h o m e i d e a s p h. d   t r a i n i n g p e o p l e s e m i n a r s u m m e r e u r o p e a n  n e t w o r k  o n  i n e q u a l i t y n e w s
  H o m e




The Inequality Doctoral Fellows Program

Professor Christopher Jencks (John F. Kennedy School of Government)
Wendy Roth (Sociology & Social Policy) Professor William Julius Wilson (John F. Kennedy School of Government)
Professor Jennifer Hochschild (Government Department) Jal Mehta (Sociology & Social Policy) and Professor Michele Lamont (Sociology) Taubman Building, John F. Kennedy School of Government

A graduate training fellowship for Harvard Ph.D. students developed with the National Science Foundation

Economics | Government | Health Policy | Political Economy and Government | Public Policy | Sociology | Social Policy


The Harvard Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy was established in 1998 as a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) initiative to foster innovative graduate education that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. Now supported from a combination of NSF and other funding resources, the program is fully open to both U.S. and international Harvard doctoral students, who apply at the end of their 1st or 2nd year of doctoral study at Harvard.

Exemplary research programs are strongly multidisciplinary, pushing the frontiers of research by continually confronting new perspectives and engaging with the best scholarship being developed in other fields.

While the tools of economics, political science, sociology, and public policy can each illuminate specific aspects of social policy problems, the Multidisciplinary Program explores how certain research puzzles might be more effectively addressed with a multidisciplinary perspective. It aims to produce scholars grounded in the recognized disciplines of their home departments, but who can also navigate the models, methods, and evidence of scholarship in adjacent social science fields.

In drawing together leading scholars at Harvard and beyond, the program aims to enrich and extend the work of Harvard Ph.D. students with shared interests in issues of inequality by providing unique opportunities for cross-disciplinary education and research training. Doctoral candidates drawn from different disciplines gain opportunities they might not otherwise have to interact and learn from each other, from Harvard faculty drawn from across the University, and from the program's extensive network of national faculty participants and European Network on Inequality partners.

An engaged community of scholars

The Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy offers unparalleled resources for Harvard Ph.D. students working in thesePatrick Sharkey (Sociology & Social Policy) research areas. Over 40 Harvard faculty members participate in the program, drawn from the FAS departments of Economics, Government, and Sociology; the Harvard Kennedy School; and Graduate School of Education.

Doctoral participants gain membership in an active intellectual community of faculty and Ph.D. students advancing new research in the study of labor markets, cities and neighborhood effects, race, immigration, political inequalities, policy interventions, and comparative political institutions—to highlight only a few of its substantive domains. The program now counts almost 130 Ph.D. social scientists among its alumni.


An integrated program of education and research

Doctoral participants pursue their research interests through an integrated set of training activities. The three-semester Proseminar in Inequality & Social Policy, taught by a multidisciplinary team of four faculty members, constitutes the educational core of the program. Ph.D. students gain exposure to advanced scholarship in other fieldsCybelle Fox (Sociology & Social Policy) and develop new insights from seeing how other disciplines approach similar research problems.

Doctoral fellows also attend the weekly Malcolm Wiener Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series, which brings to Harvard a rich array of leading scholars from other institutions to introduce emerging research areas and to stimulate ongoing discussion of new ideas. Conferences and special events bring together participants for reflection on larger themes and policy debates.


Generous stipend and research support

Harvard Ph.D. students apply to the Multidisciplinary Program at the end of their first or second year of doctoral study (G-1 or G-2 year). Student support is contingent on the program's funding renewal for AY 2014-2015. But if renewed at current levels, those selected as Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellows will be awarded a dissertation stipend of $27,500, reserved for use at the dissertation research stage (generally G-4 year), plus $2,500 in individual research funds.

The program may also grant several partial or honorary awards, particularly for students who already hold substantial fellowship resources that effectively ensure five or more years of full stipend coverage (e.g., NSF, Soros, or Ford). More details may be found in the fellowship awards section of this site.

If the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy sounds right for you, we invite you to continue reading and to talk to other graduate students and faculty participants about their experiences in the program.

:: Continue on to Program Components »





A National Science Foundation IGERT program :: IGERT National Recruitment Program

Site design by Pamela Metz | Last updated 5 May 2014 by Pamela Metz | inequality@harvard.edu
©2014 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College | Report copyright infringements
J o h n  F.  K e n n e d y   S c h o o l  o f  G o v e r n m e n t H a r v a r d  U n i v e r s i t y John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University