Weatherhead Research Clusters

Please note: The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA) at Harvard University is not accepting applications for new research clusters in Academic Year 2022–2023. Research clusters support international, transnational, global, and comparative social science research on contemporary or historical topics. New perspectives are especially welcome.

Our goal is to fund interdisciplinary clusters that take on big and original questions. We expect clusters to:

  1. Bring energy to the Center by actively conducting research within WCFIA’s walls on questions of broad global significance. 
  2. Cultivate intellectual risk-taking, preferably through multidisciplinary research.
  3. Foster interaction between the members of the cluster and other WCFIA programs and clusters, including through active and regular participation in the Weatherhead Forum.
  4. Foster intellectual connectivity among members, including across cohorts, by connecting faculty with graduate students, undergraduates, postdocs, and visitors associated with the Weatherhead Scholars Program.
  5. Develop ideas and generate networks. Innovative discussions that precede actual research are important.
  6. Plan active leadership by one, or preferably a few, faculty.
  7. Connect to scholars based at other institutions, if applicable, as this research cluster program is for projects that would ordinarily not take place in any one department or center.

We encourage new clusters to focus on the development of innovative analytic perspectives, including (but not limited to) important and pressing transnational issues, such as:

  • Public health
  • Climate
  • Migration
  • Anthropocene issues
  • Global capitalism
  • Populism and democracy

Who Is Eligible

WCFIA Faculty Associates who have been actively involved in the Center’s activities. Existing clusters may reapply for new funding.

Program Activities and Benefits

Clusters may be funded up to $200,000 for three years to address questions of major social or scholarly significance. Funds may be used to support a postdoctoral fellow or research assistant connected to the research cluster. Funds may also be used for other customary research expenses, including data collection, workshop and conference support, student grants, and other activities that advance the work of the research cluster. Salary support is not permitted.

Clusters may request an office in the CGIS complex that will host together visitors and students. Clusters will also have 0.25 FTE (about nine hours/week) in staff support and work closely with our communications staff to publicize their activities.

Research funds are intended to support activities at Harvard, although Harvard-based activities that help build research networks across universities are encouraged.

How to Apply

We are not accepting new applications in Academic Year 2022–2023.

Typically, applications are reviewed by an external committee of scholars, and the final award decisions are made by the WCFIA Executive Committee. Applicants are usually notified of the selection committee’s decision in early April.

For more information on the program, please contact Dr. Theodore J. Gilman, Executive Director, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138. Email: Phone: 617-495-2125.