How to Apply for a Sloan Fellowship

Eligibility Criteria

  • This program is open to both U.S. and international scholars.
  • Research questions should address issues pertaining to the United States only.
  • Those with degrees equivalent to a PhD such as MDs, JDs, ScDs, etc. are also eligible to apply.

Before applying, please review all the other pages pertaining to this program. Please note that we do not pre-screen applicants.

Application Procedure

Candidates interested in the 2020-2022 cohort can apply through the online web portal linked below, which will be live starting on September 18, 2019. Completed applications must be received by 3:00 P.M. EST on Monday, December 2, 2019. At that time, the portal will go offline and you will not be able to access your record.

Click to Access Sloan Fellowship Application Portal

Before applying, please review all the related Sloan Fellowship pages. This program is open to both U.S. and international scholars.

*Those interested in applying to both the Sloan and Bell Fellowship programs must submit two separate applications; however, the same references and letters of recommendation may be used for both applications.

The application contains the following components:

  1. Eligibility Questionnaire
  2. Applicant Information
  3. Contact Information for Three References — See below for recommendation letter instructions.
  4. Curriculum Vitae (PDF Upload)
  5. Research Proposal (PDF Upload) No more than 2,000 words addressing the following questions:
    • Describe your dissertation or other current research.
    • What questions are you interested in addressing as a Sloan Fellow? How will this build on your work to date, fill gaps in your current knowledge, and change your career trajectory?
    • Describe your current methodological and analytical skills, and what advanced training you would hope to achieve in this area.
    • Describe which Pop Center or other Harvard faculty you would be interested in collaborating with. Note that you do NOT have to contact potential mentors/collaborators prior to applying for the fellowship.
  6. Writing Sample (PDF Upload) that demonstrates your writing and analytical skills, as well as your ability to generate interesting and original ideas. This can be a published article or a draft publication. The writing sample is limited to 20 pages; pages beyond the first 20 will not be reviewed.

Instructions for the Letters of Recommendation


Recommendation letters are a key component of the application and are weighed heavily. Please follow the submission instructions below:

  • Each of the three letters of recommendation must be emailed directly from the referee to popcenter@hsph.harvard.edu with the subject line “Ref Letter_[Sloan applicant name]_[referee’s last name]”
  • Letters should be on institutional letterhead if possible.
  • The deadline to submit recommendation letters is the same as the application deadline – Monday, December 2, 2019.
  • All letters should contain the following information:
    • How long referee has known applicant
    • Relationship to the applicant (e.g. advisor)
    • Quantitative ranking of applicant to others (e.g. top 10%)
  • In addition, the letter should comment on the applicant’s:
    • Writing skills
    • Analytical skills
    • Ability to form new and creative ideas and research questions
    • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment

Note that all incoming scholars must have completed their doctoral requirements, and provide proof to HCPDS by August 24, 2020. The following forms of proof will be accepted:

  1. Copy of Diploma (Preferred); or
  2. Letter from Registrar’s Office noting that all doctoral requirements have been completed; or
  3. Letter from chair of thesis committee noting that all doctoral requirements have been completed.

One candidate will be chosen by March 2, 2020.

Questions? Please contact us at popcenter@hsph.harvard.edu.