Apply to be an IOP Resident Fellow

Fellows and Study Groups at the Institute of Politics was founded in 1966 as one of the IOP’s oldest programs. Each semester, we are honored to welcome six Resident Fellows to campus, each a leading practitioner in their field of politics and public service. Our Fellows spend the semester leading “study groups,” discussion-style weekly seminars that are not for credit, and interacting with Harvard’s community in a variety of other ways. For more details on the Fellows and Study Groups program, please review this brochure, which details the components of the Fellowship, logistical details, and more.

Many extraordinary individuals have contributed to our Fellows program, and we are honored that you are considering applying. We are confident that our program offers an unparalleled opportunity to join Harvard’s esteemed community, connect and engage with some of the brightest and most inspiring young people in the country, and form relationships with other leading political practitioners who serve as fellow Fellows. Our Fellows are selected through a rigorous and competitive application process that emphasizes genuine passion for mentoring students, an innovative concept for a study group to be conducted over the course of one semester, and commitment to being fully present on Harvard’s campus for roughly ten weeks.

How to Submit an Application

The application for the Fall 2018 Resident Fellows class can be found here.


The application is fairly short, but does require the submission of a study group proposal. Many candidates in the past have wondered what a study group is and how to formulate a good proposal. This brochure describes a study group, offers a study group proposal template, and gives an example of a successful study group proposal.

All candidates are strongly encouraged to submit a study group proposal that matches the template in this brochure

For study group inspiration, you can visit this page which lists all past study groups and their proposals.

Application Process Timeline

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST - Deadline to submit applications for Fall 2018 Residential Fellowship.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - All applicants will be informed whether they will be moving forward into the first interview round.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - First round interviews via Skype.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - All remaining applicants will be informed whether they will be moving forward into the second interview round.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - Second round interviews in-person on Harvard’s campus.

Second round interviews will consist of a “Visit Day” during which candidates will meet with a variety of IOP staff and students, tour Harvard Kennedy School and the broader Harvard University campus, visit the Fellows’ apartments, and more.

Friday, May 25, 2018 - All remaining applicants will be informed whether they have been selected for the Fellowship.

Please contact Abbie James, Fellows Coordinator, with any questions about becoming an IOP Resident Fellow.