Frequently Asked Questions

About the Application

About the Fellowships

About the Davis Center

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About the Application

What is the application deadline for 2021-2022 Postdoctoral Fellowships?
January 11, 2021. All applications must be received by this date. Recommendation letters should be submitted by your references as soon as possible after you apply. Your references will receive an email from the application system prompting them to send their recommendation letter only after you submit the fellowship application. 

Why does the Davis Center request financial information in the 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?
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 receive 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 $45,000 for postdoctoral fellows.

Should my referees fill out a specific form to attach to their letters of recommendation?
No. Referees should receive an email generated by the online application. You will need to fill out the online application to indicate which referees you would like to deisignate. All references must be submitted online through the online portal. Your references will receive an email from the application system prompting them to send their recommendation letter only after you submit the completed fellowship application. 

May my referees email their letters of recommendation to the Davis Center?
No, all references must be submitted online through the online portal. 

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About the Postdoctoral Fellowships

When does the fellowship term start and end?
Fellowships begin September 1, 2021 and end May 31, 2022. 

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. 

What are the requirements for fellowship recipients?
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, 2021. All successful candidates who have had degrees conferred within 12 months of September 2021 will need to supply a verification of their degree.

Will I be assigned a faculty mentor, advisor, or supervisor?
No, 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 awards $2,000 of additional funds for Postdoctoral Fellows' research travel, conference 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 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

What activities can I participate in at the Davis Center?
The Davis Center hosts several 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 Postdoctoral Fellows?
Fellows receive access to all Harvard libraries and to materials available through the inter-library loan program. Fellows also receive 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 Postdoctoral 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. Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of training opportunities for learning about technology across campus.

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