Program Description

The Harvard Chan Yerby Fellowship Program draws on the rich research environment and intellectual resources of one of the world’s premier public health training institutions. Named for Dr. Alonzo Smythe Yerby, an African-American pioneer in public health, this program aims to expand the diversity of those entering the academic public health field. The program creates a bridge between academic training in public health-related fields and entry-level faculty positions at institutions throughout the United States.

The goal of the program is to advance the intellectual and professional development of each Yerby Fellow. Under the guidance of a senior Harvard Chan School faculty member with compatible interests, Yerby Fellows develop research agendas, receive grant support, and actively pursue publication in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, Yerby Fellows can gain teaching experience and participate in a wide variety of professional development activities.


  • Applicants for postdoctoral fellowships must have earned a doctorate in a public health-related discipline, preferably at the time of application, but in some exceptional circumstances before the fellowship begins. Candidates for research associate should have at least two years of postdoctoral training completed, visiting lecturers should have five years postdoctoral experience. For more information regarding Harvard Chan School appointment titles, descriptions of titles can be found here.
  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens, permanent residents, or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application submission. This position is unable to provide visa sponsorship.
  • Applicants from underrepresented backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Underrepresented, as defined by the NIH, includes American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Individuals from other backgrounds who would contribute to academic diversity, including individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and those with disabilities, are also encouraged to apply.
  • Demonstrated interest in and experience with independent research, advanced scientific publication, and grant writing.
  • All candidates are encouraged to address the dimension of diversity they believe their fellowship would bring to the School in their applications.

Areas of Training

Fellowship training is available across the broad range of the School’s activities: laboratory sciences, population sciences, and social and policy sciences. Each fellow is based within one of the School’s nine academic departments:

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Global Health and Population
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Immunology and Infectious Diseases
  • Molecular Metabolism
  • Nutrition
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences