Administrative Fellows Program

  • Administrative Fellows Program
  • Administrative Fellows Program

Harvard University's Administrative Fellowship Program (AFP) is one of the cornerstones of our diversity and inclusion efforts. Launched in 1989, the program seeks talented, mid-career professionals (in particular, members of historically underrepresented groups) to promote leadership opportunities and careers in higher education. The University encourages applications from individuals from diverse backgrounds and others who may contribute to Harvard's leadership. To this end, the Administrative Fellowship Program offers a leadership experience complemented by a professional development program.

The program is structured to provide fellows with:

  • exposure to and engagement with senior leadership in higher education
  • reflection and self-assessment, career growth and development
  • multiple professional networking opportunities
  • unique and valuable experience working in the Harvard University environment

The program offers two types of Fellowships: Visiting and Resident.

Visiting Fellows are professionals from business, government, education, and other professions who seek an opportunity to expand their professional experiences by working in an academic environment as a mid-level administrator. Candidates who meet the qualifications are invited to apply for a specific AFP job opening in a school or unit throughout the University. Positions vary based on the need for particular school/unit. All available AFP positions will be posted on Harvard Careers.

Resident Fellows are current Harvard exempt employees who are mid-career administrators (see requirements below) and identify as members of a historically underrepresented population. Resident Fellows are highly motivated to pursue career and leadership development at Harvard.

In addition to carrying out their position duties, all fellows participate in seminars, workshops, lectures, formal discussions, and learn through case studies. As a complement to the learning series, fellows receive a career coach and participate in mentoring circles. The program provides participants with opportunities to increase their knowledge, become familiar with day-to-day systems and operations, and to develop University-wide networks.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on University operations, the Administrative Fellows Program will be a virtual program for the 2021-2022 cohort. The 2021-2022 program starts in January 2022 and will be an intensive six-month virtual program, with the flexibility to gather in person when university and local guidelines allow. Schools and units have the option to begin to hire fellows in Fall 2021, before the official launch in January 2022. All visiting fellowships roles are 12 months in duration.


AFP Program Content & Design:

During the fellowship, visiting and resident fellows participate in:

Program Orientation: Welcome remarks from a Harvard senior leader. Fellows receive a program overview, insights from a panel of AFP alums, and an opportunity to meet and greet members of the cohort and engage in Q&A.

Educational and Professional Development Seminars: Seminar and workshops usually occur twice every month. Fellows are expected to prepare and actively participate in these discussions, projects, and activities. Each fellow is assigned to introduce a speaker and collaborate with his/her fellows to maximize that particular learning experience.

Coaching and Mentoring: Fellows have a career coach to support their professional development goals and actively participate in mentoring circles every 3-4 weeks facilitated by the AFP alumni.

Networking: Fellows individually meet with the Center for Workplace Development program staff, HR recruiters, and former alumni who are members of the Harvard University staff and may be invited to attend special events sponsored by Harvard Human Resources.

Check-Ins and Evaluations: Sponsors, fellows, coaches, and mentors provide critical feedback through surveys and focus groups on the program's effectiveness throughout the year.

Closing Ceremony: In July 2022, the Administrative Fellowship Program celebrate its conclusion by awarding certificates of completion to fellows. Harvard senior leaders, deans, administrators, seminar speakers, sponsors, alumni, colleagues, and friends and family members are welcome to attend.


Application Process for Visiting Fellows – 2021-2022 Program

April 14, 2021 – Virtual Information session for Harvard schools, units, department heads, or hiring managers interested in sponsoring a visiting fellow. Zoom session will be held at 3:00 PM. Link here. No registration required

April 30, 2021 - Proposals from schools or units interested in sponsoring visiting fellows due

May – July 2021 - Open positions for visiting fellows will be posted on Harvard Careers and highlighted on the side panel of this page. Interviews will be conducted by local hiring committees in collaboration with the AFP Program Manager

July – September 2021 – Visiting fellows hired and onboarded by local departments

September - December 2021 - AFP early welcome for visiting fellows arriving on campus before January 2022

January 2022 – AFP Program Orientation (all participants are required to attend).


Application Process for Resident Fellows – 2021-2022 Program


Resident fellows are current full-time Harvard employees and reflect the diverse, emerging leadership potential for outstanding professionals.  Each year, due to the limited number of resident fellows accepted into the program, the application process is highly competitive. Once an application is submitted, references are collected from applicants’ immediate supervisor and human resources representative. The University-wide AFP Review Committee, which is comprised of human resource professionals and former AFP fellows, will select the 2021-2022 resident fellows based on applications and interviews. Final selections will be announced in November 2021, and the program will begin in January 2022.

Requirements for current Harvard employees:

  • Be currently employed at Harvard in an exempt level full-time role
  • Minimum of five years of professional experience
  • Completed a minimum of two years of administrative experience in the current position at the time of application
  • Baccalaureate degree or higher
  • Must be in good HR standing
  • Able to commit 40-50 hours for the entire duration of the program
  • To support open communication, we encourage resident fellow applicants to speak with their managers about their interest in the AFP prior to applying

What documentation is necessary to apply to AFP:

  • Application submitted no later than August 27, 2021, including:
  • A written statement of purpose clearly outlining professional achievements, experience, and demonstrated commitment to supporting diversity, inclusion, and belonging, an overview of what you hope to get out of joining AFP
  • A current resume

Selection Timeline for Resident Fellows:

July 12, 2021- Applications for resident fellows open

July 30, 2021 | 11am – AFP Virtual Information Session # 1

August 13, 2021 | 3pm - AFP Virtual Information Session # 2

August 27, 2021 - Application deadline for resident fellows

September – October 2021 – Interviews and selection process for resident fellows

November 2021 – Selection decisions for FY21 resident fellows announced

January 2022 –AFP Program Orientation (for all fellows and sponsors)