Frequently Asked Questions

About the Theme

About the Application

About the Fellowships

About the Davis Center

About the Theme

My project does not relate to the theme. Should I apply?
Yes. Scholars whose work does not address the selected theme are strongly encouraged to apply for fellowships at the Davis Center, and their applications will receive full consideration.

How do you define Eurasia?
In this program, the bounds of Eurasia are open to participant interpretation, but certainly stretch from Berlin and the Balkans to Mongolia and the Russian Far East.

Will the Davis Center facilitate any training?
Yes. Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities for learning about technology across campus. In addition, we would be happy to consult with fellows prior to their arrival in order to get a better sense of needs and interests.

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About the Application

What is the application deadline for 2017-2018 fellowships?
January 10, 2017. All materials, including proposals, CVs, and letters of recommendation, must be received by this date.

Why does the Davis Center request financial information in the fellowship application?
All candidates must fully disclose any grants, fellowships, or sabbatical pay they will receive. The Davis Center can award grants up to the maximum amount for each category only if the applicant has no (or very little) outside funding. Applicants should clearly state when funding is pending or already awarded.

Will the information I disclose in the financial information section influence my chances of being accepted as a fellow?
No. Fellows will be selected on the basis of merit only, without regard to financial need or financial circumstances.

What should I enter in the financial information section if I am waiting to hear from other funding organizations?
List the organizations to which you applied and the amount of the grant/fellowship sought. If you are selected for a fellowship at the Davis Center, we will work with you as you receive notification from other institutions to finalize a stipend that will provide you with an adequate standard of living in Cambridge. Be sure to clearly state if this funding is still pending, not secured.

The financial information section requires that I enter "other sources of income." Am I required to enter savings in this area?
No. Declare income that you plan to earn during the fellowship period from freelance activities, teaching, honoraria, or other sources. This information helps us get a complete picture of your financial situation so we can determine a stipend amount sufficient to provide you with an adequate standard of living in Cambridge. Your response also gives us an idea of your availability and other obligations you may have.

How will the Davis Center determine stipend amounts?
The Center will consider the applicants’ other sources of funding and the cost of living in the Cambridge area to determine individual fellowship amounts. Applicants with partial funding from an outside organization (or other equivalent income) may receive a “top up” stipend from the Center. Applicants who have no outside financial support or other sources of income will receive the maximum stipend amount, which is $40,000 or $53,333 for postdoctoral fellows, depending in fellowship duration.

Should my referees fill out a specific form to attach to their letters of recommendation?
No. Referees should state the candidate’s full name in the first paragraph of the letter. If the applicant mails the referee’s letter to the Center, it must be in a sealed envelope signed across the back by the referee. All letters can be mailed to:

Fellows Program
Davis Center, Harvard University
1730 Cambridge St. – 3rd floor
Cambridge MA, 02138

May my referees email their letters of recommendation to the Davis Center?
Yes, if the letters are sent from the professional/institutional email address of the referee. Letters from email services like Yahoo!, Yandex, or Gmail will not be accepted. Letters should be emailed to A hard copy letter is not required in addition to the emailed letter.

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About the Fellowships

When does the fellowship term start and end?
Fellowships begin September 1, 2017, and end May 31, 2018 or August 31, 2018 as per the applicant's preference and resource availability. On the application, you will have the opportunity to specify the duration for which you are applying.

How are fellows paid, and how is this income taxed?
Fellows receive a stipend payment on the final Friday of each month for nine months, from September through May. Payments can be received either by paper check or direct deposit. The fellowship stipend is considered taxable income; taxes are automatically withheld by Harvard University for postdoctoral fellows and foreign nationals. Note that full-year fellowships span two calendar years, and thus, two tax years.

What are the requirements for fellowship recipients?
Fellows are required to participate in the regular fellows seminar on the fellowship theme. Fellows are expected to be in residence at the Davis Center for the entire duration of their fellowship, and to work primarily from their Davis Center office. The Center’s Outreach Program may request that fellows participate in one or two outreach events during the year.

Will I have to be in residence at the Davis Center for the duration of the fellowship?
Yes. Fellows must remain in residence at the Davis Center for the entire duration of their fellowship and work primarily from their Davis Center office. If fellows take a research or personal trip lasting more than three weeks during their tenure, their stipend will be prorated for that period.

By when must I have defended and submitted my dissertation in order to qualify for a Postdoctoral Fellowship?
You may apply for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the final year of your Ph.D. work. You must have successfully defended and submitted your dissertation and be able to secure a verification letter from your university stating that all degree requirements have been fulfilled by September 1, 2017. All successful candidates who have had degrees conferred within 12 months of September 2017 will need to supply a verification of their degree.

Will I be assigned a faculty mentor, advisor, or supervisor?
No. The coordinating faculty members will be active and engaged in the regular fellows seminar series, but fellows will not be directly advised or supervised.

Will I be associated with a Harvard University department as part of the fellowship?
Fellows hold an academic appointment through the Davis Center. In addition, most departments are happy to include fellows on their mailing lists and encourage fellows to participate in their events.

Will there be teaching opportunities during my time at the Davis Center?
No. The fellowships were established to allow scholars to focus on research and writing within the intellectual community of the Center.

May I teach at another area university concurrently with my Davis Center fellowship?
If you are awarded a fellowship and subsequently decide to teach part-time at an area university, your Davis Center stipend will be adjusted to account for your teaching income.

Are additional funds available for research-related travel, participation in academic conferences, etc.?
Yes, the Davis Center is happy to offer up to $5,000 of additional funds for Postdoctoral Fellows' research travel, conferences attendance, translation services, or research assistant compensation. Please note, in most cases these funds will be considered taxable income.

Will I be eligible for medical or other benefits?
Postdoctoral Fellows will be given fully benefits-eligible appointments and subsidized medical insurance will be offered.

Are Davis Center fellowships usually awarded to Harvard Ph.D. recipients?
Since 2008, 22% of the Davis Center's postdoctoral positions have been awarded to scholars who completed their Ph.D. at Harvard University. 78% of Davis Center postdoctoral fellows earned their Ph.D.s at other institutions. 

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About the Davis Center

Other than the regular fellows seminar, what activities can I participate in?
The Davis Center hosts 11 seminar and workshop series on a variety of topics related to Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. In addition to seminars, the Davis Center sponsors an Outreach Program designed to bring the knowledge and research generated at the Center to the wider world. The Outreach Program hosts public events and workshops for K-12 teachers and the broader community. Fellows are encouraged to participate in Outreach events.

What resources are available to fellows?
Current fellows have access to all Harvard libraries and to materials available through the inter-library loan program. Fellows also have access to all Harvard e-resources, including the East View database and thousands of journals, primary source documents, and other materials. Fellows receive a Harvard University ID, which grants them free access to all of Harvard's museums.

Will there be opportunities for publication through the Davis Center?
The Davis Center does not currently publish books or working papers. Scholars of the Cold War may be interested in the publications program of the Center’s Project on Cold War Studies.

Are there opportunities for fellows to take classes at Harvard? Is tuition for such classes included in the fellowship?
Fellows are not formally enrolled as students and thus cannot register for classes through the Registrar’s Office. However, fellows may (and frequently do) audit classes with permission from the instructor.

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