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Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies - Havard University Fellowship Program

Updated on Jul 06, 2020 912 views
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies - Havard University Fellowship Program

About this Program

Radcliffe fellows are exceptional scientists, writers, scholars, public intellectuals, practitioners, and artists whose work is making a difference in their professional fields and in the larger world.

Based in Radcliffe Yard—a sanctuary in the heart of Harvard University—fellows join a uniquely interdisciplinary and creative community. A fellowship at Radcliffe is an opportunity to step away from usual routines and dive deeply into a project. With access to Harvard’s unparalleled resources, Radcliffe fellows develop new tools and methods, challenge artistic and scholarly conventions, and illuminate our past and our present.

Throughout the year, fellows convene regularly to share their work in progress. Coming from diverse disciplines and perspectives, they challenge each other’s ideas and support each other’s ambitions. Many say that it is the best year of their professional lives.

The Radcliffe Fellowship Program awards 50 fellowships each academic year. Applicants may apply as individuals or in a group of two to three people working on the same project. We seek diversity along many dimensions, including discipline, career stage, race and ethnicity, country of origin, gender and sexual orientation, and ideological perspective. Although our fellows come from many different backgrounds, they are united by their demonstrated excellence, collegiality, and creativity.

We welcome applications from a broad range of fields and perspectives. The strength of our fellowship program is its diversity.

The following areas are of particular interest:

  • Radcliffe supports engaged scholarship. We welcome applications from scholars, artists, and practitioners proposing innovative work that confronts pressing social and policy issues and seeking to engage audiences beyond academia.
  • We welcome proposals relevant to the Institute’s focus areas, which include:
    • Law, education, and justice
    • Youth leadership and civic engagement
    • Legacies of slavery 
  • Reflecting Radcliffe’s unique history and institutional legacy, we welcome proposals that focus on women, gender, and society or draw on the Schlesinger Library’s rich collections. 
  • Interdisciplinary exchange is a hallmark of the Radcliffe Fellowship, and we welcome proposals that take advantage of our uniquely diverse intellectual community by engaging with concepts and ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries.

An application consists of:

  • Application form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Project proposal, with bibliography when appropriate
  • Writing or work sample
  • Three letters of recommendation

All application materials must be submitted online.

Quick Guide to Beginning a Radcliffe Fellowship Application

  • Determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for your selected discipline.
  • Make note of the application deadline above.
  • Begin an application by clicking on the tab above and registering as a new user.
  • Reach out to recommenders well in advance of the deadline. You will be asked to provide the contact information for three references, who will be prompted, via email, to upload a letter in support of your application.
  • Consult evaluation criteria below and review the detailed application material guidelines in our FAQs.

Program Details

Radcliffe Institute fellows are in residence for a period of nine months from September 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022 and receive a stipend of $78,000 plus an additional $5,000 to cover project expenses. Fellows are expected to be free of their regular commitments so that they may fully devote themselves to the work outlined in their proposal.

As this is a residential fellowship, fellows are expected to reside in the Greater Boston area for the duration of their fellowship. Fellows may be eligible to receive additional funds for moving expenses, childcare, and housing to aid them in making a smooth transition. Healthcare options are made available as needed.

Radcliffe Fellows receive office or studio space in Byerly Hall and full-time Harvard appointments as visiting fellows, granting them access to Harvard University's various resources, including libraries, housing, and athletic facilities. If fellows would like to hire Harvard undergraduate students as Research Partners, we will cover their hourly wages.

Fellows are expected to engage actively with the colleagues in their cohort and to participate fully as a member of the Radcliffe community. To this end, all fellows present their work-in-progress, either in the form of a private talk for their cohort or a public lecture, in addition to attending the presentations of all other fellows during that academic year (up to two talks per week). We offer group lunches and other opportunities to connect with members of your cohort, but attendance at these is optional.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Each application is reviewed in a two-tiered process–first by experts in the relevant field, then by a multidisciplinary committee charged with selecting a diverse class of fellows of the highest achievement and potential.
  • Applications are evaluated on the quality and significance of the proposed project and the applicant's intellectual and creative capacity, as evidenced by a strong record of achievement or extraordinary promise. We seek diversity along every dimension, including geography, ethnicity and race, stage in career, and ideological perspective.
  • Project proposals should be original, well-conceived, imaginative, and feasible.
  • As a uniquely multidisciplinary community, we highly value collegiality and openness to cross-disciplinary conversation.
  • Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection process in March 2021.

