Administrative Fellows Program

  • Administrative Fellows Program
  • Administrative Fellows Program
  • Administrative Fellows Program
  • Administrative Fellows Program
  • Administrative Fellows Program

6/15/2020-In light of changes undertaken by the University to mitigate risks of COVID-19, the Administrative Fellowship Program (AFP) has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020-2021 program (which normally starts in September) to a later date.


The Program will continue with only Resident Fellows (current University employees), and a new deadline for Resident Fellow applications will be announced later this summer.


Harvard University's Administrative Fellowship Program is one of the cornerstones of our diversity and inclusion efforts. We seek 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 twelve-month talent management experience complemented by a professional development program.

The Program provides participants with opportunities to enhance their professional experiences by both working within an academic environment as a mid-level administrator and working in an area that broadens and deepens previous opportunities. The Program also seeks to enrich and diversify the Harvard and Cambridge communities by bringing innovative talented professionals to and from a variety of geographical and institutional locales.

The Program draws Fellows from business, government, education, and the professions. Harvard covers the visiting fellows' salary, benefits, and all costs related to professional development. Please note: participants must secure and cover the cost of their housing. Participants must be eligible to work in the United States (visa sponsorship cannot be offered).

The 2020-2021 Program begins in September. The Fellows are placed in various schools and departments throughout the University, taking the school's or department's needs and the participant's career experience into consideration. Visiting Fellows are strongly urged to obtain leaves of absence from their current jobs. While the University will make every effort to place successful participants, there is no guarantee of permanent Harvard employment upon completion of the Program.

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, as well as 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. In addition, the series also familiarizes the fellows with the day-to-day systems and operations within the Harvard environment and also allows fellows to discover University-wide resources and cultivate professional networks and contacts.

The program is structured to achieve four sets of goals:

  • exposure to senior leadership in higher education
  • greater ability for self-assessment, skill enhancement and career growth and development
  • improved professional networking opportunities
  • specific and valuable experience working in the Harvard University environment

AFP Program Content & Design:

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

Program Orientation – A one-day orientation held in September. Welcoming remarks and fellowship expectations are addressed in the morning session and a panel discussion with former fellows/alumni is held at the luncheon event. 

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 will actively participate in mentoring circles every 4-6 weeks facilitated by alumni of AFP.  

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 effectiveness of the Program throughout the year.

Closing Ceremony – In June, the Administrative Fellowship Program celebrates the conclusion of the Program by awarding certificates of completion to fellows.  Harvard President, deans, senior administrators, seminar speakers, sponsors, alumni, colleagues and family members are invited to attend.

Application Process for Resident Fellows – 2020-2021 Program

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

Requirements for current Harvard employees:

  • In an exempt level full-time role
  • Minimum of five years of professional experience (with a minimum of two years of administrative experience in the current position)
  • Baccalaureate degree or higher
  • In good to excellent HR standing
  • A written statement of purpose which outlines professional achievements, experience, and commitment to supporting diversity
  • A letter of reference from an immediate supervisor and a human resources representative in the school or division

Selection Timeline/Resident Fellows:

March 2020 - Applications for Resident Fellows open

May 1, 2020 - Application deadline for Resident Fellows

May - June, 2019 – Interviews and Selection Process for Resident Fellows

July 2020 – Selection decisions for FY21 Resident Fellows announced

September 2020 – FY21 Fellowship start date Program Orientation

Completed online application is due on May 1, 2020. The University-wide AFP Review Committee, comprised of human resource managers and former AFP fellows, will select the 2020-2021 Resident Fellows based on preliminary evaluations and interviews of top candidates. Final selections will be announced July 1 and program participation will begin in September 2020.