Frequently Asked Questions

For questions regarding visas, please consult the Harvard International Office

Are nominations kept confidental? Yes.

Can I nominate myself? Yes, applications are accepted by nominators and applicants (self-nominators) alike.

Are there different nomination forms for nominations and self-nominations? No, the same nomination/application form is used for all applications. 

Do nominations have to come from within Harvard? No. Anyone can nominate. Anyone can apply.

Are nominations accepted outside of the nomination period (as emergencies)? Yes, depending on resources, Harvard SAR may consider emergency cases. 

Can artists or writers apply? Yes, the program defines "scholar" broadly to include candidates from any academic discipline represented at Harvard, including the arts.

Are journalists eligible? Applications from journalists are less likely to advance as there is no school of journalism at Harvard. 

Are professional persons and activists eligible? Professional persons and activists must have scholarly records or the equivalent.

Does Harvard SAR accept nominations from any country? Yes.

Does legal/immigration status affect eligibility? U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. are not eligible. If a candidate has legal residency in a safe country outside of the home country, assessment of risk will be made with this in mind. All applicants are required to disclose all countries of citizenship and/or permanent residency on nomination/application form

Does length of time out of the home country affect a candidate's eligibility? Harvard SAR may prioritize candidates who have been out of the home country for less than two years. 

Must I be fluent in English in order to apply? Candidates must satisfy visa requirements for English language.

Can I bring my family? Harvard SAR supports travel and insurance for dependents.

Can students apply? Harvard SAR is not able to provide admission into degree programs and/or to accomodate persons wishing to continue their studies or training at Harvard.

Does Harvard provide visa support? Yes, most fellows come to Harvard, through the Harvard SAR Program, on J-1 research-scholar visas. Candidates with pending asylum applications must have work authorization prior to starting a fellowship. For more information, visit the Harvard International Office

What does a Harvard SAR fellowship include? Fellowships include stipend, insurance & travel (for fellow and dependents), and visa support. Stipend amounts may vary depending on terms of host department, availability of housing, and in-kind forms of support included in the fellowship package. 

When do fellowships begin and how long do they last? Usually, fellowships run the course of the academic year: September 1 - June 30. 

Is the Harvard SAR Program an academic department or fellowships institute in which fellows are appointed? No, depending on discipline, fellows are placed in, or "hosted by," academic departments, centers, or institutes within Harvard. Harvard SAR selects and supports fellows and faciliates appointments in "host" departments.

Who chooses SAR fellows? Selections are made by the Scholars at Risk Committee, which comprises faculty members from the Harvard community.

When are results announced? Because of the volume of applications, applicants may not be notified until early spring.

Will all applicants be notifed? Yes, all applicants will be notified, regardless of outcome, by email (unless another means of communication has been requested via nomination/application form). 

If I am chosen, when can I expect a formal letter of invitation from Harvard SAR? The complexities involved in creating a fellowship package, including matching a fellow to a host department, can delay the preparation of a formal offer. Offers will be issued as soon as possible, and we appreciate your patience. (You are welcome to check in with us at any time, and as often as you like.)