The application is available through Harvard's CARAT (Common Application for Research and Travel) at this link,

Non-Harvard applicants will have to obtain an 'XID' from Harvard (no cost) in order to access the application site. 
To do so, please visit:

It is a very simple process, but it may take up to 24 hours before your XID is activated and accepted by the Harvard application, so please request this XID as early as possible in the application cycle.

The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, February 1, 2017.  There is no competitive advantage to submitting early versus late, but ABSOLUTELY NO applications or letters of recommendation will be accepted past the deadline of 5:00 p.m. (17:00 | EST) on February 1. Selection of the cohort will take place in February, 2017 with decision notification to all applicants, via email, by early March, 2017.  For reference, in 2016, just under 800 applications were received for the approximately 35 spots. 

Applicants who have applied in the past but were not accepted may apply again.

Applicants are expected to provide:

  • A copy of your academic transcript (unofficial version is acceptable),
  • A resume or curriculum vitae,
  • Two letters of reference, at least one from a faculty member familiar with your academic achievements and potential,
  • A personal statement offering us a glimpse of who you are beyond your academic achievements, and what your aspirations may be. How do the traits of resiliency, tenacity and openness to experience figure in your life? Tell us your story - use the statement to differentiate yourself from the other outstanding applicants!

To the extent possible, please make certain your pdfs are not 'secured' - that can render them unreadable by the system. If they are secured, you may have to scan the document and re-save it before submitting it. The team behind the CARAT system is working on a background solution to this problem.

Your referees will receive, via email, instructions on how to securely and confidentially submit their letters on your behalf.  They may sumit their letters before OR after you have submitted your application, but definitely must do so by the deadline of February 1, 2017. Letters of recommendation will be matched via a unique identifier to your application.

The selection process:

An Application Review Committee is assembled, comprised of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and administrators from across the HSCI community. They meet for three sessions beginning in early February. As most applicants are stellar students with high GPAs, the Committee relies heavily on the personal statement and informative letters of recommendation from referees who truly know the applicant. Both components give the Committee a much better, more rounded, perspective of the student and his/her prospect for success in our program. Primarily, the Committee is looking for candidates who are committed to excellence in all areas of their life; who are resilient and tenacious, and; who are confident to put themselves outside their comfort zone in order to grow and develop as student of science and a contributing member of civil society.