The Harvard University Center for the Environment extends a warm welcome to the 2020 class of Environmental Fellows: Meir Alkon, Vinicius de Aguiar Furuie, John Philbin, and Agnes E. Thorarinsdottir. These fellows will join a group of remarkable scholars who will be beginning the second year of their fellowships.
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 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 fellowship includes a salary of $70,000 per year, employee health insurance eligibility, and a $2,500 allowance for travel and other professional expenses. The Environmental Fellows Program is open to anyone with a doctorate or comparable terminal degree awarded between May 2017 and August 2021. The Harvard University Center for the Environment expects to award approximately 5-6 fellowships for the 2021 cohort.
The Center organizes a co-curricular program to ensure that the fellows get to know each other and each other's work. All fellows join in biweekly dinners along with Harvard faculty and a speaker also from amongst the Harvard faculty.
- Applicant's prior academic and professional success and his or her potential contribution to scholarship or practice.
- Project proposals are carefully evaluated by a committee of HUCE faculty. The proposed project should represent an independent line of inquiry, clearly extending beyond the candidate’s Ph.D. work as well as the host’s ongoing research. The relevance of the proposed work for addressing environmental issues, along with demonstration of excellent potential for intellectual achievement, are critical factors in the selection process.
- Diversity: the selection committee will select a group of fellows in 2021 who will complement those selected the previous year, creating a group of approximately a dozen people with diverse backgrounds and sets of academic interests. The intellectual focus of fellows—and their hosts—may include the sciences, economics, law, government, public policy, public health, medicine, design, and the full array of humanities.
- Harvard candidates: those receiving 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 that are significantly distinct from their Ph.D. research and forge new connections within the University. Harvard candidates should not propose to continue to work with the same professors or groups with whom they are currently associated, nor should their proposal be an extenuation of their current work.
- Interdisciplinary research projects are encouraged, although this is not a requirement for the fellowship, and candidates with interests in a single discipline are also encouraged to apply.
- Host's commitment: Further important considerations are 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.
- Interview: A select group of applicants will be asked to further discuss their proposal over video with the selection committee.
Finding a Host:
Potential candidates should start early to identify and establish a relationship with a Harvard faculty member to host his or her research. The host will be a mentor to the fellow and will provide office space and basic administrative support. In agreeing to be a host, the faculty member is making a significant commitment.
Successful candidates will be enthusiastically recommended by their proposed host. Each applicant's host must submit a letter of support (maximum of two pages) to the selection committee describing in detail the level of commitment to the research and the candidate. Often Harvard faculty members are approached by many would-be applicants. Some faculty members conduct their own selection process to identify one or two applicants for recommendation to the selection committee.
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