FAQs for Postdoc Application


Q: Do I need to submit a cover letter?

A: No.

Q: Should I identify particular faculty with whom I would like to work?

A: No; the program director will select appropriate mentors.

Q: Should I reach out to any of the faculty affiliated with the initiative to discuss my application? 

A: No; due to the volume of applicants, faculty cannot meet with anyone during the application process.

Q: Does the work I propose to do have to be related to inequality in America specifically, or may I propose to study inequality globally, or in another country?

A: Because the focus of the initiative is inequality in America, your proposed research must address that topic. However, cross-cultural comparative research will be considered, as will research on American inequality within a global context.

Q: What kind of writing sample are you looking for?

A: Something that demonstrates your research and analytical skills, as well as your ability to communicate clearly and concisely; preferably a document of which you are the solo (or at least, first), author. It is better, for example, to submit a writing sample that clearly reflects your own skills rather submitting an article published in a prestigous journal where you are just one of many authors. (After all, the prestigous article will be listed on your CV!) The writing sample does not have to be a published work, but please explain what it is, and list any co-authors.

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 (usually J-1 Scholar) to work at Harvard.

Q: Who should I contact about technical difficulties with the application?

A: First, visit the Aries help page at https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/aries-faculty-hiring/information-applicants. If none of the information there applies, please email academicpositions@harvard.edu. Please include as much information as possible about the issue you are having, including your computer's operating system and version (e.g., "Windows 10 Enterprise, version 1809, build 17763.737"), and your browser and version (e.g., "Google Chrome Version 76.0.3809.132 (Official Build) (64-bit)"), as well as what you were doing just prior to the issue occurring, and the text (or a screenshot) of any error messages.

Q: How competitive is this fellowship?

A: We average over 320 applications for just 2 positions, and our committee struggles to make difficult decisions among many highly qualified candidates.