Each academic year Harvard Kennedy School hosts a broad and diverse array of visiting scholars, researchers, and practitioners who participate in the school’s academic life through the various fellows programs offered by centers and programs.

This guide aims to foster greater connection among and between these research communities and HKS faculty, students, and staff by providing regularly updated program overviews, links, and contact information for fellows programs at the Kennedy School. We invite you to visit the fellows program sites included in the guide below for additional information about the people, research, and activities taking place in the broader research community at the Kennedy School.

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens.  Three major programs support our mission: The Program on Democratic Governance; the Innovations in Government Program; and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia.

General Overview of Fellows Programs at the Ash Center

The Ash Center selects fellows in a highly competitive process that brings scholars, practitioners, and political leaders to the School for term appointments with a host of opportunities to pursue independent research projects, enhance their professional skills, and network with their peers. In addition to fellows hosted by individual faculty affiliates, the Ash Center offers  a number of formal fellowship programs, a few of which are highlighted below.

For general inquiries regarding Ash Center fellowship programs, contact Jose Martinez (Program Administrator, Center-wide Democracy Initiatives).

ASIA Fellows Program

The Ash Center selects fellows in a highly competitive process that brings scholars, practitioners, and political leaders to the School for term appointments with a host of opportunities to pursue independent research projects, enhance their professional skills, and network with their peers. In addition to fellows hosted by individual faculty affiliates, the Ash Center offers  a number of formal fellowship programs, a few of which are highlighted below.

Contact: Laura Ma (Associate Director, China Programs)

china public policy postdoctoral fellowships

The Ash Center offers one to two postdoctoral fellowships every year to recent Ph.D. recipients of exceptional promise in the field of contemporary Chinese public policy. Preferences are given to those working in the areas of domestic politics, political economy, energy and sustainability, business-government relations and the social policies of China.

Contact: Laura Ma (Associate Director, China Programs)

democracy fellows program

The Democratic Governance Program offers fellowships for doctoral candidates to complete their dissertations without the obligation of teaching at a critical time in their work as well as fellowships for post-docs working on preparing either a book manuscript based on their dissertation or related academic publications. In addition, the Ash Center welcomes a number of visiting scholars and practitioners to further their work on substantive democratic governance issues.

Contact: Jose Martinez (Program Administrator, Center-wide Democracy Initiatives).

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs 

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs offers research fellowships during the academic year to individuals who wish to devote their time to research and writing in the fields of science and international affairs.  

Belfer Center fellows receive direct access to faculty members and other affiliated experts. Fellows research a wide variety of topics aligned with the Center's research areas, ranging from security issues such as nuclear proliferation and terrorism to climate change and energy policy. 

In line with the HKS Diversity statement, the Belfer Center does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, disability, source of income, or status as a veteran. It is our goal to promote historically underrepresented groups within our organization and within the field of science and international affairs, and members of such groups are particularly encouraged to apply to the Center's fellowship programs.  

For general inquiries regarding Belfer Center fellowship programs, contact belfer_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu 


The Arctic Initiative is a project of the Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Science Technology and Public Policy program at the Belfer Center. This project focuses on addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with the effects of climate change in the Arctic. A special focus is on exploring to what extent existing governmental and international policies, programs, laws, and regulations are adequate and appropriate to address the evolving challenges and opportunities in the Arctic, and to consider how they can be improved. 

Contact: Brittany Janis  


The broad goal of this project is to understand the interactions between policies and technologies as the world attempts to decarbonize the energy system, while simultaneously addressing concerns about security, reliability, and cost. It accepts fellowship proposals on 1) hydrogen, 2) large-scale carbon management, and 3) biofuels/low-carbon fuels. 

Contact: Paul Sherman 


The Ernest May Fellowship in History and Policy of the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs aims to help build the next generation of men and women who will bring professional history to bear on strategic studies and major issues of international affairs. 

Contact: Susan Lynch  


The Geopolitics of Energy Project Fellowship focuses on topics related to the intersection of international politics, security, and energy. The Research Fellow or Visiting Scholar will contribute to the Geopolitics of Energy project's efforts to explore the nexus of politics — broadly defined — and energy, and to highlight policymakers issues of upcoming importance in this arena. This fellowship opportunity is attached to a specific project run by Professor Meghan O'Sullivan.  

Contact: Chloe Holt  


The International Security Program develops and trains new talent in security studies by hosting pre- and postdoctoral research fellows. The International Security Program offers fellowships in the following research areas: U.S. defense and foreign policy; grand strategy; diplomacy; nuclear, chemical, and biological–weapons proliferation; managing nuclear technology and materials; chemical and biological weapons proliferation, control, and countermeasures; terrorism; regional security, internal and ethnic conflict; and international relations theory.  

Contact: Susan Lynch  


The Project on Managing the Atom offers fellowships for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, and mid-career professionals, for one year, with a possibility for renewal. Research topics of interest include aspects of nuclear nonproliferation policy, nuclear weapons strategy, arms control, disarmament processes and verification, the future of nuclear energy, regional conflict and nuclear weapons, security for nuclear weapons and materials, and other issues of nuclear policy. 

Contact: Matthew Parent  


The Middle East Initiative (MEI) is dedicated to advancing public policy in the Middle East through applied research, engagement with practitioners and scholars, and leadership development on campus and in the region. Led by Professor Tarek Masoud and housed at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Middle East Initiative’s research priorities include strengthening governance and economic development, promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and exploring the region’s environmental and technological challenges and opportunities. MEI currently offers several fellowship opportunities for scholars and practitioners at all career stages, and hosts a large number of public events and seminars on campus with scholars, analysts, and policymakers. 

Visit website. Contact: Marina Lorenzini  


The Defense Project seeks to increase the Belfer Center’s visibility and capacity to advance policy relevant knowledge in defense and international security areas and help prepare future leaders for service in those fields. Through a robust speaker series of visiting senior military officers and DoD civilian leaders, this initiative links defense professionals with Belfer researchers, faculty, and Kennedy School students, to facilitate better policy-making in the field and enrich the education of fellows and students about security issues. 

National Security Fellows program is housed within the Defense Project. The National Security Fellows are U.S. military officers and civilian officials from the Department of Defense and the intelligence community who are eligible for senior developmental education and come to Harvard for their "senior service college" year. They have the opportunity to study a wide range of public management and security issues. They belong to a fellowship community that brings other practitioners such as politicians, journalists, diplomats and educators to Harvard. After they leave Cambridge, Fellows continue to take part in a variety of events that are organized regularly for alumni of Harvard Kennedy School. 

Contact: Olivia Leiwant  


The Intelligence Project seeks to build a new generation of intelligence practitioners prepared to serve in a rapidly changing world and to help future policymakers and intelligence consumers understand how best to interact with intelligence to gain a decision advantage. Building on multi-disciplinary research being conducted at the Belfer Center, from history to human rights and cyber technologies, the Intelligence Project links intelligence agencies with Belfer researchers, Faculty, and HKS students, to enrich their education and impact public policy. 

The Recanati-Kaplan Foundation Fellows Program is housed within the Intelligence Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The fellowship educates the next generation of thought leaders in national and international intelligence and supports their research to develop policy-relevant knowledge for the most pressing security issues. Since 2012 the Belfer Center has hosted a small, select group of active intelligence officers from the US and foreign intelligence services for a full year of academic study at Harvard University. The purpose of the fellowship is to help prepare the next generation of intelligence leaders for positions of increasing responsibility when they return to their organizations. In return, fellows bring a wealth of practical experience and knowledge to the University.  

Contact:  Maria Robson-Morrow  


The purpose of the Stanton Nuclear Security fellowships is to stimulate the development of the next generation of thought leaders in nuclear security by supporting research that will advance policy-relevant understanding of the issues. Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows are joint International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom research fellows. 

Contact: Matthew Parent  

Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

The Carr Center’s mission is to realize global justice through theory, policy, and practice. We conduct groundbreaking research, educate students and the next generation of policy practitioners, and convene leaders from around the world to inform and influence human rights. Our work focuses primarily on racial justice, nonviolent action, recent issues presented by COVID-19, transitional justice, and the intersection of technology and human rights.

The Carr Center offers fellowships to policymakers, researchers, and post-doctoral students with demonstrable expertise in these issues. Scholars and practitioners are given the opportunity to spend a semester or one year at Harvard conducting research, sharing experiences with students, and exploring critical human rights issues with a distinguished group of peers. In particular, the Technology and Human Rights Fellowship at the Carr Center invites candidates to conduct research on the ethical and rights implications of technological advancements and artificial intelligence.

