Harvard University Environmental Fellows Program

Harvard University - Center for the Environment in Massachusetts

Deadline January 14, 2015
Date Posted August 28, 2014
Type Post-doc
Salary Competitive
Employment Type Full-time

The Environmental Fellows at Harvard form a community of researchers with diverse backgrounds united by intellectual curiosity, top-quality scholarship, and a drive to understand some of the most important environmental challenges facing society.

The Harvard University Center for the Environment created the Environmental Fellows program to enable recent doctorate recipients to use and expand Harvard's extraordinary resources to tackle complex environmental problems. The Environmental Fellows will work for two years with Harvard faculty members in any school or department to create new knowledge while also strengthening connections across the University's academic disciplines.

The award:
The fellowship will provide an annual stipend of $60,000, eligibility for health insurance, a $2,500 annual allowance for travel and professional expenses, and other employee benefits.

The Harvard University Center for the Environment expects to award approximately six fellowships for the 2015 cohort. The Center will organize a co-curricular program to ensure that the fellows get to know each other and each other's work. All fellows will attend biweekly dinners with their colleagues, faculty members, and guests.

Selection criteria:

  • Applicant's prior academic and professional success and his or her potential contribution to scholarship or practice
  • Project significance: the potential impact of the research project on scholarship at Harvard and on environmental problems 
  • Diversity: The selection committee will select a group of fellows in 2015 who will complement those selected the previous year, creating a group of approximately 10 men and women with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and a diverse set of academic interests and skills. The ideal group would include fellows working with host faculty members at every one of Harvard's professional schools and many of the departments overseen by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Recipients—and hosts—may include people with degrees in the sciences, economics, law, government, public policy, public health, medicine, design, and the full array of humanities. Their research topics will be equally varied. 
  • Interdisciplinary research projects are encouraged, although this is not a requirement for the fellowship. Candidates with interests in a single discipline are encouraged to apply. 
  • Host's commitment: the host faculty member's enthusiasm for the proposed project and fellow, the host's ability to mentor the fellow, and his or her ability to provide office space and a productive work environment.


  • Candidates for 2015 Environmental Fellowships should have received their terminal degree between May 2011 and August 2015. (Fellows must have filed their dissertation before starting their appointment in September 2015.)
  • Candidates with a doctorate or equivalent in any field are eligible, and they may propose research projects in any discipline. Applicants without a Ph.D. may apply if they have studied in fields where the Ph.D. is not the typical terminal degree. All successful candidates will be able to demonstrate experience performing scholarly research.
  • Each candidate must secure a commitment from one or more Harvard faculty members to serve as a mentor and to provide office or lab space for the two-year fellowship.
  • Harvard is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. The Center strongly encourages women and minorities to apply.
  • Candidates may have received their degrees at any university in the world. Foreign nationals are eligible for fellowships, though study at Harvard generally requires proficiency in English.
  • Candidates who received terminal degrees from Harvard, and post-docs currently working at Harvard are eligible for the fellowship provided their research and host arrangements take them in new directions and forge new connections within the University. Harvard candidates should not propose to continue to work with the same professors or lab groups with whom they are currently associated. No candidate should propose to work extensively with his or her thesis advisor.
  • Successful candidates should be prepared to commit to work at Harvard for the full two years of the fellowship. This fellowship requires residency in the Cambridge area and any fieldwork trip must be scheduled for the summer or January recess.

How to Apply:

Please be sure to closely read the Program Requirements. Applications for the 2015 cohort are due by January 14, 2015. The Center will select a group of fellows and alternates by March 2015, and contact applicants with results at that time.


1. Please complete the following form and attach the relevant supporting documents as PDFs:
     a) curriculum vitae including list of publications;
     b) detailed research proposal, maximum of five pages, references counted separately;
     c) up to three publications/writing samples

2. Three letters of reference, including one from the applicant's dissertation adviser.

3. A letter of support is also required from the applicant's host committing to serve as a mentor and explaining his or her commitment to the proposed research, including the provision of office or lab space and any financial commitments.

Applicants are encouraged to ask their referees and hosts to email letters of reference as PDFs or, if necessary, as Word documents attached to the emails. Referees and hosts should send their letters directly to the attention of Jean Gauthier at the Center at environmental_fellows@harvard.edu. 

The Center will notify applicants to confirm receipt of a complete application.


How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at http://environment.harvard.edu/application