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Harvard-Yenching Institute. Origins. Harvard-Yenching Institute founded in 1928 , funded by the estate of Charles M. Hall, inventor of the process for refining aluminum and founder of ALCOA. Mission.

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  • Harvard-Yenching Institute founded in 1928, funded by the estate of Charles M. Hall, inventor of the process for refining aluminum and founder of ALCOA
  • Charles M. Hall’s vision: to promote the study of liberal artsin Asia and to support the development of higher educationin Asia
  • China-focused programs to 1949
  • Expansion to other countries in Asia after 1949
  • Since 1950: More than 1000 faculty from Asia have received fellowships and more than 300 doctoral students from Asia have received their degrees with HYI support
harvard yenching library
Harvard-Yenching Library

The largest university library for East Asian research in the Western world

yenching university
Yenching University 燕京大学

Yenching University 1930s

Yenching University pagoda


Serge Elisséeff1930-1955Edwin O. Reischauer1955-1963John Pelzel1963-1975

Albert Craig1975-1988

Patrick Hanan


Tu Weiming

1996-2008Elizabeth Perry


fellowship programs
Fellowship Programs
  • Visiting Scholars Program: for faculty at HYI partner universities in Asia (10 month research grants at HYI in Cambridge)
  • Visiting Fellows Program: for advanced graduate studentsfrom Asian Partners to conduct dissertation research at HYI for 17 months
  • HYI – RSEA Master’s Program Fellowship: the two-year master’s degree in Harvard’s Regional Studies - East Asia (RSEA) program plus the first year of a doctoral degree program.
  • Joint Doctoral Scholarship Program: for candidates to pursue a PhD at either the National University of Singapore or The University of Hong Kong, with 10-18 months of dissertation research at Harvard University
supported fields
Supported fields

Fields of research in the humanities and social sciences to be considered are:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • History (including art history, economic history and legal history)
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Sociology

Scholars in the fields of Economics, Education, Law and Psychology may be considered, but should check with the Institute before submitting applications.

visiting scholars program
Visiting Scholars Program
  • For faculty members in the humanities and social sciences
  • 10 months of post-doctoral research at Harvard University
  • Proposed research project should be related to the humanities and social sciences with an emphasis on culture. Asian and comparative studies are especially welcome.
visiting scholars program qualifications
Visiting Scholars Program - Qualifications
  • A member of the faculty of one of HYI’s partner institutions
    • Must have at least 2 years of research/teaching experience at home institution
    • Those with a PhD from an English-speaking university may not apply within 5 years of receiving their doctoral degree
  • Ability to participate in activities in English
  • No nationality restrictions
  • Preference to younger scholars, but no age restrictions
  • Nomination by home institution
stipend and benefits
Stipend and Benefits
  • Visiting scholars stipend: US$5,500/month for 10 months
  • Health Insurance
  • Round trip airfare
  • $500 to attend one academic conference in US
  • Research fund (can hire student for part-time help w/ research)
  • Research Proposal (3-5 pages)
    • original, publishable research (not necessary that the research be completed during the year at Harvard)
    • the scholarship is NOT intended for the compilation of textbooks or the writing of general surveys of your field
  • Recommendation Letters

A strong research proposal and letters of recommendation are crucial to your application.

For helpful advice on preparing these documents, visit our website: www.harvard-yenching.org/fellowship

year in residence
Year in Residence
  • one presentation on research, in English, during the academic year
  • Academic and social activities for all HYI affiliates
  • Opportunity to organize a workshop at Harvard w/ HYI support
  • Partnered with a faculty ‘mentor’ at Harvard or another appropriate university
visiting fellows program
Visiting Fellows Program
  • For advanced PhD candidates to conduct dissertation writing and research at Harvard University for three semesters (17 months)
  • Qualifications:
    • Nomination by home university
    • Nationality: must be a citizen of an Asian country
    • Ability to participate in activities in English, including a weekly workshop
    • Preference is given to those in East Asian Studies whose research would benefit from the resources of the Harvard-Yenching Library
stipend and benefits1
Stipend and Benefits
  • Stipend of approximately $2,500/month
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Health Insurance
  • Funding (up to $500) for participation in an academic conference in the US or Canada
  • Tuition for one semester of English class at Harvard Extension School
application process
Application Process
  • Very similar to that for Visiting Scholars
    • must be nominated by home institution
  • Application Deadline: September 30
  • Description of dissertation project (2-3 pages)
  • Recommendation letters
  • University transcripts

For helpful advice on preparing these documents, visit our website: www.harvard-yenching.org/fellowship

year in residence1
Year in Residence
  • Participation in a weekly seminar with other HYI-affiliated graduate students
  • Academic and social activities for all HYI affiliates
  • Additional support (workshops, editing services) for those writing English-language dissertations
selection process
Selection Process
  • Nomination by your home institution
  • Submission of application to HYI: deadline Sept. 30
  • Each application isreviewedby a scholar in a related field
    • Reviewers focus on candidate’s academic background, strength of research proposal and recommendation letters
  • Interviews
    • Held in home country in December or January
  • Review and final selection by HYI committee
    • Notification by mid-late February
  • Program begins in August

Joint Scholarship Program for PhD studies

with the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong


This program allows for candidates to pursue a PhD at either the National University of Singapore or TheUniversity of Hong Kong, with 10-18 months of dissertation research at Harvard University.