Visit our website to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Contact: Sushma Raman (Executive Director)

Center for International Development

Housed at Harvard Kennedy School, the Center for International Development (CID) is a research center working across Harvard University and a global network of researchers and practitioners to build an international pool of talent, convene academic and practitioner networks, and deploy breakthrough research to address the world’s most pressing challenges. At CID, we believe that together we can design and implement policies that help everyone realize their full potential.


Building State Capability (BSC) resolves public problems with purpose. We have developed a dynamic step-by-step approach called Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) to empower action, facilitate the emergence of local solutions, and create new capabilities to solve public problems. We build capability by delivering results.

BSC supports government implementation teams to work iteratively using the PDIA approach. We offer training programs, provide tools and self-paced guides, publish papers, post blogs, record podcasts, and host events on a wide range of topics in international development. We have trained and engaged over 3,500 practitioners in 148 countries and created a community of practice for people working on implementing public policies around the world.

Visit our website. Contact: Salimah Samji (Program Director)


EPoD’s vision is a world where evidence drives continuous improvement in states, systems, and societies for better lives. They believe the best way to foster economic development is to work directly with those who make decisions and implement policy. EPoD engages with policy actors through 1) Rigorous, on-the-ground embedded research and 2) Innovative, evidence-driven capacity building.

The EPoD Research Fellows Program is both a predoctoral opportunity and an avenue for EPoD professors to work with highly qualified individuals with a strong interest in pursuing an academic career in economics or public policy. EPoD fellowships grant fellows a period to collaborate closely with EPoD faculty on a specific research project, and gain experience in microeconomic research methods including research design, and data collection and analysis. Fellows become members of a tight-knit research community at EPoD and the Center for International Development (CID): fellows attend informal lunches and regular seminars/workshops where they have a chance to present on and discuss their research. They can also network among the broader Kennedy School community and enjoy a broad range of activities across Harvard.

Contact: Eve Margolis (Senior Program Manager, CID)


The Growth Lab is a research program driven to understanding why many places are excluded from the economic growth process and what societies can do to attain greater shared prosperity. We do this by pushing the frontiers of economic growth and development policy research, collaborating with policymakers to design actions, and sharing our insights through teaching, tools, and publications.

Led by Ricardo Hausmann, the Growth Lab uniquely blends academic research, policy research, and digital tools development. Our teams combine pioneering academic research on the determinants of growth and its social, political, and environmental sustainability, along with place-based engagements that apply these methods to expand opportunity across the world.

For Fellowships and other opportunities, please visit our website.  Contact: Andrea Hayes

Center for Public Leadership

The Center for Public Leadership is committed to growing leaders in a changing world. Recognizing that effective public leadership is essential to the common good, CPL serves people in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors through cutting-edge research, teaching, and leadership development efforts.


Hosted at the Social Innovation and Change Initiative (SICI), the Marla and Barry Beck Visiting Social Innovators program invites accomplished practitioners from around the world to advance positive social impact within and beyond the Harvard University community. These practitioners operate beyond traditional boundaries, bringing a multi-sector, global, systems perspective to their work. Through elements of their vision for change, approach, and lived example, they reflect SICI’s values, vision, and key priorities. Beck Visiting Social Innovators are selected for their deep expertise, thoughtfully cultivated networks, creative energy, and track record of social impact accomplishment. Additionally, they have a strong desire to contribute meaningfully to the development of individual students, impact in the communities they represent, and the social innovation ecosystem more broadly.

Contact: Colleen Kelly ( Assistant Director)


The Hauser Leaders Program at Harvard Kennedy School hosts a unique portfolio of high-profile leaders and practitioners from across public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Hauser Leaders spend their time on campus advising students and engaging with faculty during richly-programmed visits throughout the academic year. By teaching skill-building and leadership development workshops, engaging key external stakeholders, and advising students and alumni, Hauser Leaders enact the Center for Public Leadership’s mission to develop principled, effective public leaders who make positive change in the world. Hauser Leaders also inform Harvard curriculum by speaking in the classroom, engaging in research and case development, and sharing expertise with lead faculty.

Contact: Anastasia Trainque (Assistant Director, Special Programs)


CPL hosts, by invitation only, distinguished scholars and practitioners whose research makes a significant contribution to leadership-relevant scholarship. These fellowships are currently offered without stipend.

Contact: Ken Himmelman (Executive Director)

Institute of Politics

Harvard’s Institute of Politics was created as a memorial to President Kennedy to inspire students to get involved in politics and public service. The institute oversees the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, one of the world’s premier arenas for speech and debate, and runs a unique resident fellows program for political practitioners to spend a semester at Harvard.


