Administrative Fellows Program

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

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 is in its thirtieth year of operation and will draw Fellows from business, government, education, and the professions. Each participant will receive a salary from Harvard University. All costs for the required educational seminar will be covered by Harvard University. 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 2019-2020 Program will begin in September. The Fellows will be placed in various schools and departments throughout the University. Reflecting the academic and administrative diversity of the Harvard community, assignments for each Fellow will differ. However, individual fellowship needs will be shaped by considering both the school's or department's needs and the participant's career experience. 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:

  • explicit 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

Application Process for Visiting Fellows

  1. Applicants must meet basic qualifications and be eligible to work in the United States (visa sponsorship cannot be offered).  Apply online for a particular fellowship position of interest below.
  2. A Statement of Purpose that briefly describes your professional and academic interests as related to employment with Harvard University, and more broadly, the field of Higher Education and how participation in the Administrative Fellowship Program can help advance these interests.  Be sure to explain why you are seeking a Fellowship, what you hope to gain from the experience and how you might contribute to the hiring department.

Applicants are welcome to apply for multiple positions and should customize statement of purpose for each position.

Recruitment and Selection Timeline:

March - April, 2019 – Fellowship positions announced

May - June, 2019 – Rolling interview and selection process for Visiting Fellows

July – August 2019 – Selection decisions for FY20 Visiting Fellows announced

September 2019 – FY20 Visiting Fellows start date and Program Orientation


Application Process for Resident Fellows – for current Harvard Staff only


Resident fellows reflect the diverse, emerging leadership potential for outstanding professionals already in the Harvard Community. Resident fellows must meet the following criteria to apply: exempt level staff members who have a minimum of five years professional experience (with a minimum of 2 years administrative experience at current position in Harvard and in good HR standing) and have completed a baccalaureate degree. Review of applications will be based on professional achievement, a written statement of purpose, and a letter of reference from an immediate supervisor and a human resources representative in the school or department.

Selection Timeline:

March 2019 - Applications for Resident Fellows open

May 1, 2019 - Application deadline for Resident Fellows

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

July 2019 – Selection decisions for FY20 Resident Fellows announced

September 2019 – FY20 Fellowship start date Program Orientation

Completed online application is due on May 1, 2019. The University-wide AFP Review Committee, comprised of human resource managers and former AFP fellows will select the 2019-2020 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.

Program Content & Design:

During the fellowship year, fellows and sponsors participate in the following program elements:

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 Seminars – The seminars usually occur twice every month on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. or Thursdays from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. It is an expectation of the Program that fellows prepare and participate in these seminar discussions, projects and activities. Each fellow is assigned to introduce a speaker and work with his/her fellows to maximize that particular learning experience. 

The program is divided into four content areas: educational leadership, academic administration, career/professional development and personal growth/ interpersonal effectiveness. 

Coaching and Mentoring Circles – Fellows will be assigned individual coaches (certified leadership coaches from within the University) to help assess their career and options on how to bridge the gap.  Three one-hour individual coaching sessions will be provided.  Fellows will also be participating in mentoring circles every 4-6 weeks for an hour session with alumni of AFP.

Meetings – 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 lecture dinners sponsored by HHR.

Mid-Year Check-In – At the program’s midpoint, program staff conduct a mid-year check-in with both sponsors and fellows respectively to support the successful completion of the Structured Feedback form, provide content support and provide effective feedback and coaching conversation for supervisors.

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.

Focus Group Meeting – Following the closing ceremony, a facilitated focus group session is held to discuss participants’ fellowship experiences and assist program staff to enhance the program’s various components for the future.