Founded in 1986, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies is dedicated to increasing our knowledge of the culture, history, and institutions of the world's major regions and countries. To accomplish this goal, it sponsors the Academy Scholars Program, organizes seminars and conferences, and supports Harvard faculty research and publications.
The Academy Scholars Program was established to identify and support outstanding scholars who are at the start of their careers and whose work combines disciplinary excellence in the social sciences (including history and law) with a command of the language, history, or culture of non-Western countries or regions. Their scholarship may elucidate domestic, comparative, or transnational issues, past or present. Those selected as Academy Scholars work for two years conducting either postdoctoral or dissertation research in their chosen fields and regions. They are provided financial assistance, time, guidance, and access to Harvard's facilities to help them achieve their academic potential. They participate actively in the intellectual life of the University, engaging in seminars, workshops, and conferences. They often advise graduate or undergraduate students on their research projects. During the course of the fellowship, each Academy Scholar presents his or her work at a seminar to colleagues, Harvard Academy Senior Scholars, and other interested faculty and graduate students. Many Academy Scholars, in addition, present their work for intensive discussion at Harvard Academy-sponsored author's conferences, to which a small number of colleagues from Harvard and other universities are invited.
The Harvard Academy Senior Scholars, a distinguished group of senior members of Harvard's faculty, act as the Harvard Academy's oversight committee, select new Academy Scholars, and serve as mentors to them. The Harvard Academy Senior Scholars are Robert H. Bates, Steven Caton, Timothy J. Colton, Jorge I. Domínguez, Grzegorz Ekiert, Elisabeth Köll, Edward Roger Owen, Elizabeth J. Perry, Susan J. Pharr, James A. Robinson, and Mary M. Steedly.
The Harvard Academy also supports faculty research and publications. In particular, it fosters field research in countries the world over by Harvard junior faculty in the social sciences. It organizes workshops and conferences that involve Academy Scholars and faculty from Harvard and other universities.
In addition, the Harvard Academy Seminar brings distinguished scholars to campus. Meeting several times a year to explore new developments in social science empirical research that is pertinent to a direct understanding of the culture, history, and institutions of specific countries or regions, the seminar—comprised of a thirty- to forty-minute presentation followed by discussion—takes place over dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club.
Initially endowed by a gift from Dr. Ira Kukin, the Harvard Academy has also received supporting grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and most recently, the Weatherhead Foundation.
The application deadline for the Academy Scholars Program is October 1 of each year.
Jorge I. Domínguez is the chairman of the Harvard Academy. Laurence H. Winnie is the executive officer, and Kathleen Hoover is the program coordinator. The program offices are located at 1727 Cambridge Street.