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 in Research 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 Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies offers a Graduate Student Associates program for Harvard University advanced doctoral students to be affiliated with the Center during one year of their dissertation research and writing. Approximately 10 graduate student associates will be selected for each academic year. Students may be from any school or department of the university, with research focus on China. Selection will be based on quality of research project, the student’s need for on-campus space, and the interests of the Fairbank Center in supporting a diverse community of scholars.

The Fairbank Center hosts visiting scholars from other universities or research institutes worldwide who have research projects related to the work of Fairbank Center faculty. Harvard faculty must express strong interest in an applicant's work in order for him or her to be affiliated with the Center. Visiting scholars will receive access to university library collections and are expected to pursue independent research on campus.

The Top University Strategic Alliance (TUSA) is a consortium of top universities in the Republic of China (Taiwan). In spring of 2011, TUSA entered into a three-year agreement with Harvard University with the goal of strengthening the humanities and social sciences in Taiwan. As part of the TUSA agreement, approximately 10 scholars from the alliance will be funded to spend one year pursuing research in the humanities or social sciences at Harvard University. The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies is the coordinating unit at Harvard University for this visiting scholar initiative.

An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship Program   
The Hou Family Fellowship for Taiwan Studies program sponsors a North America-based scholar of Taiwan Studies as a visiting fellow at the Fairbank Center to pursue Taiwan-related research for a term of three to twelve months. As part of their position at the Center, scholars are in charge of organizing a conference or workshop on a specific research topic and for presenting their own research to the Center's Taiwan Studies Workshop series. 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 and a strong working knowledge of English and Chinese or Taiwanese is required.