Humanists and Social Scientists

Applicants in the humanities and social sciences must:
1. Have received their doctorate (or appropriate terminal degree) in the area of their proposed project at least two years prior to their appointment as a fellow (December 2019 for the 2021-22 fellowship year).
2. Have published a monograph or at least two articles in refereed journals or edited collections.

Individuals who are in doctoral or master's programs at the time of application submission are ineligible to apply.

Former Radcliffe fellows (1999-present) are ineligible to apply.

Creative Artists

Applicants need not have a PhD or an MFA to apply; however, they must meet the following discipline-specific eligibility requirements:

Film and Video: Applicants in this discipline must have a body of independent work of significant achievement. Such work will typically have been exhibited in galleries or museums, shown in film or video festivals, or broadcast on television.

Visual Arts: Applicants in this discipline must show strong evidence of achievement, with a record of at least five years of work as a professional artist, including participation in several curated group shows and at least two professional solo exhibitions.

Fiction and Nonfiction: Applicants in these disciplines must have one of the following:
a) one or more published books;
b) a contract for the publication of a book-length manuscript; or
c) at least three shorter works (longer than newspaper articles) published.

Poetry: Applicants in this discipline must have had published at least 20 poems in the last five years or published a book of poetry, and must be in the process of completing a manuscript.

Journalism: Applicants in this discipline are required to have worked professionally as a journalist for at least five years.

Playwriting: Applicants in this discipline must have a significant body of independent work in the form. This will include, most typically, plays produced or under option.

Music Composition: It is desirable, but not required, for applicants in music composition to have a PhD or DMA. Most importantly, the applicant must show strong evidence of achievement as a professional artist, with a record of recent performances.

Individuals who are in doctoral or master's programs at the time of application submission are ineligible to apply, unless the dissertation has been accepted and degree is forthcoming.

Former Radcliffe fellows (1999-present) are ineligible to apply.

Scientists, Engineers, and Mathematicians

Applicants in science, engineering, and mathematics must:
1. Have received their doctorate in the area of the proposed project at least two years prior to their appointment as a fellow (December 2019 for the 2021-22 fellowship year).
2. Have published at least five articles in refereed journals. Most science, engineering, and mathematics fellows have published dozens of articles.

This is not intended to serve as a post-doctoral fellowship. We fund individuals who clearly evidence a strong body of independent research and writing.

Individuals who are in doctoral or master's programs at the time of application submission are ineligible to apply.

Former Radcliffe fellows (1999-present) are ineligible to apply.


Radcliffe welcomes applications from mid-career practitioners who have held senior leadership positions in non-profits, government, or the private sector. Many mid-career practitioners propose to write a book or series of articles during their year; others plan for the launch of their next venture. For examples of previous practitioners, please see the bio pages of former fellows Hernan del Valle and Kaia Stern.

To apply as a practitioner, please use the application for the Humanities and Social Sciences. When selecting a disciplinary area on the application form, please select "Practitioner" from the drop-down menu. You will have additional opportunities to specify your area of focus.

Eligibility and Evaluation
Practitioners should have at least ten years of relevant professional experience and be acknowledged as leaders in their fields. Proposals from practitioners are evaluated based on their professional experience, project feasibility, collegiality, and suitability for the Radcliffe community.

Application Deadlines
Humanities, Social Sciences, and Creative Arts: September 10, 2020 (11:59 PM EST)
Science, Engineering, and Mathematics: October 1, 2020 (11:59 PM EST)


See the Complete Details details Here

Application Link

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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