Non-Harvard Affiliate Programs

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Visiting Scholars

The Fairbank Center hosts visiting scholars from other universities or research institutes throughout the world. Scholars stay at the Center for one or two semesters to develop their research in various disciplines of Chinese Studies.

Meet our current Visiting Scholars

Specific Expectations

Academic applicants must have a doctoral degree. The visiting period shall correspond with Harvard's academic calendar, either for autumn semester, spring semester, or August 1 - July 31. An administrative fee of $1,000 per academic year will be charged. Individual desk space is not provided.

Non-academic applicants must be practitioners with specialized and extensive China knowledge. The visiting period shall correspond with Harvard's academic calendar, either for autumn semester, spring semester, or August 1 - July 31. An administrative fee of $5,000 per semester will be charged, and desk space may be provided as available.

Visiting scholars must demonstrate adequate self-funding for visa purposes.

The United States government requires that visiting scholars have sufficient English proficiency to be able to function effectively in the U.S. The Fairbank Center is required to certify that a scholar has adequate command of English before their visa application can be processed.

There are a number of ways in which English language proficiency can be demonstrated:

  • Recognized Language Test (i.e. TOEFL, IELTS)
  • Documentation from an academic institution or English language school
  • In‐person Interview (conversation)
  • Video conferencing/Skype
  • Telephone Interview (if in‐person or videoconferencing is not possible)
  • Transfer/Repeat Visitor (ELP established in previous J‐1 stay)
  • Other (must specify):

Please indicate in your application how you intend to demonstrate language proficiency. If necessary, a member of the Fairbank Center staff can conduct a phone or Skype interview to help you fulfill the requirement. Please specify if you wish to pursue this approach.

Note that this is a US government requirement over which neither the Fairbank Center nor Harvard University has any discretion.

The intellectual life of the Center is greatly enriched by the active participation of its affiliates. Visiting scholars are expected to be involved in a clearly defined research project that draws upon Center and university resources and to engage actively in Center activities. They are also expected to be in residence in the greater Boston area during the period of affiliation.


The next application deadline will be February 15, 2017. Please make sure that your application arrives by the application deadline. A faculty committee will review and select the strongest applicants for a visiting position at the Fairbank Center. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to accept all qualified applicants to this program. Selection of scholars will be confirmed in March 2017.

In addition to the application form, which may be downloaded below, please also submit the following materials:

  • Two letters of recommendation (preferably submitted electronically)
  • Research proposal for the period of your affiliation
  • Curriculum vitae listing your academic degrees (with dates), disciplines, and any publications. CV must be in English.
  • Work sample (an article or paper) in either English or Chinese
  • Digital photograph (headshot)

Please send all application materials as one PDF. Letters of recommendations should be e-mailed separately. All documents should be sent to

Download Visiting Scholar Application here.

An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows

Application Deadline: January 30, 2017

An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships have historically supported junior scholars in any discipline. Postdoctoral fellows are chosen from a competitive selection process. They spend one year at the Fairbank Center working on a book manuscript or articles. In addition, they deliver research presentations to the Fairbank Center community, mentor the Center’s graduate students, and, at times, teach courses in a department.

Meet our current An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows

2017-2018 An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 competition for the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships in Chinese Studies. Research topics may cover any period of Chinese history or contemporary China and involve any academic discipline. A strong working knowledge of Chinese and English is required. Each fellow will be expected to pursue his or her own research and contribute to Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies programs.

Priority will be given to candidates working in the fields of a) Environmental Humanities/Social Sciences or b) Digital Humanities/Social Sciences. However, applications are also welcome from scholars in other fields.

Applicants must be able to provide confirmation of successful completion of their Ph.D. degree by June 30, 2017, and may not be more than five years beyond the receipt of their Ph.D. at the start of the fellowship. Harvard University doctoral degree recipients are not eligible for this fellowship.

The fellowship period is from August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.

Total stipend for one year: $50,000

Health insurance benefits for the An Wang fellowship recipients will also be provided.

To apply, please submit the following materials to our online application system, ARIES:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • A five-page, double-spaced plan of research
  • A writing sample
  • Two letters of recommendation

We also recommend submitting a sample syllabus for a graduate student workshop to be held in either the fall or spring semester.

Application Deadline: Monday, January 30, 2017

Chinese Digital Humanities/Social Sciences

Applications are welcome from candidates with a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline of the humanities, social sciences, or computer science.

While the position need not require any direct coding, candidates for the position must be able to work closely with programmers and designers employing a variety of web technologies and programming languages, be able to understand and evaluate their work, and have the ability to effectively communicate between technical and non-technical project collaborators. Applicants should specify their technical capacities (e.g. programming languages, software packages, etc.) in their application. Candidates whose primary background is in computer science should demonstrate that they understand the nature of research in humanities and social sciences and have experience working with humanists and social scientists in the China field.