The IOP Fellows Program represents a unique opportunity for political practitioners with diverse experiences and viewpoints to spend a semester at Harvard. Fellows lead a not-for-credit study group, participate in Institute activities, and engage in informal interchange with students and faculty. The Fellows Program is central to the Institute's dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to develop ways for the academic and political communities to learn from each other.

Contact: Cassidy Bissell (Fellows & Study Groups Coordinator)

Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy

The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy is a Harvard Kennedy School research center dedicated to increasing understanding of how people access, create, and process information, particularly as it relates to news and societal issues, and describing potential solutions to the problems facing our information ecosystem. The Center advances its mission of protecting the information ecosystem and supporting healthy democracy by addressing the twin crises of trust and truth that face communities around the world. It pursues this work through academic research, teaching, a program of visiting fellows, conferences, and other initiatives.


The mission of the Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Program is to advance research in the field of media, politics and public policy; facilitate a dialogue among journalists, scholars, policymakers and students; provide an opportunity for reflection; and create a vibrant and long-lasting community of scholars and practitioners. The primary focus for a Fellow is to research, write and publish a 15-20-page paper on a media/politics topic.

Contact: Caroline Kracunas, Events & Fellows Coordinator


The Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship brings high-profile figures at the forefront of media, politics, and public policy to the Harvard Kennedy School to work with students, faculty, scholars, and the public on important issues of the moment. The Fellows spend varying periods of time at Harvard and focus on important policy areas.

Contact: Caroline Kracunas, Events & Fellows Coordinator

A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence

The A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence Program brings professional nonfiction writers to the Shorenstein Center and provides an opportunity for them to conduct research and work on a specific project, as well as interact with a community of scholars and students. In addition to a writing project, the A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence teaches student workshops and participates in Shorenstein Center events.

Contact: Caroline Kracunas, Events & Fellows Coordinator

Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy draws on the worlds of scholarship, policy, teaching and practice to address public policy questions about inequality and economic mobility, criminal justice reform, the future of work, race and history, education, poverty, health policy, human services, immigration, and labor.  The Center is a community of faculty, researchers, fellows and staff who:

  • Conduct research on important policy issues that affect the lives of those who are most vulnerable;
  • Provide professional executive education for those in the world of practice;
  • Educate the next generation of academics and policy scholars;
  • Develop working collaborations with practitioners and the broader policy community.

The Center hosts visiting scholars and practitioners at various times during the academic year.  Faculty members also sponsor predoctoral and postdoctoral research fellow opportunities for college and university graduates who gain experience and expertise working on social policy research projects.  Harvard University PhD students in the social sciences can also apply for doctoral fellow opportunities through the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone PhD Scholars in Inequality and Wealth Concentration and the Malcolm Hewitt Wiener PhD Scholars in Poverty and Justice programs.  Information about the Center’s research, programs, projects, PhD education, seminars, and fellowship opportunities are featured on the website.

Visit Website. Contact: Barbara Whalen (Executive Director)

Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

The Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government is dedicated to advancing the state of knowledge and policy concerning some of society’s most challenging problems at the interface of business and government. The scope of its work ranges from the local to the global levels, and brings together thought leaders from both the public and private sectors.


M-RCBG Senior Fellows contribute to understanding the rapidly evolving relationship between business and government. They are distinguished professionals from government and/or business who come to M-RCBG to address issues at the interface of the public and private sectors: regulation, corporate governance, and the role of government in the changing global economy. Senior fellows undertake independent research projects that culminate in a working paper, a journal article or, in rare cases, a book. They also offer study groups for Harvard students. Their role strengthens the connection between theory and practice, offering both faculty and students insights into the nature of social problems and their most practical solutions. Senior fellow appointments are non-stipendiary (unpaid).

A list of fellows can be seen here.

Contact: Susan Gill (Program Coordinator, M-RCBG)

Research Fellows

Research Fellows engage in academic, policy-relevant work and engage with students.

A list of fellows can be found here.

Contact: Dan Murphy, Executive Director

Technology, Innovation, and Regulation

This program investigates business models of digital technology companies and facilitates discussion and development of new regulatory policy frameworks that can address the most prominent challenges of our time, from disinformation to the spread of hateful conduct online.

The program fellows can be seen here.

