Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships 2017-18, Harvard University

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The Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program offers fellowships for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in the stimulating environment of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. STPP is a research, teaching, and outreach program of the Belfer Center, devoted to the intellectual exploration of the critical role that science and technology play in society and the complex interplay between scientific and technological innovation and public policy.

STPP Fellows are provided with a stipend, benefits, and some support for research and travel expenses.  Each fellow, in consultation with Prof. Dan Schrag, Director of STPP, will be assigned a faculty mentor affiliated with the STPP Program to supervise his or her research. We anticipate that the mentors will be active participants in the research activities.

Applications are encouraged in three major research areas: Energy Innovation and Deep Decarbonization; Cybersecurity and Digital Technology Policy; and Emerging Issues in Science, Technology and Public Policy. In addition, there are several faculty-specific research opportunities associated with ongoing research projects available on the official webpage (see "Further OFficial Information" below this announcement).

Energy Innovation and Deep Decarbonization
(Joint with ENRP)

The world energy system is in the early stages of a transformation, driven by concerns about climate change and other environmental issues, by geopolitics and security, and by technological innovation and changing costs. The broad goal of this new project, which replaces the Energy Technology Innovation Project (ETIP), is to understand the interactions between policies and technologies as the world struggles to decarbonize the energy system, while simultaneously addressing concerns about security, reliability, and cost.  This project is led by Dan Schrag (Director of STPP) and Henry Lee (Director of ENRP) and involves many other faculty members at the Harvard Kennedy School working on energy and climate policy.

There are currently two major areas of focus for this program.

Policies for low-carbon development in China — Achieving deeper levels of carbon emissions reductions in China (i.e., beyond 2030) is a formidable challenge because of the enormous dependence on large, coal-fired power plants for electricity generation and the rapidly growing demand for petroleum in transportation. Applications are encouraged from scholars interested in exploring various strategies to achieve deep reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from China through policy design and energy technology innovation, focusing on both renewable energy penetration and deployment of nuclear energy and the interaction between conventional pollution abatement and carbon emission reduction.

Challenges and opportunities for nuclear power — For some regions of the world with limited renewable resources, nuclear power is a critical component of plans to achieve low-carbon goals.  Even in countries with substantial renewable options, uncertainty about managing intermittent power sources makes nuclear power an attractive option. Applications are encouraged from scholars interested in exploring policy pathways to broader deployment of existing nuclear energy technologies, including risks and obstacles, as well as policy pathways to next-generation nuclear technologies.

Cybersecurity and Digital Technology Policy

As our dependence on information technology for all aspects of civilian and military activities grows, so does the challenge of keeping networks secure.  One of our primary goals is to help policymakers develop a conceptual arsenal to better understand conflict in cyberspace.  While we are particularly interested in researchers working on cyber conflict issues (such as the offense/defense balance and escalation control in cyberspace), we also welcome applications from researchers working on cybersecurity issues more broadly (such as protecting critical infrastructure from cyber attacks or navigating the tradeoffs between privacy and security). We will also consider applicants with other interests in digital technology policy including scholars interested in studying the evolving role of digital technology in government and the interplay between technology and policy in campaigns, elections, and social movements. 

Emerging Issues in Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Applications are invited from outstanding scholars working in areas of science, technology, and public policy that do not fit into other projects described elsewhere.  Applicants should identify one or more faculty members at Harvard who could serve as mentors and identify the new work they plan to do as part of this fellowship.


  1. CV
  2. Unofficial transcript (pre-doctoral fellowship applicants only)
  3. Research statement (3–5 pages) For those applying for a cybersecurity fellowship, the first page should be a separate statement of no more than 500 words that describes the policy relevance of at least one piece of the proposed research.  This statement should include a clear articulation of the intended audience, as well as the problem or problems that the research will help the intended audience address. This statement should be combined with the research proposal into a single .pdf.
  4. Writing sample (less than 50 pages)
  5. Contact information for 3 recommenders submitting letters on your behalf 

Potential fellows should apply through the Belfer Center's regular fellowship process to one of the research projects specified above and should highlight research interests that are relevant to STPP.

The 2017–2018 application period is now open and will close on January 15, 2017. Recommendations will be due on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Decisions will be announced by March 31, 2017. To apply, please complete the online application form on the official website (see "Further Official Information" below).

For further information about the STPP fellowship programs:

Patricia McLaughlin
STPP Fellowship Coordinator
Telephone: 617-495-1498

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