Within HYI’s remit, focusing on East and Southeast Asian Studies (interdisciplinary / disciplinary approach)

Candidates must be from HYI partner universities or research institutes in Southeast Asia.

areas of study
Areas of Study
  • At NUS, fields of research to be considered:
    • Disciplinary (Humanities / Social Science / Cultural Studies in Asia), or
    • Area studies (Chinese Studies, Malay Studies, Japanese Studies, South Asian Studies & Southeast Asian Studies)
  • At HKU, fields of research to be considered:
    • Faculty of Arts or Faculty of Social Sciences, with an emphasis on history, culture and society
funding nus
Funding - NUS
  • Funding up to 4 years altogether:
    • 2 ½ - 3 years at NUS
    • 1 - 1 ½ years in the United States
      • Funded by HYI, based at Harvard University
      • Use of library resources
      • Assigned a mentor; may be able to audit classes
funding hku
Funding - HKU
  • Funding up to 4-5 years altogether
    • 3-4 years at HKU
    • 10 months in the United States
      • Funded by HYI, based at Harvard University
      • Use of library resources
      • Assigned a mentor; may be able to audit classes
candidates must
Candidates must:
  • Be from a HYI partner institution in Southeast Asia
  • Enrol for a NUS or HKU PhD
  • Participate in academic events organized by HYI and/or NUS/HKU
how to apply
How to apply
  • Ensure that you will be nominated by your university's international or foreign affairs office
    • They must submit a letter of support on official letterhead indicating that you have been nominated for the program
    • Apply online to NUS or HKU for admission to its PhD program
      • Deadline for NUS is November 1; for HKU is December 1
  • Complete a brief HYI supplemental application form
  • Joint offers announced in late January / early February
profiles of current students
Profiles of current students

Sittithep Eaksittipong, PhD candidate in History, NUS

Lecturer, Dept. of History, Chiang Mai University

Research interests: East Asian studies, Thai studies, and Chinese overseas (especially ethnic Chinese in Thailand); PhD thesis on ‘Sino-Thai Historiography.’ 

ThearaThun, PhD candidate in History, NUSLecturer, Dept. of History, Royal U. of Phnom Penh

Research interests: cultural and political history of mainland Southeast Asia.

profiles cont d
Profiles (cont’d)

Keo Piseth, PhD candidate in Environmental Management/Sociology, NUS

Research interests: concepts and approaches for natural resource management (including political ecology, property rights, social capital, command-control, common pool resources, and community based natural resource management).

Nguyen Quang Dung, PhD candidate in Anthropology, NUS

Research interests: ethnic identity, education for the hill tribes in Thailand, and ethnic language loss

additional hyi programs
Additional HYI Programs
  • Fellowship for Master’s Program in Harvard’s Regional Studies – East Asia Program
  • Training Programs
hyi rsea master s program at harvard university fellowship
HYI-RSEA Master’s Program at Harvard University - Fellowship
  • The Regional Studies – East Asia (RSEA) Program at Harvard University is for graduate training in the languages, societies and cultures of East Asia
  • The RSEA Master’s program offers additional course preparation and mentorship for promising students in order to make them more competitive for admission to leading Ph.D. programs
  • This fellowship is for Asian nationals who are:
    • committed to pursuing a Ph.D. as preparation for an academic career
    • planning to return to Asia to teach upon completion of graduate studies
  • This multi-year full fellowship covers the two-year Master’s degree in Harvard’s RSEA program plus the first year of a doctoral degree program (in humanities or social sciences with a focus on East Asia) at an approved university
  • More information: http://rsea.fas.harvard.edu
hyi training programs
HYI Training Programs
  • Intensive 1-2 week programs for graduate students and junior faculty (conducted with one of our partner universities)
  • Participants can apply for a one-year fellowship at HYI following the completion of the training program
    • 2-5 from each program may be chosen for such grants
recent hyi training programs
Recent HYI Training Programs
  • Urban Studies (held in Shanghai; to be held in Hong Kong in 2014)
  • Social Science Approaches to Contemporary Chinese Everyday Life(held in Nanjing)
  • Civil Society and Grassroots Politics in New Democracies and Hybrid Regimes(held in Seoul)
  • Historical Materials and Methods: the New Horizon for Research on 1950s China (held in Shanghai)
partners in se asia
Partners in SE Asia
  • Thailand
    • Chiang Mai University
    • Chulalongkorn University
    • ThammasatUniversity
  • Cambodia
    • Pannasastra University
    • Royal University of Fine Arts
    • Royal University of Phnom Penh
  • Vietnam
    • Southern Institute of Sustainable Development
    • University of Social Sciences - Ho Chi Minh City
    • Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences – Hanoi
    • Vietnam National University – Hanoi
  • Singapore
    • National University of Singapore
other asian partners
Other Asian partners
  • China: 20 Universities and Research Institutes
    • Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and 18 Universities
  • Japan: 13 Partners
    • Including 12 universities and 1 research library
  • Hong Kong: 2 Universities
    • Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Korea: 10 Partners
    • Academy of Korean Studies and 9 universities
  • Taiwan: 2 Universities and 1 Research Institute
    • Academic Sinica, National Taiwan University, National Tsinghua University
more information
More information
  • HYI website
    • www.harvard-yenching.org
  • Social media
    • Facebook: www.facebook.com/Harvard-YenchingInstitute
    • Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/yenchinginstitute
  • Email
    • strogatz@fas.harvard.edu
    • lgrove@fas.harvard.edu