Harvard University Fellowship Program 2021-2022

Harvard University’s Fellowship Program was established in 1979 by the president of the university Derek Bok. The goal was to meet the academic needs of South Africans who were denied advanced education by the ruling of South Africa’s apartheid system at the time.

This program was developed as a prompt action to the diversity movement by Harvard’s students and staff members in the 1970s. The Harvard University Fellowship Program serves as a rich academic asset for bright South Africans, to provide a life-changing experience at Harvard during their year of fellowship.

This program was created as an educational boosting experience for mid-career professionals in various occupations. Harvard University is a private Ivy League institute established in 1693. They are devoted to high-quality research, teaching, and learning.

Harvard is also the oldest tertiary institution of higher learning in the USA and is considered one of the most prestigious in the world.

Closing Date

Applications are due on 30 April 2021 (11:59 pm EST)

What is The Harvard University Fellowship Program?

This program is aimed toward assisting disadvantaged South African mid-career professionals with educational enrichment. It is awarded to individuals who show a significant skill in their respective fields.

These individuals have the opportunity to benefit from advanced training and use it to further South Africa’s socio-economic, and political interests.

Latest Bursaries in South Africa

What does the Harvard University Fellowship Program cover?

The fellowship lasts for a single academic year. In that timeframe, the fellowship provides financial cover for all tuition during enrollment. The candidate’s round-trip airfare is also covered between their residing city and Boston.

The fellowship also provides a monthly stipend to cover the cost of housing and other living expenses. Candidates must be aware that the housing is usually in campus graduate dormitories.

The cost of housing in the Boston/Cambridge area is relatively high and the stipend only covers bare necessities. Candidates will be held responsible for payment of their expenses other than tuition and airfare.

Please be aware that before receiving your stipend, it will have a significant amount of tax deducted. Harvard will also be requiring all successful candidates to purchase American medical insurance. This insurance does not cover the range of services offered in South Africa.

How to Apply

Fellowship applicants will have to complete their application and submit supporting documents on Qualtrics. You will be required to first register for the application.

Apply here

You will be required to enter your biographical information, along with your contact details. Candidates will need to enter any educational, and work history. When filling out these criteria, it is crucial to keep your answers at a maximum of 250 words.

Responses longer than 250 words will not be considered. It is highly advised that you draft your answers to avoid long responses. 

You will need to upload an updated CV along with 2 letters of recommendation and transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. You will also need to submit 2 writing samples.

First, a personal statement of 1000 words describing yourself, your background, and your career ambitions with Harvard University.

The second is an academic essay of 2000 words conveying innovative ideas from your chosen field that provide solutions to issues facing South Africa. Successful applicants will be notified by June 2021, and interviews will commence from July to August 2021. Finalists will be notified of their selection by September 2021.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Harvard Univerity’s Fellowship Progam you can contact the Harvard Center for African Studies through the following means:

South African Branch

Address: Block C First Floor, Rosebank Office Park

181 Jan Smuts Avenue

Parktown North

Johannesburg, South Africa

Contact Number: (+27) 87 701 0715

Email: AfricaOffice@Harvard.edu

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