Fall 2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Study of Ethnoracial Relations

Deadline January 17, 2019, for Academic Year 2019-20

The Dean of Social Science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University is seeking applications from early-career scholars in sociology, political science, or related fields, for a one-year postdoctoral position in residence at Harvard's Hutchins Center for African and African-American Studies.

Eligibility & Expectations

Applicants to this program must have received a doctorate or similar terminal degree in spring 2016 or later; those applicants without a doctorate or terminal degree must demonstrate that they will receive such a degree no later than August 15, 2019.

Applicants should have a demonstrated capacity for independent work, with expertise in theoretical and methodological issues related to the study of ethnoracial relations in the US or more broadly, and be able to appreciate both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Applicants should also be interested in learning the management responsibilities associated with editing a significant scholarly journal. The selected fellow will be expected to spend approximately 75% time and effort on original research and 25% assisting with the editorship of the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. The fellow will also be expected to attend the Hutchins Center's Wednesday colloquium series. We believe that diversity is a foundational strength, and welcome applicants of various backgrounds, experiences, and identities.

The Award

The fellowship is a one-year postdoctoral training program, with a second year conditional on program director approval. The salary is $65,000/year plus fringe benefits, including health insurance eligibility.

The award will include appropriate office space; a one-time grant of $2500 for the purchase of computer equipment; a $5,000/year research account to support research-related expenses; and up to $2500/year reimbursement for research-related travel. We also provide up to $3000 in relocation expenses (taxable income under US law).

Application Process

The application must include the following:

  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in the position and detailing any editorial experience you may have.
  2. A CV
  3. A 2- to 4-page (1500-word) research statement that includes a brief description of your dissertation research and a more detailed proposal for the project you will pursue during the fellowship, including an explanation of its importance and potential impact.
  4. Two writing samples. These can be published articles or unpublished excerpts, but should be selected to demonstrate your ability a) to explain your ideas clearly, and b) to illustrate well-thought-out research methods. The writing samples should be clearly identified (e.g., if excerpted from published papers or your dissertation, provide full citation information).
  5. Two letters of recommendation. You may use Interfolio to attach these directly. If you do not use Interfolio, your letter-writers will be provided with a link to the submission portal only once you have submitted your application, so please alert your letter-writers early in the process, and submit your application several days in advance of the deadline to give them time to upload their letters by January 17th.

The completed application, including letters of recommendation, must be received by January 17, 2019 (midnight, USA EST). All materials must be submitted at http://academicpositions.harvard.edu/postings/8643.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability unrelated to job requirements, genetic information, military service, or other protected status. Minorities and women are especially encouraged to apply.


Jennifer Shephard (jmsheph@fas.harvard.edu; 1.617.495.7906); please see FAQs (tab above) first.

Q. Can you provide further guidance on the writing samples?

A. A short, well-written piece is more useful than a long, unpolished one. There are no strict page limits, but the review committee may not have time to read extremely long works (e.g., more than 20 pages). If submitting excerpts, or unpublished materials, please provide a clear explanation of the document (e.g., full citation info, or, for instance, if it's a grant proposal, indicate for whom and whether or not it was funded, etc.). If it's not obvious how the writing samples relate to your research statement, please explain this in your cover letter, or in a one-paragraph preface added to each document before you upload it.

Q: Why do you encourage candidates to submit their applications earlier than the deadline of January 17th? 

A: Unless you use Interfolio to attach your letters of recommendation directly, your referees will be contacted (via a system-generated email message) and provided with a link to upload their letters only once you have submitted your application. If you wait until January 17th to press the "submit" button, your referees will not be contacted in time.

Q: Do you accept applications from foreign nationals?

A: Yes. While any appointment at Harvard is contingent upon obtaining appropriate visa status, and the US government is the final arbiter of all immigration-related cases, the Harvard International Office (HIO), as regulations permit, is available to help individuals obtain temporary visa status to work at Harvard.