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The Academy Scholars Program identifies and supports outstanding scholars at the start of their careers whose work combines disciplinary excellence in the social sciences or law with a command of the language and history or culture of countries or regions outside of the United States or Canada.


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 cultures or regions outside of the US or Canada shows promise as a foundation for exceptional careers in major universities or international institutions.


Academy Scholars are appointed for a two-year, in-residence, postdoctoral fellowship at The Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.


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.


  • Open only to recent PhD (or comparable professional school degree) recipients and doctoral candidates in the social sciences or law.


  • 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.


  • If you have completed a PhD program, the PhD completion date must be within three years of the October 1 application deadline. For applicants applying for the October 1, 2021 deadline, you must have completed your PhD or equivalent after September 30, 2018.

Program Benefits

  • Postdoctoral Academy Scholars will receive an annual stipend of $70,000. If selected before earning the PhD, the Scholars will receive an annual stipend of $35,000 until awarded the PhD.


  • This stipend is supplemented by funding for conference and research travel, research assistants, and health insurance coverage. Some teaching is permitted but not required.


How To Apply 

The completed application will include:

  • Cover letter which succinctly states the applicant’s academic field, country or region of specialization, and proposed research topic


  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé; including list of publications


  • Research proposal (2500 word maximum); including intellectual objectives and planned methodological and disciplinary work


  • A copy of your PhD program transcript


  • Three letters of recommendation (uploaded through the online application)


Letters should be addressed to the “Selection Committee.” Letters of recommendation need to be uploaded by the deadline of October 1.


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All parts of the application, including the three letters of recommendation, are submitted online as PDF documents.




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