The Fellows and Study Groups program brings six or more prominent figures of the political world to campus each semester as IOP Resident Fellows. Each Resident Fellow hosts eight not-for-credit study groups throughout the semester in their areas of expertise, the formats of which range from traditional Q&A based discussion groups to skill-building workshops, often featuring guests. Students apply to be liaisons for the Fellows, helping to integrate the Fellows into the Harvard community, producing the weekly study groups, arranging additional Fellow events, and building relationships that often last for years into the future. During their time here, the Fellows serve as an incredible resource and provide mentorship for both their liaisons and the broader Harvard community.
Study group topics range from local to global issues, and are offered in a variety of formats, including project-based working groups, skill-building workshops, and traditional Q&A-based discussion groups. No prior experience with, or knowledge of, the topic is necessary. Participation in discussion is encouraged, as is weekly attendance, but neither is mandatory. Consistent with the Institute's mission, study groups are designed specifically to involve undergraduates, but they are open to all Harvard students, faculty, and staff.
Study Groups are open to all members of the Harvard community; however, preferential seating will be designated for both undergraduate and graduate students of the University. Because of COVID-19 room occupancy constraints and fire code regulations, seating is restricted to the designated room of the study group. To ensure equitable access to study groups, Study Groups will be streamed via Zoom for the semester. In keeping with IOP study group tradition, all study groups are closed to press and not for attribution. No reporting on the study group is permitted.
An archive of past study group outlines is available here.
The liaison program offers Harvard undergraduates a unique opportunity to interact with and get to know one of our Resident Fellows - public figures with exceptional careers and experiences in politics and public service - in an intimate & personal setting. Liaison teams of six help plan, produce and publicize a study group each week. Students often describe the experience as one of the most memorable they've had at Harvard, and we encourage everyone to apply!
We recommend you attend the IOP's recruitment events, including the Open House at the beginning of each semester to meet the new Resident Fellows and review their study group outlines.
- Complete the online application, which asks questions about interests, special skills, and relevant experience. Students can apply to be a liaison, a member of the Fellows Search Committee, or a member of the Leadership Team. More about those positions will be posted closer to the application deadline.
- The student co-chairs, in consultation with IOP staff, carefully review the applications under name-blind conditions and inform applicants of decisions shortly after the application deadline.
If you have any questions about the process, or about the program in general, please don't hesitate to reach out.