Research Appointment Application Procedure

The Department of History of Art and Architecture welcomes each year a limited number of qualified visitors whose academic interests intersect directly with the teaching and research activities of the Department's Faculty members. Because the Department’s Faculty and students thrive on intellectual engagement with guest researchers, visitors are encouraged to participate actively in the life of the Department and the University, attending lectures, conferences, film screenings, and classes with permission of the instructor. Visitors may be invited to present an informal talk or seminar during the course of their stay. English language proficiency is assumed and will be verified by the Faculty host.

Although these visiting appointments carry no financial support of any kind, visitors are provided with a Harvard e-mail address and identification card, which gives them access to Harvard College libraries and museums. The University provides assistance with the visa process for scholars coming from outside the United States. Visitors are entirely responsible for obtaining their own funding, for making their own travel and living arrangements, and for obtaining health insurance. The Department is unable to provide office space, supplies, or research support.

How to Apply

Acceptance as a visitor is competitive; the department can accommodate only a handful of individuals at any one time.  Applications (collected and submitted by the Department Faculty sponsor)should include the following (all materials must be in English):

  1. Letter from the HAA faculty member who has agreed to sponsor the visit
  2. Current curriculum vitae
  3. Brief description (1-2 pages) of research project

There are two application deadlines per academic year:

  • January 15, for review first by the Department’s Visiting Scholars Committee, and then by the full Department at its February department meeting.   January deadline is primarily for Fall Visiting Scholars
  • October 15, for review first by the Department’s Visiting Scholars Committee, and then by the full Department at its November department meeting.  October deadline is primarily for Spring Visiting Scholars

The Department is fully aware that many fellowship applications require a formal letter of invitation, but cannot make exceptions to its application schedule.  We urge visiting scholars/fellows to plan accordingly. 

Types of Visitor

1. Visiting Scholar: Ph.D. not required, but usually in hand. The Visiting Scholar appointment enables individuals, ordinarily ladder Faculty members on paid leave from another institution (tenured or tenure-track), to carry out their own work in association with a member of the Harvard Faculty.
2. Fellow: for individuals who have recently received the Ph.D. or are currently in the final years of a doctoral degree program. The Fellow appointment affords advanced graduate students and recent Ph.D.s in the early years of their career opportunities for individual research under the guidance of a Department Faculty member.
3. Associates: generally for alumni of the department or other individuals with a need for department affiliation. 

The department gives preference for appointments of 12 months’ duration; with rare exception, Visiting Scholars are not accepted for less than 6 months, and the absolute minimum is three months. Extensions to the initial appointment are granted only very rarely.