Eligibility, Review, and Selection Criteria

Harkness Fellowships are designed for mid-career professionals who are committed to advancing health policy and practice in The Commonwealth Fund's principal areas of interest: improving health insurance coverage and access to care; and improving the quality and efficiency of health care services. Projects may include comparisons between the United States and the applicant's home country. Fellowships are not awarded to support study for academic degrees. All applicants must:

  • Be citizens of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, or the United Kingdom. Applicants who are not citizens of the country in which they are applying must have permanent residency and have lived in that country for at least the last three years. Such applicants must also be committed to pursuing careers in the country from which they are selected.
  • Show significant promise as a policy-oriented health services researcher or practitioner (clinician, health services manager, government official, or journalist);
  • Have a demonstrated expertise in health policy issues and a track record of informing health policy through research, policy analysis, health services, or clinical leadership;
  • Have a master's degree or doctorate (or the equivalent thereof) in health care services, health policy research, or a related discipline, such as economics or political science (consideration may be given to candidates with a bachelor's degree only, depending on work experience); and
  • If academically based, be at a mid-career level (e.g., research fellow to senior lecturer).

Applications are reviewed by Fund staff and a panel of experts appointed in each of the participating countries. A limited number of applicants will be invited for interviews, which will be conducted in November 2017 in Auckland (for New Zealand applicants) and Sydney (for Australian applicants), in January or February 2018 in London (for U.K. applicants), in Paris (for French applicants), in Oslo (for Norwegian applicants), in the Hague (for Dutch applicants), in Berlin (for German applicants), and in March 2018 in Toronto (for Canadian applicants). Awards are subject to approval by the Fund's president and are contingent upon the Fund's approval of a final project proposal, budget, and mentor/institutional placement.

The Fund does not provide critiques of applications that are declined. Candidates are selected based on their qualifications and leadership potential; their commitment to improving health care through research and practice; the quality of their research proposal; the relevance of their proposed research to the Fund's areas of interest and to policy development in their home country; and the strength of their supporting letters.


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