An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows

Application deadline: February 15, 2022

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 and mentor the Center’s graduate students. View the current postdoctoral fellows

2022-2023 An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Fairbank Center is offering two fellowships to support postdoctoral participants in an interdisciplinary research group that will focus on the discernable cultural and art historical impacts, broadly conceived, the so-called “Western Regions” 西域had on the civilization that became China. The theme of the interdisciplinary research that will be conducted is China Westward. The research group will be led by Professors Eugene Y. Wang (Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp (Faculty of Arts and Sciences). The primary objective of this research group is pivoted toward the historical period, largely the first millennium when China was deeply engaged with the “Western Regions.” While the definitions of what constitutes the “Western Regions” fluctuate over time and a consensus is yet to emerge, scholars largely operate on both a narrow and a more broadly conceived notion. The narrow definition designates the region south of Tianshan, north of Mt. Kunlun, east of Chongling, west of Yumen. The broader definition encompasses the vast territory west of the central plain, including South Asia, West Asia, and even North Africa and Europe. Considering this, “China Westward” carries a double stance. It posits China as our Archimedean point; “westward” is the outlook.

The project is distinct from what is by now the well-rehearsed “Silk Road studies.” In fact, it is intended to address some blind spot in the general literature stemming from Silk Road studies. These studies have been largely preoccupied with the trade routes pivoted to the Mediterranean world. Among other things, the Tibetan Plateau is more often than not bypassed in Silk Road studies. As the fountainhead of Asia’s main rivers, the Tibetan Plateau is of critical importance to the well-being of more than two billion people, more than one-third of the world’s total population. Recent archeological discoveries on the Tibetan Plateau prompt the conception of the project proposed here. They have the potential of revising world history.

As part of the group, the primary responsibility of the post-doctoral fellows will be to conduct their proposed research project under the mentorship of Profs. Wang and van der Kuijp. Using the balance of their available time, they will have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities to be decided upon by the group. These activities may include presentation in seminars, a conference, and/or other interdisciplinary engagements and collaborations with the scholarly community at Harvard.


A strong working knowledge of Chinese and/or Tibetan and English is required. Applicants must provide confirmation of successful completion of their Ph.D. degree, in the form of a certificate of completion from the degree-granting institution or a letter from the institution’s Registrar, by August 1, 2022 at the latest. The group is particularly interested in applicants with a degree in one or more of the following disciplines: Art History, History, Inner Asian Studies, Tibetan Studies, and Anthropology. Applicants may not be more than five years beyond the receipt of their Ph.D. at the start of the fellowship and must reside in the Greater Boston area for the duration of the fellowship (presuming that conditions relating to COVID-19 don’t prohibit this). Harvard University doctoral degree recipients are not eligible for this fellowship.

Applicants must notify the Fairbank Center of any changes to the information provided in their application that may impact eligibility. Failure to communicate such changes may result in disqualification. If awarded the fellowship, the scholar must provide confirmation of successful completion of their Ph.D. degree, in the form of a diploma, certificate of completion from the degree-granting institution, or a letter from the institution’s Registrar, no later than August 1, 2022.

The fellowship period is from August 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023.

Total stipend for An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows: $62,500

In addition to a benefits package, $3000 for scholarly activities will also be provided to each fellow.

How to Apply

To apply, you will be required to submit an online application, which can be accessed here.

You are required to submit:
• CV
• A one to two-page cover letter that briefly states your interest in the program, your background, and a summary of your research project. The letter should include one or two ideas for topics related to China Westward to serve as the basis of a seminar or other scholarly contribution to the research group.
• A five-page, double-spaced research proposal
• A writing sample
• Two letters of reference

If you have not received your degree at the time of application, your dissertation adviser must also submit the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship Adviser Confirmation Form. This form must be completed by your adviser and submitted to Harriet Wong at no later than February 18, 2022.

All materials must be in English.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2022

Contact the Fairbank Center at if you have any questions regarding the application.

The fellowships will be subject to all rules and regulations of Harvard University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.