Each fellow will be matched to at least one mentor from their home discipline as well as mentor from an outside discipline. Often fellows have an idea on who they want to work with prior to arriving; in other cases, the Center director will work with the new fellow in determining an appropriate mentoring team. This will be discussed during the interview phase of the application process.
The Center provides a unique and dynamic environment where diverse interests, areas of expertise, and worldviews mix to promote creative thought on critical issues in population and development. Fellows are strongly encouraged to connect and collaborate with a wide range of researchers at Harvard. This is fostered by way of participation in weekly activities and working groups. Fellows are also expected to be proactive in arranging meetings with prospective mentors and collaborators.
Fellows are provided with timely access to data sources, laboratory facilities, and other resources as needed. The Harvard Pop Center is home to a population science research platform. Studies are tightly harmonized so that critical comparisons across studies (or countries) can lead to important insights. The HCPDS also houses highly sensitive data that need to be enclaved. Data managers and analysts are on staff and available to aid fellows in their research efforts. They also have access to the Research Computing Environment (HMDC-RCE), maintained by the Harvard-MIT Data Center, that provides a full-featured user environment with a wide range of research tools and a secure virtual network computing (VNC) connection. This ensures users can work effectively whether on site or elsewhere. Several powerful computing clusters are available to users for computationally intensive analyses.
As they are considered employees, Bell Fellows have access to all of Harvard’s vast resources including its library system that encompasses more than 70 libraries and is at the leading edge of new information technology. The Francis A. Countway Library is located on the Medical Area Campus and combines the resources of the Harvard Medical School Library and the Boston Medical Library. Among libraries serving medical and health-related schools, it is the largest of its kind in the United States.
Bell Fellows are also encouraged to attend courses, seminars and programs at affiliated Harvard schools and centers. Examples include the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, which holds regular conferences and seminars allowing scholars in the social sciences to gather for research seminars in core methods related to causal inference, innovations in health assessment and general issues relate to demographic and population health issues; The Center for Geographic Analysis offers technical training workshops to introduce GIS concepts and teach the basics on how to use GIS software. In addition, we encourage attendance at The Malcolm Wiener Center Inequality & Social Policy seminar series at the Kennedy School of Government; Department of Sociology Colloquium Series; Harvard Global Health Institute seminars and conferences; and the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy at Harvard seminar series.