Contact: Claire Byrne, Executive Assistant to M-RCBG Co-Director, John Haigh, and is also the Program Administrator of the Healthcare Policy Program


The Harvard Environmental Economics Program develops innovative answers to today's complex environmental issues, by providing a venue to bring together faculty and graduate students from across the University engaged in teaching, research and outreach, in environmental and economics research and related public policy.

Contact: Robert Stowe (Executive Director)


The Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard sponsors a small number of stipendary and non-stipendary fellowships each year at the Kennedy School of Government who conduct research and receive advanced training in Science and Technology Studies. For more information on the Fellows Program, click here. For information on past fellows, see the links on the left. Below are a list of the current fellows with the program and a brief description of their backgrounds and interests, with links to more detailed pages containing more detailed information.

Contact: Laura Flynn, Program Manager


Harvard's Sustainability Science Program harnesses the University's strengths to promote the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development. The Program addresses the challenge of sustainable development by:

  • advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems;
  • improving linkages between research and policy communities; and
  • building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability.

The Program supports major initiatives in policy-relevant research, faculty research, training of students and fellows, teaching, and outreach.

A fellow list can be found here.

Contact: Professor Bill Clark

Public Impact Analytics Science Lab (PIAS-Lab

The Public Impact Analytics Science Lab (PIAS-Lab) at Harvard, founded and directed by Soroush Saghafian, is devoted to advancing and applying the science of analytics for solving societal problems that can have public impact. The mission of the lab is to improve societal outcomes by developing, integrating, and using appropriate analytical tools in Operations Research, Machine Learning and Big DataDecision MakingStatisticsArtificial Intelligence (AI), and related fields.

A list of fellows can be found here.

Contact: Catherine Kearns

Kansai Keizai Doyukai Program

The Kansai Keizai Doyukai is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization comprised of leading corporations in the Osaka region of Japan. It was formed in 1946 by business leaders who shared a common desire to contribute to the reconstruction of the Japanese economy. Its members share the belief that corporate managers should be key players in a broad range of political, economic, and social issues. One of the Doyukai’s missions is to examine critical issues that relate to Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. In 1999, the Doyukai signed a partnership agreement with CBG to provide funding for an annual one-day symposium in Cambridge, the placement of fellows, and research on topics of joint interest.

Contact: Dan Murphy, Executive Director

Taubman Center for State and Local Government

Applications are invited for master's and postdoctoral research fellowships focused on Education Entrepreneurship and Education Policy with the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). 

Applicants to the master’s fellowship must have a strong interest in educational entrepreneurship, reform and policy, and must be applying for or currently pursuing a degree program at Harvard University. Applicants to the postdoctoral research fellowship must have attained their PhD in a relevant discipline in the last five years.

Visit our website to apply.

Women and Public Policy Program

The Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School advances women and gender equity in economic opportunity, political participation, and education by creating knowledge, training leaders, and informing public policy and organizational practices.

We envision a world in which everyone is able to define and fulfill their life aspirations unconstrained by gender bias. Our mission is to equip leaders and changemakers with rigorous evidence-based strategies to advance women and gender equity.

Our research provides evidence-based insights on the role of gender in shaping economic, political, and social opportunities available to individuals. We identify successful interventions and measure their impact on women, men, and society, then share recommendations on what policies, organizational practices, and leadership techniques help close involuntary gaps.

We train today’s leaders and prepare future leaders to create a more gender equal world, while providing women with skills and tools to successfully navigate existing systems. We draw on Harvard University’s unparalleled faculty expertise and its global reach to impact the thinking of those who make decisions across sectors.

No other organization in the world builds on behavioral insights to create evidence-based organizational designs that can promote women's empowerment, overcome gender bias, and provide equal opportunities for women and men, like the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School. And no other entity provides assistance to organizations with the goal of consulting, learning and teaching at the same time, benefiting from the talent pool of Harvard faculty, students and fellows.


WAPPP offers non-stipendiary fellowships to exceptional scholars conducting gender-related research in one of WAPPP’s four focal areas (economic opportunity, political participation, health, and education). The fellowship program brings together a diverse set of researchers and supports their work through a community of faculty, students, and other fellows across HKS and beyond. Fellows enrich the intellectual life of the center through active participation in WAPPP research seminars, as well as other seminars relevant to their interests. Fellows are also expected to complete a book, monograph, scholarly article, or other significant publication during their period of residence.

Contact: Laura Botero (Programs and Special Projects Coordinator)