Scholarships and awards

External Award: Harvard University Bell Fellowships

November 09, 2016

The David E. Bell Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) provides opportunities for research and leadership training in a flexible, one or two year non-degree program for postdoctoral researchers in the field of population and development. Selected candidates possess a strong record of academic training, proven research experience, a commitment to population and development work, the demonstrated ability to work independently, and leadership potential. This program is open to both U.S. and international scholars.

Bell Fellows examine a broad range of critical issues in the field of population and development studies from multidisciplinary perspectives. Most will have interests that match the HCPDS’s focal areas: social and environmental determinants of population health; migration and immigration; causes and consequences of health transitions (aging societies); and health consequences of work place policies and work design. The wide range of perspectives will enhance the fellows’ experiences and broaden the community life at the Center.

Stipend and Benefits

Fellows have access to the full range of resources offered by Harvard University and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Each fellow is provided with shared office space at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies in Harvard Square, Cambridge, plus library privileges, health benefits, a research and travel budget, and a stipend of $60,000 U.S. dollars per year (12 month appointment).

Application Procedure

Application materials will be accepted starting September 1, 2015. Completed applications must be received by 3:00 P.M. EST on Friday, December 9, 2016. Please note that ALL application materials must be submitted electronically as individual PDF files (i.e. CV as one PDF document, research proposal as a second PDF document, etc.) Your submission should include:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. PDFs of all transcripts from college and any graduate schools attended. You must have completed all doctoral requirements prior to starting the program on Sept 1, 2017 (see #7 below).
  3. Research Proposal. No more than 2,000 words addressing the following questions:
    – Describe your dissertation or other current research.
    – What questions are you interested in addressing as a Bell Fellow? How will this build on your work to date, fill gaps in your current knowledge, and change your career trajectory?
    – Describe your current methodological and analytical skills, and what advanced training you would hope to achieve in this area.
    – Describe which Pop Center faculty you would be interested in collaborating with and whether you would be interested in a one or two year fellowship and why. Note that you do NOT have to contact them prior to applying for the fellowship.
  4. A writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing and analytical skills, as well as the ability to generate interesting and original ideas. This can be a published article or a draft publication. The page limit to the writing sample is 20 pages. If you submit more, only the first 20 pages will be accepted.
  5. Your current contact information including mailing address and phone number(s).
  6. Three letters of recommendation, emailed directly from the recommender and, if possible, on letterhead. Letter writers should provide the following information:
    – How long he/she has known the applicant
    – Relationship to the applicant (e.g. advisor)
    – Quantitative ranking of this candidate compared to others (e.g. top 10%)
    In addition, the letter should comment on the applicant’s:
    – Writing skills
    – Analytical skills
    – Ability to form new and creative ideas and research questions
    – Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  7. All incoming scholars must provide proof that they have completed all doctoral requirements by the time of entry into the program (September 1, 2017). The following forms will be accepted 1) Copy of Diploma (Preferred); 2) Letter from Registrar’s Office noting that all doctoral requirements have been completed; or 3) Letter from chair of thesis committee noting that all doctoral requirements have been completed. Those with M.D.s and J.D.s are also eligible to apply.

All application materials should be emailed to For more details please see here.

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