climate and energy experts through one-on-one interviews, and to help produce a portfolio of Belfer website publications highlighting a variety of emerging topics of interest in the climate and energy space. An interest in energy issues and journalism experience are highly desirable.

Contact: Liz Hanlon, ENRP/STPP Communications and Outreach Specialist

Support the Climate@HKS Web Project: ENRP seeks an RA to develop and implement cross-HKS outreach plans for updating and maintaining the website, including tracking climate-related publications/news and soliciting blog posts and information from programs, faculty, fellows, staff, and students. The Climate@HKS RA will have the opportunity to interact across HKS with professors and researchers working in the climate and energy space, and to become an important part of mapping and building the Climate@HKS network. 

Contact: Liz Hanlon, ENRP/STPP Communications and Outreach Specialist

Support New Project on Climate Finance: The project, “Attracting Private Capital to Climate Finance,” will develop a framework and propose strategies for attracting private finance to bridge a part of the shortfall in climate-related investments. At the outset, the project will address investments in the physical infrastructure sector. The central research questions are: 1) What is the magnitude of value that climate-related investments are expected to generate, and how would this value be distributed? 2) How can private finance be sourced to meet part of the investment needs to address the impact of climate change? 3) What unique value can private engagement bring to address the opportunities and challenges posed by climate change? Formal training and/or experience in finance and economics, including knowledge of the methodology behind benefit-cost analysis and financial valuation; and strong interest in infrastructure finance, climate finance and related policy is required. 

Contact: Rachel Mural, ENRP/STPP Research Associate

Managing the Atom Project (MTA)

The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) occasionally offers research opportunities during the academic year for students to work with faculty, staff, and fellows. Interested students may reach out to marina_lorenzini

Middle East Initiative

The Middle East Initiative (MEI) has a variety of opportunities for HKS and Harvard students, including research MEI assistant positions for the program and for MEI senior fellows.  MEI also participates in the Belfer Center’s Summer Research Assistant Program and provides funding for summer internships, as well as for PAE/SYPA research.  Please see MEI’s website for more details about these opportunities. 

Further questions and student resumes may be submitted to MEI’s Associate Director, Alison Hillegeist

Kuwait Foundation Fellowship

The Kuwait Foundation Fellowship for Outstanding Emerging Leaders is awarded on a competitive, merit basis to deserving applicants from the Arab World with a preference for students from Kuwait.  

It is expected that fellowship recipients will be active and engaged with the activities of the Middle East Initiative. MEI encourages applicants who can demonstrate leadership potential and a passion for public policy issues and concerns in the Arab World to apply. They also value candidates who are entrepreneurial in their field, are strong collaborators and committed to grassroots application and involvement in their society's most pressing issues and concerns. 

Further questions and student resumes may be submitted to Julia Martin