Fellowship awards


Open to Harvard Ph.D. students across the social sciences

The Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy is open to Harvard Ph.D. students—that is, students currently enrolled in a Harvard doctoral program—who apply to at the end of their first or second year of graduate study.

The Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy aims to select 8-10 Inequality and Wealth Concentration Scholars and two Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Scholars in Poverty and Justice. Of the Inequality and Wealth Concentration fellowships, 4-5 will be designated for Harvard Ph.D. students whose research interests specifically focus on questions pertaining to top-end inequality or wealth concentration: their causes, consequences, or policies to address these developments. (The remaining Inequality and Wealth Concentration fellowships are open with respect to substantive focus and may reflect any of the Inequality & Social Policy themes).

All applicants will automatically be considered in all categories that match their research interests.

In making award determinations, the selection committee will take into account existing fellowship resources, particularly for students who already hold combinations of Harvard funding and multiyear external fellowships (e.g. NSF, Soros, or Ford Foundation fellowships) resulting in five or more years of full stipend coverage. In these circumstances, the Inequality & Social Policy program would likely confer a more generous and flexible individual research fund ($12,000-$18,000) in lieu of a dissertation stipend. 


The Inequality and Wealth Concentration Scholars
The Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Scholars in Poverty & Justice

Through their participation in the program, those named as Inequality and Wealth Concentration Scholars or Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Scholars in Poverty and Justice will generally receive:

(i) A dissertation-stage stipend of $32,000, reserved for use at the dissertation stage (generally G-4 year) so that Scholars may focus exclusively on dissertation research and writing. This award is for an academic year, disbursed over ten months.

(ii) Individual research fund of $5,000, which may be used at any time during the Scholar’s doctoral studies. These resources are intended to spur innovative student research where costs might otherwise be prohibitive. They are meant to support field research and in-depth interviews, original data collection, data purchases, field or laboratory experiments, large-scale surveys, and similar research needs.

(iii) Access to computer facilities designed to facilitate empirical work and (possibly) office space in the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, subject to availability. Inequality & Social Policy Doctoral Fellows

The program encourages all interested students to apply, as participation in the Inequality & Social Policy confers many resources—intellectual, community-building, and financial. Enrollment in the proseminar course sequence is capped to ensure an intensive cohort experience, with space typically limited principally to Inequality & Social Policy affiliates and Social Policy Ph.D. students only. This means that students who wish to take the course in the upcoming year are advised to apply through the fellowship program.