Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program

The Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics is accepting applications for the Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program in Bioethics for appointments commencing in summer/fall 2021.

The position is for one year, with the potential for a one-year renewal, and prepares scholars with the knowledge and skills necessary to become leaders in the field of bioethics. Research scholars are fully integrated into the community of faculty and students at the Center for Bioethics, with access to the resources of Harvard Medical School and Harvard University. The program also includes opportunities to collaborate with the scholars at the Hastings Center.

Research scholars will receive an annual stipend, benefits, and an allotment for academic expenses and travel.

The core experience includes:

  • Mentored research. Research scholars work closely with faculty mentors from across Harvard University to develop and conduct original research in the field of bioethics. A primary aim of the program is to prepare candidates with the training necessary to obtain competitive research funding and develop a successful academic career in bioethics.
  • Educational opportunities. The program seeks candidates with diverse backgrounds, experience, and knowledge. Each scholar works with faculty to create a personalized educational program that will delve into special areas of interest, as well as develop broad expertise in the field of bioethics. Research scholars have access to all the Center's courses and seminars, and may be able to audit relevant courses across Harvard University with faculty permission.
  • Community life. Postdoctoral research scholars will be fully engaged with the activities of the Center and Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals. Scholars will organize and conduct conferences and seminars, they will assist in teaching courses in their areas of interest, and will have opportunities to participate on hospital clinical ethics committees and institutional review boards. In short, the Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program provides the greatest possible access to all that Harvard University has to offer.

Application Requirements

Applications are invited from those who have or will have completed a doctoral degree (MD, JD, PhD or equivalent). Doctorates may be in any relevant field, including but not limited to public health, psychology, economics, philosophy, sociology, or anthropology.

The Center for Bioethics was created to ensure that values and ethics are always part of medical training, laboratory and clinical research, and professional education. We cannot truly fulfill this mission while racism exists in our field, in our institutions, in our educational systems, and in ourselves. We seek candidates who will not only enhance our representational diversity but whose academic record (including research, teaching, and community engagement efforts) have contributed to diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning and working environments for students, staff, and faculty.

The application deadline for a summer/fall 2021 position is March 1, 2021. Applications may be considered throughout the year under special circumstances.

A preliminary application includes each of the following:

  • A brief cover letter
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement (1,000 word limit) describing the applicant's interest in the program and what the applicant hopes to achieve from the program.
  • A published or unpublished writing sample for which the candidate is the sole or lead author.

Finalists will be contacted and asked for three letters of reference from individuals who know the applicant well and who can comment on the candidate's qualifications and suitability for the Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program. Instructions for submitting these letters will be provided to finalists.

To submit your application, please save all three documents (CV, personal statement, writing sample) as a single PDF using the naming convention “Last Name_First Name_PostdocApplication21” and upload using this link.  

For additional information about the program contact the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics at bioethics_postdoc@hms.harvard.edu or 617-432-2570.