John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellowship


The John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellowship is an exciting new program to recruit outstanding young scientists, often straight out of a doctorate, to work as independent researchers affiliated with Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences departments in the life sciences and physical sciences. This program is part of an university-wide initiative in integrative sciences. Our members combine an array of theoretical and empirical approaches and span a wide range of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, astronomy, engineering, computer science, and statistics.

Program Details

Every Fellow will receive competitive pay and startup funding. Fellows will have many opportunities to interact with each other as well as other research fellows at Harvard, and will also be encouraged to teach small courses in their fields of expertise. In addition, each Fellow will have the support of a mentoring committee consisting of three faculty members interested in that fellow's field of research.


We are especially interested in versatile candidates with broad-ranging scientific interests and a taste for collaboration. To that end, we are looking to appoint fellows in two areas: the Life Sciences, and the Physical Sciences.

Life Sciences

​The initial term for each Fellowship in the Life Sciences is three years, and carries an expectation of extension by a further two years. Each Fellow appointed in the Life Sciences will receive internal funding for a lab group of up to three people and will be affiliated with one of the following Faculty of Arts and Sciences departments: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, or Human Evolutionary Biology.

Physical Sciences

The term for each Fellowship in the Physical Sciences is three years. Each fellow appointed in the Physical Sciences will be affiliated with one of the following Faculty of Arts and Sciences departments: Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Astronomy, and Statistics.


We will be accepting materials for the current application cycle for two life scientists one of which has an interest in imaging, until it closes on April 17, 2017; terms for Fellows appointed in the current cycle are expected to begin in the Fall of/late 2017. Candidates should have received or expect to receive their PhD within 12 months of their appointment or between September 2016 to December 2016.

The application form can be found at the following URL:


Each applicant should submit a CV, a summary of previous research accomplishments (of length up to two pages), up to three publications, and a research proposal (of length up to five pages); each document should be submitted in PDF format.

During the application process, you will also be asked to provide the names and email addresses of at least three referees, each of whom will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation to us. Instructions for upload of the letters will be sent via system-generated email once the other components of your application have been submitted. Three letters of recommendation are required, and your application will not be considered complete until at least three letters have been received.

Applications from women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged. Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.​

We will continue to hire new Fellows as existing Fellows move on to faculty positions. For inquiries or to nominate someone you think would be an outstanding candidate for this fellowship, please email the Program Director, Andrew Murray, at

Past Fellows: Where Are They Now?

Steven Altschuler -- University of California, San Francisco
Yaakov Benenson -- ETH Zurich
John Calarco -- University of Toronto
Duccio Cavalieri -- Center for Research and Innovation, Edmund Mach Foundation
Irene Chen -- University of California, Santa Barbara
Allan Drummond -- University of Chicago
Rachel Dutton -- University of California, San Diego
Kevin Foster -- University of Oxford
Hans Hofmann -- University of Texas, Austin
Suckjoon Jun -- University of California, San Diego
Roy Kishony -- Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
Marcus Kronforst -- University of Chicago
Michael Laub -- MIT
Gavin MacBeath -- Harvard Medical School
Christine Queitsch -- University of Washington
Sharad Ramanathan -- Harvard University
Ollie Rando -- University of Massachusetts
Aviv Regev -- MIT
Katherina Ribbeck -- MIT
Kurt Thorn -- University of California, San Francisco
Peter Turnbaugh -- University of California, San Francisco
Kevin Vestrepen -- University of Leuven
Lani Wu -- University of California, San Francisco