In addition to maintaining his/her own research agenda, the fellow will provide assistance to affiliates of the Fairbank Center in the following sorts of activities as they relate to the development of particular research projects:

  • Leading the Center’s Digital China Initiative training workshop for graduate students
  • Selecting appropriate print and electronic information sources and tools
  • Designing search strategies to ensure retrieval of all potentially relevant information
  • Developing rigorous methods of information extraction and analysis
  • Developing methods and structures for data management and analysis

Chinese Environmental Humanities/Social Sciences

Applications are welcome from candidates with a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline of the humanities or social sciences.

In addition to maintaining his/her own research agenda, the fellow will contribute to Harvard’s Environmental Humanities Initiative at the Fairbank Center and assist in ways that could include the following:

  • Organizing conferences and workshops on topics such as China’s place in global ecosystems
  • Developing an interdisciplinary online course on China and the environment that provides a historical foundation for the current environmental crises and includes perspectives of humanists, scientists, and policy specialists
  • Leading training workshops in environmental humanities/social sciences for interested graduate students

Contact Nick Drake at or 617-495-4007 if you have any questions regarding the application.

Hou Family Fellows

Application Deadline: May 15, 2017

The Hou Family Fellowship for Taiwan Studies sponsors one North America-based scholar of Taiwan Studies and one Taiwan-based scholar of Taiwan Studies as visiting fellows at the Fairbank Center to pursue Taiwan related research for a term of three to twelve months from August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.

Meet our current Hou Family Fellows

Applications are welcome from candidates with advanced Ph.D. candidate standing or recent Ph.D.s in a relevant discipline of the humanities or social sciences focusing on Taiwan. Please note that the Fairbank Center is only accepting applications from North America-based scholars; a separate search committee in Taiwan will review local applications.

A strong working knowledge of English and Chinese or Taiwanese is required.

In addition to maintaining his/her own research agenda, the fellow will contribute to the Fairbank Center community in ways that could include the following:

  • Organizing a conference or workshop on their research topic;
  • Presenting research to the Center’s Taiwan Studies Workshop series

Priority will be given to applicants with no previous postdoctoral fellowships. Candidates may not be more than five years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. at the start of the fellowship.  Harvard University doctoral degree recipients are NOT eligible for this fellowship.

Total stipend: $25,000, plus $3,000 for research.
Health insurance is not provided by Harvard, but the candidate’s stipend money can be used toward its purchase.

How to apply:

Please submit the following materials, in a single PDF, to

All materials must be in English.

Contact Nick Drake at or 617-495-4007 if you have any questions regarding the application.

TUSA Scholars

The Top University Strategic Alliance (TUSA) is a consortium of universities in Taiwan.
TUSA sends up to ten scholars to Harvard University every year with the goal of strengthening Taiwanese scholars’ research in the humanities and social sciences. The Fairbank Center is the coordinating unit at Harvard for the TUSA program, which is organized by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs.

Meet our current TUSA Scholars

The following guidelines will assist TUSA candidates in applying for a visiting scholar appointment at Harvard University:

1. Review Visiting Scholar application deadlines of humanities and social sciences research centers and departments at Harvard University. Contact the unit most relevant to your research interests to verify visiting scholar application procedures. Some units have a formal visiting scholar application process and deadline. Other programs accept applications on a rolling basis. Most selection processes take place in January or February.

2. If your research interest is not represented in the preliminary list, you may contact other research units, a relevant faculty member, or Justin Wong at the Fairbank Center for suggestions.

3. Please apply directly to the relevant Harvard unit to be invited as a visiting scholar. Normal selection processes apply, so TUSA applicants will be considered by the same criteria as other visiting scholar applicants.

For any visiting scholar application, support from a Harvard faculty member is strongly recommended. Most centers and departments will only approve visiting scholars who have strong academic credentials and research synergy with Harvard faculty. The research center or department will inform you of its decision.

Contact Nick Drake at or 617-495-4007 if you have any questions regarding the application.

Associates in Research

The Center's Associates in Research are Chinese studies scholars based in the New England area who travel to Cambridge to use Center resources and participate in Center activities. The work of the associates covers a wide range of fields, including anthropology, religion, political science, economics, history, and literature. Together with the Center's Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Fellows, the Associates in Research create a lively community for interdisciplinary exchange. The Fairbank Center provides no funding or office space for Associates in Research but assists with providing library access to Harvard University collections.

The fee for affiliation as an Associate in Research is $500 for the initial year and $300 for renewal years. A faculty selection committee determines acceptance and renewal to the program. The application form is available below. Two letters of recommendation are required, preferably including one letter from a Harvard faculty member.

Meet our current Associates in Research


Applications will be reviewed once a year, with affiliations beginning July 1 and ending June 30. The annual application deadline is March 15. 

Current Associates in Research will receive renewal letters in May.

Contact Nick Drake at or 617-495-4007 if you have any questions regarding the application.

Download the application here.
Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies