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 to attract talented professionals, and 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 the diversity of Harvard’s leadership. To this end, the Administrative Fellowship Program offers a talent management 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
  • greater ability for self-assessment, skill enhancement, career growth, and development
  • improved professional networking opportunities
  • specific and valuable experience working in the Harvard University environment

Individuals participate in on-going seminars, lectures, formal discussions, and learn through case studies. In addition to the seminar series, individual coaching sessions and mentoring circles are provided to all fellows during the year.  The program provides participants with opportunities to increase their knowledge, and develop national and University-wide networks. 

  1. to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on University operations, the Administrative Fellows Program will be modifying certain aspects of the 2020-2021 AFP program. In previous years, the AFP ordinarily kicks off in September. The 2020-2021 program will start in January 2021 and will be an intensive six-month virtual program available only to Resident Fellows applications (current eligible Harvard employees). 

All fellows will participate in a professional enhancement educational program in addition to a full-time work assignment. The Program is designed to augment fellows' skill development and help them in their overall career development. The Program focuses specifically on leadership development and includes seminars, group workshops, lectures and case studies delivered by senior administrators and faculty members. The series also familiarizes the fellows with the day-to-day systems and operations within the Harvard environment and allows fellows to discover University-wide resources and cultivate professional networks and contacts.

AFP Program Content & Design:

During the fellowship year, visiting and resident fellows and sponsors participate in:

Program Orientation – Includes welcoming remarks and discussion of fellowship expectations, and a panel discussion  and Q&A with former fellows/alumni

Educational and Professional Development Seminars – The seminars usually occur twice every month. Fellows are expected to prepare and actively participate in these seminar 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 will be assigned individual coaches 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 CWD program staff, HR recruiters, and former alumni who are members of the Harvard University staff, and may be invited to attend special lectures sponsored by HHR.

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

Closing Ceremony – In July 2021, the Administrative Fellowship Program is slated to celebrate the program's conclusion by awarding certificates of completion to fellows. Harvard senior leaders, deans, administrators, seminar speakers, sponsors, alumni, colleagues, and family members are invited to attend.

Application Process for Resident Fellows – 2020-2021 Program

Click here to apply to be a 2020-2021 Administrative Fellow

Resident fellows are current full-time Harvard employees and reflect the diverse, emerging leadership potential for outstanding professionals.

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 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

What documentation is necessary to apply to AFP:

  • Application submitted no later than August 28, 2020 including:
    • A written statement of purpose which outlines professional achievements, experience, and commitment to supporting diversity, inclusion and belonging
    • An updated resume
    • A  reference from an immediate supervisor
    • An approval form from your local human resources representative in your school or unit

Selection Timeline/Resident Fellows:

July 20, 2020 - Applications for Resident Fellows open

July 31, 2020 – AFP Virtual Information Session #1 from 10:00AM – 11:00AM.  No registration required.  Zoom link is embedded here.  

August 14, 2020  - AFP Virtual Information Session #1 from 10:00AM – 11:00AM.  No registration required. Zoom link is embedded here.

August 28, 2020 - Application deadline for Resident Fellows

September – October 2020 – Interviews and Selection Process for Resident Fellows

November 2020 – Selection decisions for FY21 Resident Fellows announced

January 2021 – FY21 Fellowship start date Program Orientation

The University-wide AFP Review Committee comprising human resource professionals and former AFP fellows will select the 2020-2021 Resident Fellows cohort based on applications and interviews. Final selections will be announced in November 2020, and the program will begin in January 2021.