Academy Scholars Program seeks outstanding scholars at the start of their careers whose work combines disciplinary excellence in the social sciences to apply for the 2015 Pre and Postdoctoral fellowships of the Harvard Academy.
Academy Scholars are appointed for two years by the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and are provided time, guidance, and access to Harvard University facilities. They receive substantial financial and research assistance to undertake sustained projects of research and/or acquire accessory training in their chosen fields and areas. The Senior Scholars, a distinguished group of senior Harvard University faculty members, act as mentors to the Academy Scholars to help them achieve their intellectual potential.
Worth of Awards

  • Postdoctoral Academy Scholars will receive an annual stipend of $65,000, and predoctoral Academy Scholars will receive an annual stipend of $31,000.
  • This stipend is supplemented by funding for conference and research travel, research assistants, and health insurance coverage. Some teaching is permitted but not required.


  • Applications are welcome from qualified persons without regard to nationality, gender, or race.
    • The Academy Scholars Program is open to scholars from all countries and citizenships.
    • The competition for these awards is open only to recent PhD (or comparable professional school degree) recipients and doctoral candidates. Those still pursuing a PhD should have completed their routine training and be well along in the writing of their theses before applying to become Academy Scholars; those in possession of a PhD longer than three years are ineligible.
    • Each year four to five Academy Scholars are named for two-year appointments. Academy Scholars are expected to reside in the Cambridge/Boston area for the duration of their appointments unless travelling For Pre-Approved Research Purposes.
    • They consider applicants who are already enrolled in or who have recently completed a PhD or equivalent doctoral program in the social sciences. Predoctoral candidates must have finished all field research and be in the writing stage of their dissertation at the time of application. If you have completed a PhD program, the PhD completion date must be within three years of our October 1 application deadline.
    • Finalists must be available to travel for a personal interview on our December interview date. The Harvard Academy will arrange and pay for all travel and hotel accommodations for the finalists to interview in Cambridge, MA.
      • The founders considered area studies expertise in non-Western parts of the world to be a valuable addition to the social science disciplines. Accordingly the Harvard Academy looks for outstanding applicants in PhD programs or with PhD degrees in disciplines normally represented as in the social sciences in universities, where most of the Academy Scholars find employment.
      • They define non-Western as any country other than the US, Canada, and Western Europe (as defined by the former Iron Curtain). Also, research that covers non-Western interaction with the Western region is transnational and thus eligible.

Fields of Study—accepted: African Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Classics, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Global Health, Government, History, History of Science—non-Western, Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, International Relations, Latin American and Iberian Studies, Law, Linguistics—non-English, Medieval Studies—non-Western, Middle East Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Political Economy and Government, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Slavic Languages and Civilization, Social Policy, Social Studies, Sociology, South Asian Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, Ukrainian Studies, Women, Gender, & Sexuality—non-Western
Fields of Study—not accepted (this list is not exhaustive): Anything Western (US, Canada, and Western Europe, as defined by the former Iron Curtain), Archaeology, Architecture, Art History, Business, Literature, Geography, , Management, Philosophy, Public Administration, Religion, Social Work, Urban studies
How to Apply
All application materials need to arrive by the deadline of October 1, as applications are read for the first cut immediately the next business day, and they do not accept late applications.

  • It is not necessary to apply specifically as a predoctoral or postdoctoral candidate, as the Selection Committee considers all applicants in one applicant pool. Do, however, indicate your anticipated completion date, so the Committee will have a clear idea of what stage of your research you are in.
  • They do not accept any applications by email.
  • Please address all materials to the “Selection Committee.”
    • They prefer that the letters of recommendation be included in the application packet (each in a sealed envelope with the recommender’s signature across the seal), but, recognizing that this is not always possible, they may be sent separately by mail.
    • If you will not be submitting them yourself, you may wish to follow up with your referees to ensure that they have mailed them in a timely manner. Letters of recommendation need to arrive by the deadline of October 1. Occasionally, due to special circumstances when recommenders are not able to mail letters reliably, they allow their submission by email. In this case, the letter must be from a verifiable university email address sent to [email protected].
    • You may include footnotes, endnotes, and/or bibliographies in your proposed research statement, but they are not required. If you do give references, they will not count towards the 2500-word maximum for the research statement.
    • They require no copies of published papers or abstracts as part of our application process. Do not include them in your application packet.

Applications for the next class of Academy Scholars are due October 1 each year. There is no application form. The following materials are required for a complete application:

  • a current curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (include 3 copies)
  • a statement of the applicant’s proposed research—usually, preparing the dissertation for publication or completion—including intellectual objectives and planned methodological and disciplinary work (no more than 2,500 words; include 3 copies)
  • an official copy of each graduate transcript
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a cover letter which succinctly states the applicant’s academic field, country or region of specialization, and proposed or actual research topic (include 3 copies)
  • Please do not staple materials. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted.
  • Finalists will be invited to Cambridge for interviews with the Senior Scholars in November 21, 2014.

Application materials should be mailed to:
The Academy Scholars Program
Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
1727 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Telephone for delivery of express mail: (617) 495-2137
Deadline: All materials must be received by October 1, 2014. The selection process begins immediately thereafter. Applicants whose materials are late or incomplete are at a disadvantage when considered by the Selection Committee. Announcement of the awards will be made in January.
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