Postdoctoral Research Scholars Program

The Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics will invite applications beginning in spring of 2021 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, 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 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 creating a personalized educational program that will delve into special areas of interest, as well as developing 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 the 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.

While not a requirement for application, the Center is particularly interested in recruiting candidates with the potential for becoming faculty members of the Center through the development of sponsored research in collaboration with our faculty. The deadline for summer/fall 2021 is March 1, 2021. Applications may be considered throughout the year under special circumstances.

A preliminary application includes each of the following, submitted via the Center’s application portal (will open in 2021):

  • 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 at this time.

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