Rowland Fellows Program

The Rowland Institute at Harvard is seeking applications for Rowland Fellowships that commence in the 2020 calendar year. We seek the best young experimentalists in all fields of science and engineering. The Rowland Fellowship provides an opportunity to establish an independent program in the rich intellectual environment at Harvard and surrounding area. Candidates will have newly awarded doctorates or up to three years postdoctoral experience.

Dr. Edwin Land founded the Rowland Institute in order to foster high-risk, creative research. In 2002, the Rowland Institute became part of Harvard with the mission of advancing the careers of experimental scientists and engineers at an early career stage. In the tradition of Dr. Land, we are particularly interested in young scholars with the potential to establish a ground-breaking research program in their chosen field.

The Rowland Fellowship provides an excellent opportunity to pursue new research ideas. The pursuit of new ideas is facilitated by a flexible and agile environment. The Fellowship provides laboratory space, funding for equipment, personnel (to include postdoctoral fellows and undergraduate students), and general operations. Staff scientists and engineers work with the Rowland Fellows to design and fabricate new experimental set-ups. Additional shared facilities are also available through Harvard.

The term of the Fellowship is for up to five years, with a flexible start date, generally between July and September. The stipend for Rowland Fellows will start at $73,000 per year and up, depending on the candidate’s experience.

To Apply

The application period for the Rowland Fellowship program is now closed. The application process will reopen in 2020.

Applicants to the Rowland Fellowship program must apply through the link below. The link will direct you to a website where you can submit your application materials.

Besides answering some questions, you will be asked to upload a one-page research proposal (statement of research), a curriculum vitae (CV), and list three referees (to whom separate emails will be sent outlining instructions to upload their letters of recommendation).

A short list of 10 to 15 candidates will be interviewed online in mid-September.

Finalists will be expected to give a brief presentation on both past and proposed work in a symposium style series of talks by candidates on Monday afternoon, September 30, 2019. Interviews will be conducted on the following day, Tuesday, October 1, 2019, all day at the Institute.

When your application is completed and submitted, instructions will automatically be sent to these referees about submitting their letter of recommendation. Your application does not have to be completed and submitted in one sitting, and you can log back in at a later time to make additions.

Once completed and submitted, you cannot revise your materials. If you do need to submit a revised version after submittal but before the deadline, please email and we will reactivate your account so you can submit the revised version.



Dr. Michael Burns
Rowland  Fellows Program
Rowland Institute at Harvard
100 Edwin Land Blvd.
Cambridge, MA 02142

The Rowland Institute at Harvard EEO statement:  We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law. 


rowland_brochure_2019.pdf53.36 MB
rowland_poster_2019.pdf2.49 MB

Frequently Asked Questions

1. (Q) When is the deadline for applications?

(A) The deadline for the 2020 Rowland Fellowship is August 16, 2019 at 11:59PM EST.

2. (Q) What determines eligibility?

(A) The typical new appointee will have just completed a Ph.D. or have up to three years postdoctoral experience. Their proposed research must be experimentally focused in any field of science or engineering.

3. (Q) I'm not expecting to get my Ph.D. until May of next year - am I still eligible ?

(A) Yes – You need to have your Ph.D. by the time you come to Rowland, but it is very common that applicants do not yet actually have their Ph.D. at the time of the selection process.

4. (Q) Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

(A) No – non U.S. citizens are eligible for appointment as Rowland Fellows. Visa requirements, of course, must be met.

5. (Q) Do I have to be at a U.S. institution or does my Ph.D. have to be from a U.S. institution?

(A) No, the Ph.D. can be from any accredited academic institution.

6. (Q) I would like to submit my application electronically - may I?

(A) Yes, in fact you must. Please follow the link to apply online: .

7. (Q) May my letters of recommendation be sent electronically?

(A) Applicants will list three referees in the on-line application page, to whom separate emails will be sent outlining instructions to upload their letters of recommendation.

8. (Q) My field is X, but looking at your current fellows I don't see anyone in X. Does that mean you don't consider applicants in X?

(A) The program accepts applications from such a broad range of fields that the current sampling of 8 or 10 Fellows cannot possibly cover them all. The choices of our current Fellows is based on the best proposed science at their submission time. If a new proposal meets that criterion then X may very well be the next field a Fellow is chosen from.

9. (Q) When is the selection decision made?

(A) Selection decisions are made approximately two weeks after the finalists' presentations and interviews on September 30 and October 1, 2019.

10. (Q) I currently have a position at Y and would like to apply for a Fellowship to support my work there - is this possible?

(A) No –a Rowland Fellow is expected to be resident at the Institute doing their research here during their fellowship tenure.

11. (Q) I just found out about the RF program, but it's now after the deadline for submissions - will the program be available next year?

(A) Yes – our intention is that the Rowland Fellowship program will extend into the indefinite future. The details, such as the submission deadline, may change a little bit, but on the whole next year's requirements and process should be similar to this year's.