The Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies Scholars Program

For all Harvard and non-Harvard recent PhD recipients and doctoral candidates.

The Academy Scholars Program identifies and supports outstanding scholars at the start of their careers whose work combines disciplinary excellence in the social sciences (including history and law) with a command of the language, history, or culture of non-Western countries or regions. Their scholarship may elucidate domestic, comparative, or transnational issues, past or present.

The Academy Scholars are a select community of individuals with resourcefulness, initiative, curiosity, and originality, whose work in non-Western cultures or regions shows promise as a foundation for exceptional careers in major universities or international institutions.

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.


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 traveling for pre-approved research purposes.

Postdoctoral Academy Scholars will receive an annual stipend of $67,000, 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.

How to Apply

All application materials need to arrive by the deadline of October 1. The Harvard Academy does not accept late applications.

The completed application will include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé
  3. Research proposal (2500 word maximum)
  4. Official PhD program transcript
  5. Three letters of recommendation

The online application is accessed through the homepage of the Academy’s website. All parts of the application are submitted online except for the official PhD program transcript which must be mailed to the Academy.

The mailing address for the official PhD program transcript is:

The Academy Scholars Program
Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
1727 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

For express mail services requiring a telephone number, use (617) 495-2137.

Letters should be addressed to the "Selection Committee." 
Letters of recommendation need to arrive by the deadline of October 1.

Questions should be emailed to:

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.

The Academy requires no copies of published papers or abstracts as part of our application process. Do not include them in your application packet.

Regarding transcripts from foreign universities: The Academy reviewers read many applications from those at foreign universities and request as much transcript-like official documentation as the Registrar at your university can provide, for all graduate work—both for the Master's and PhD programs in which you have been or are currently enrolled. Your institution most likely gets these requests often and can provide the required paperwork to you upon request. Please do not send the Harvard Academy your only copies, as they are unable to return them.


October 1, 2015

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