Harvard Kennedy School Middle East Initiative Research Fellowship Program 2021-2022 (Funding available)

Harvard Kennedy School Middle East Initiative Research Fellowship Program 2021-2022 (Funding available)

Deadline: January 15, 2021

Applications are open for the Harvard Kennedy School Middle East Initiative Research Fellowship Program 2021-2022. The Middle East Initiative Research Fellowship Program, part of the Emirates Leadership Initiative, offers one-year fellowships for researchers at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and junior faculty level for research related to Middle Eastern governance and public policy.

Priority will be given to applications pursuing one of these six primary areas of focus:

  • Improving Governance: Promoting the inclusivity, accountability, responsiveness, and efficiency of governing institutions and empowering the region’s citizens.
  • Building Peace: Addressing the sources of domestic and interstate conflict and generating durable political settlements.
  • Revitalizing the State: Improving the capacity of state institutions and reforming social service delivery systems, with a special emphasis on health, education, and social protection.
  • Broadening Financial and Labor Markets: Working to ensure that financial and labor markets in the Middle East are open, competitive, and inclusive.
  • Governing Technology: Assessing how governments in the Middle East adapt to and integrate technological changes such as the growth of cyberspace, automation, and artificial intelligence, as well as how these advances in technology have shaped governance.
  • Adapting to Environmental Challenges: Exploring how the governments of the region can cope and are coping with the challenges of water scarcity and climate change.


  • The Middle East Initiative offers ten-month stipends of $40,000 to pre-doctoral fellows and $58,000 to postdoctoral fellows.


Eligible candidates include advanced doctoral candidates, recent recipients of a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, and untenured faculty members. They welcome applications from political  scientists, historians, economists, sociologists, and other social scientists. They also encourage applications from women, minorities, and citizens of all countries.

  • Applicants for pre-doctoral fellowships: Applicants must have passed general examinations, advanced to candidacy, received dissertation prospectus approval, and concluded all necessary fieldwork for the dissertation by the time of application. The strong expectation is that pre-doctoral fellows will defend their dissertations at the end of their residency with HKS.
  • Applicants for post-doctoral fellowships: Applicants who expect to complete their Ph.D. program prior to the fellowship can apply for a postdoctoral appointment, noting that postdoctoral fellowship offers are contingent upon submitting proof of Ph.D. completion prior to the September 1 fellowship start date.


Fellows are generally expected to:

  • Complete a 25-30 page Working Paper to be published by the Middle East Initiative.
  • Present their research at seminars open to the public.
  • Attend seminars of other Middle East Initiative research fellows.
  • Participate in Middle East Initiative activities as appropriate.


The following are application requirements:

  • CV/ Resume
  • Unofficial transcript (pre-doctoral fellow applicants only)
  • Contact information for 3 recommenders submitting letters on your behalf
  • Research statement (3-5 pages)
  • Writing sample (less than 50 pages) with abstract of 300 words or less:
    • Should be one published or unpublished piece written by the applicant
    • Can be a journal article, book chapter, dissertation chapter, white paper, etc. you have produced in your field

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Harvard Kennedy School.