THE SOCIETY OF FELLOWS
The purpose of the Society is to give men and women at an early
stage of their scholarly careers an opportunity to pursue their studies
in any department of the University, free from formal requirements. They must
of exceptional ability, originality, and resourcefulness, and should be
of the highest calibre of intellectual achievement, comparable to successful
candidates for junior faculty positions at leading universities.
These Junior Fellows are selected by the Senior Fellows, who with the President and Provost
and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, ex officio, administer
the Society. Those elected receive three year fellowships.
The Society was organized in 1933 under the terms of a gift
from A. Lawrence Lowell, then President Emeritus of Harvard. This gift
was made in memory of Mr. Lowell's wife and is known as the Anna Parker Lowell
Lowell was convinced of the value of informal discussions between scholars
in different academic fields. Hence, from the time of its foundation, the Senior
and Junior Fellows have met for dinner every Monday night during term-time and
are frequently joined by visiting scholars. Junior Fellows also lunch together
twice a week.
To be eligible for a Junior Fellowship, a candidate must be
at an early stage of his or her scholarly career. Men and women interested
field of study are accepted. Most Junior Fellows receive the Ph.D. just prior
to the start of the fellowship. If still pursuing the Ph.D., Junior Fellows should
be at the dissertation stage of their theses and be prepared to finish their
degrees within a year of becoming fellows. If already a recipient of the degree,
they should not be much more than a year past the Ph.D. at the time the fellowship
The number of Junior Fellows at any one time normally is limited
to thirty-six, and usually twelve are chosen each year. The term of appointment
is three years, and no extensions are granted. During the academic year, Junior Fellows are required to reside in Cambridge or close-by neighboring communities and to regularly attend all of the weekly lunches and dinners. Junior Fellows are expected to work full-time in the office or lab space provided to them by the University during term time. Junior Fellows are not subject to examination,
are not required to make reports, receive no credit for courses, and
not be candidates for any degree other than the Ph.D. Those who are still
pursuing the Ph.D. should have completed their routine training for advanced
should be well along in the writing of their theses before becoming Fellows.
They may complete the writing of their theses and proceed to such final
special examinations as the universities of their candidacies may require,
and may be
granted the degree of Ph.D.
Junior Fellows are selected for their resourcefulness, initiative,
and intellectual curiosity, and because their work holds exceptional
promise. They are free to devote their entire time to productive scholarship.
may undertake sustained projects of research or other original work, or they
devote their time to the acquisition of accessory disciplines, so as
to prepare themselves for the investigation of problems lying between conventional
Because of this complete freedom of choice and action, it is important
that candidates should have demonstrated their capacity for independent work.
During 2015/2016 the stipend for Junior Fellows in their first
year will be $72,000. The facilities of most branches of the University,
both for instruction and for research, are open to Junior Fellows.
Candidates whose research requires substantial laboratory space or
extensive equipment should explore arrangements with the appropriate members
faculty at Harvard for the necessary support. If there is any problem in
candidates should inform the Chair.
Candidates are nominated for Junior Fellowships, generally
by those under whom they have studied. Applications are not accepted
from candidates themselves. A letter of nomination should include an assessment
the candidate's work and promise i.e. full letter of recommendation as well as the candidate's complete contact
information, including current
address and email address,
names, mailing addresses, and email addresses of three addtional people who have agreed to write
recommendation by mid September.
Upon receipt of the mailed nomination,
the Society will request letters of recommendation from the referees and
candidate to submit samples of written work (i.e. dissertation
chapters, articles, papers) along with a one or two-page
proposal describing the studies he or she would like to
pursue while a Junior Fellow. The candidate is also requested
provide official transcripts of both undergraduate and
The Society will request that the letters of recommendation be submitted electronically - not by email, but through an upload to a secure portal site. After receipt of the nomination, the three referees will be contacted by our office both by regular mail and email and asked to submit their letters within 3 weeks of the date of our email. They will be provided with a link to the submission portal. (This is why full and accurate email addresses are necessary to process the nomination.) Instructions for uploading letters will be provided to each referee, along with a password to enter the secure site.
On the basis of the materials submitted,
Fellows select a certain number of candidates for interview.
It is from this number that the final selection is made.
(The Society pays the traveling expenses of those candidates
deadline for receiving nominations for Junior Fellowships which begin
July 1, 2016, is Friday, August 14, 2015. No nomination will be accepted with a postmark past
the deadline. Nominations will not be accepted by email.
All letters should be sent
The Society of Fellows
78 Mount Auburn
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
In accordance with Harvard University policy, the Society of
Fellows does not discriminate against any person on the basis of
race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin,
beliefs, veteran status, or handicap in admission to access to, treatment
in, or employment in its programs and activities. The following office
to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies: the Office of the Assistant to the President, Smith Campus Center, Room 935, Cambridge, MA 02138.
inquiries regarding the application of nondiscrimination policies
many be referred to the Regional Director, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department
Education, 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109.