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The Belfer Center’s Iran Project offers non-stipendiary one-year fellowships for pre-doctoral candidates as well as PhD recipients with an interest in furthering their research projects within the Center’s collaborative intellectual environment. The fellowship exposes researchers to Harvard’s interdisciplinary and dynamic setting and encourages them to take full advantage of Harvard’s academic resources. Iran Project fellows are expected to be in residence during their fellowships and to be active members of Belfer’s research community. This includes participating in working groups and Iran Project events, presenting their research at a public event hosted by the Iran Project, and collaborating on research projects with the Iran Project Director, including contributing to Iran Matters and producing a working paper on their focus research area. The Iran Project seeks candidates who can make original contributions to the field and push forward a new understanding of Iranian policy-making.

Research Areas and Requirements

Researchers may apply to work on issues relating, but not limited to: the political economy of Iran; Iran’s political system and domestic politics; the Iranian nuclear program; Iranian regional security policy (including in Iraq, the Levant and its relations with Hezbollah, Hamas, and Syria); Iranian sponsorship of regional Shi’i movements; Iranian and Shi’a political ideology, including Islamization of social science debates in Iran; Iranian scientific progress and science policy; Iranian energy and environment policies; Persian Gulf security; Iran’s relations with its Gulf neighbors; and, Iran-US relations.

Fluency in Persian and English, and research ability in one other Middle Eastern language preferred. Applicants must be PhD recipients, or, as pre-doctoral fellows, must be enrolled in a doctoral program, have passed general examinations prior to appointment, and have made significant progress on their dissertations to be considered.

Additionally, the application requires:

  • CV;
  • Unofficial transcript (for pre-doctoral applicants);
  • Research statement (3-5 pages);
  • Writing sample (less than 50 pages);
  • Contact information of three recommenders.

Online Application

The 2017-2018 application period is now open and will close on January 15, 2017. Recommendations will be due on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Decisions will be announced by March 31, 2017. To apply, please complete the online application form.

Contact Information


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