B. Fellows

(1)   Description

This appointment is made to enable the fellow to engage in individual research opportunities under the sponsorship of a principal investigator, an academic department, or an affiliated center within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The expectation is that regular interaction will occur between the fellow and his/her/their Harvard sponsor. Ordinarily, individuals with doctorate degrees are not allowed to serve as Fellows and are instead appointed at the rank of postdoctoral fellow or visiting scholar, as appropriate. Departments and centers may continue to refer to such individuals as “Fellow,” but they should specify that the individual is a “Fellow” of a particular program or center.

The appointment (which, if paid, is contingent on funding) is ordinarily made for a minimum of three months and is not to exceed 12 months. (If a part-time appointment is requested, justification must be given to and approved by the assistant dean for faculty affairs.) Appropriate academic credentials and a previous body of research work must be presented to justify the appointment. Reappointment may be possible; individuals may hold this appointment for no more than three consecutive years. Feedback on performance will be provided on an annual basis. An annual reappointment letter must be submitted for reappointment to this rank. The reappointment letter should include the dates of the reappointment, new salary and/or pay source information, and should outline any changes to the appointment since the original appointment offer letter. Fellows may not be designated as “principal investigator” or “project director.” Appointments to this rank are not permissible for individuals performing work-for-hire under the supervision of a faculty member. Such individuals are instead hired as professional research staff. Questions about appropriate appointment categories can be discussed with the FAS/SEAS Offices for Faculty Affairs and Human Resources.

Note: Members of the FAS and University community are expected to familiarize themselves with, and conform to, Harvard policies on teaching, research, and service, as appropriate to their position. Please see Chapter 2, “FAS and University Policies,” for more information.

For unpaid fellows:

In keeping with Harvard University’s Intellectual Property policies (https://vpr.harvard.edu/pages/intellectual-property-policy) and other research policies, visitors (individuals for whom Harvard is not their primary affiliation) must submit an electronic PDF of a signed hard copy of one of three Harvard University Visitor Participation Agreements (https://vpr.harvard.edu/visitor-participation-agreements) by the start of their appointment. Note: Visitors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) are not required to submit a VPA form, with the exception of M.I.T. undergraduates, who must submit a VPA form.

If working in one of Harvard’s laboratories, and if not receiving any form of payment from Harvard, visitors should also submit an electronic PDF of a signed hard copy of the Acknowledgement of Risk and Release for Non-Harvard Personnel Using Harvard Research and Instructional Laboratory Facilities form by the start of their appointment.

For paid (salaried) fellows:

In keeping with Harvard University’s Intellectual Property policies (https://vpr.harvard.edu/pages/intellectual-property-policy) and other research policies, faculty and researchers are expected to sign electronically the Harvard University Participation Agreement by the start of their appointment.

For paid (stipendiary) fellows:

In keeping with Harvard University’s Intellectual Property policies (https://vpr.harvard.edu/pages/intellectual-property-policy) and other research policies, visitors (individuals for whom Harvard is not their primary affiliation) must submit an electronic PDF of a signed hard copy of one of three Harvard University Visitor Participation Agreements (https://vpr.harvard.edu/visitor-participation-agreements) by the start of their appointment. Note: Visitors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) are not required to submit a VPA form, with the exception of M.I.T. undergraduates, who must submit a VPA form.

(2) Salary

This position may be paid or unpaid.

If paid, the appointment can be either stipendiary or salaried. If stipendiary, the position is non-benefits-eligible (for further guidance on stipendees, please see the “Research Appointments Matrix,” available on the “Appointment and Promotion” page of the FAS website for faculty and researchers). If salaried, the minimum base salary is $50,000, and the position is benefits- eligible. The salaried fellow position (“Institutional Fellow, job code 000913”) requires approval by the appropriate assistant dean. Sponsored funds may be used to cover salary, provided that a) the appointment is consistent with the terms of the grant, and b) the salary matches the effort of the project on which the fellow will be working.

Unpaid fellows may be “unpaid” in one of only two ways: self-funded or funded by a source external to Harvard. If unpaid in either way, please see 4a) in “Documentation Requirements” below.

(3) Appointment/Search Procedures

A search is required for the salaried fellow position (“Institutional Fellow, job code 000913”). Departments or principal investigators should place an advertisement in an appropriate professional journal, indicating the availability of positions in their areas. Other suggested recruitment methods include posting open positions on the department’s webpage, making direct inquiries in the service of developing a diverse pool, and consulting lists of diverse individuals, including women and minorities. Advertising copy must indicate that Harvard is “an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, protected veteran status, disability, genetic information, military service, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or other protected status.” Care should be taken to avoid language that could be construed as discriminatory with regard to age.

(4) Documentation Requirements

The department must submit the following documentation to the Appointments Office in the Office for Faculty Affairs via Aurora:

a. 1 electronic PDF copy of a signed statement from the chair, department administrator, or principal investigator, on department letterhead, describing the title, appointment dates, need for the appointment, and research the candidate will undertake during the appointment. This statement must also confirm the salary, or, if the position is entirely funded by a source external to Harvard, it must confirm that the candidate has outside funding and indicate the amount of funding; or, if the position is entirely self-funded and the candidate is not an active student at another institution, the document noted in 4f. below must also be submitted.

b. 1 electronic PDF copy of a statement about any costs the appointment may generate, such as office space, equipment, and materials, and how these will be covered.

c. 1 electronic PDF copy of the candidate’s curriculum vitae.

d. 1 electronic PDF of a signed hard copy of one of the Visitor Participation Agreements. Note: Visitors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) are not required to submit a VPA form, with the exception of M.I.T. undergraduates, who must submit a VPA form.

e. 1 electronic PDF of a signed hard copy of the Acknowledgement of Risk and Release for Non-Harvard Personnel Using Harvard Research and Instructional Laboratory Facilities form (if working in one of Harvard’s laboratories and if not receiving any form of payment from Harvard).

f. If the candidate is entirely self-funded and is not an active student at another institution: 1 electronic PDF copy of a letter stating the amount and source of the funding, signed by the candidate.

Departments should retain documents according to practices recommended by Harvard Archives at https://grs.harvard.edu/ (please log in).