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 15, 2022. 

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