What is the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study?

Radcliffe is a cross-disciplinary laboratory of ideas. The Institute brings together scholars, students, and practitioners to engage with issues that can only be fully understood by drawing on research from across the humanities, sciences, social sciences, arts, and professions.

It is a unique school within Harvard—one that is interdisciplinary by design and animated by an institutional legacy of promoting inclusion and opportunity. By fostering inquiry across disciplinary boundaries, we ignite creativity and innovation. Crucial to this effort is the inclusion of those who have historically been underrepresented in academia. A diversity of voices is critical to full and rich discourse. Indeed, it strengthens Harvard and fosters excellence.

This mission and our institutional values underpin Radcliffe’s academic programs, including a residential fellowship for leading scholars, scientists, artists, and practitioners and a robust calendar of public and private events exploring topics at the frontiers of knowledge.

Radcliffe’s unique history as the driver of coeducation at Harvard is reflected in our enduring commitment to gender—most visible in the Institute’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, the world’s preeminent archive of American women’s lives, and central to much of Radcliffe’s programming.

Whether incubating bold ideas, enabling deep research, or engaging new audiences, we actively seek opportunities to advance and enrich the society and the university to which we belong.

We encourage you to explore the people, programs, and collections that make the Radcliffe Institute a home to big thinkers, new ideas, cutting-edge research, and thought-provoking events that are free and open to the public:

  • The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program annually supports the work of 50 leading artists and scholars and has rapidly become one of the most competitive programs of its kind in the world, with an acceptance rate of only 4 percent each year.
  • The Academic Ventures program fosters collaborative research projects and sponsors lectures and conferences that engage scholars with the public.
  • The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America documents the lives of American women of the past and present for the future, furthering the Institute’s commitment to women, gender, and society.

What is the Radcliffe Institute's relationship with Harvard?

  • Our dean and director of the Schlesinger Library are members of the Harvard faculty.
  • Since our founding in 1999, many Harvard faculty members have participated in the Fellowship Program and pursued individual projects within the multidisciplinary and international community of fellows.
  • Harvard tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to apply for and lead Exploratory Seminars and Accelerator Workshops. These opportunities for intensive and focused work help Harvard faculty members accelerate discussion and research by convening both University and international participants.
  • Harvard faculty members serve as Radcliffe faculty directors to develop annual conferences and symposia and help design our events that bring together an array of experts for illuminating and timely discussions.
  • The Radcliffe Institute has a unique ability to help attract stellar talent to the Harvard faculty by providing fellowship opportunities. Radcliffe Professors are distinguished scholars and Radcliffe Assistant Professors are promising new faculty—all of whom are part of the multidisciplinary Fellowship Program during their first years at Harvard.
  • Our Radcliffe Research Partnership program enables Harvard undergraduates to work closely with fellows on their projects throughout the year.
  • Radcliffe and Harvard college alumnae/i lead our advisory councils.
  • Radcliffe Day is part of Harvard’s commencement week and is an annual celebration at which we present the Radcliffe Medal.

When was the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study founded?

On October 1, 1999, Radcliffe College and Harvard University officially merged, establishing the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. On January 1, 2001, noted historian Drew Gilpin Faust became founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute (and subsequently the 28th president of Harvard University). Learn more about our history.

Is Radcliffe still a college?

No. Women matriculate at Harvard and receive Harvard diplomas.

The legacy of Radcliffe College—a commitment to excellence and inquiry—continues to guide the work of the Institute, and College alumnae support our mission, attend our events, and stay connected.

Today's undergraduates are engaged in the Institute in a variety of ways, including being employed as research partners for fellows, meeting professors and visiting scholars, and attending various free events featuring artists, scholars, and scientists.

Who funds the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study?

We are supported by individuals—including College alumnae, Harvard alumni, and current and past fellows—and foundations, corporations, endowment distribution, and rental income from our housing and conference-room services.

What about grants and funding?

We offer grants and funding that enable Harvard faculty and students—and researchers and scholars from around the world—to advance new ways of thinking, cutting-edge research, and knowledge. We also host seminars that help Radcliffe Institute fellows and Harvard faculty explore emerging ideas.

What about jobs?

Radcliffe Institute employees are part of the Harvard University community and are covered by Harvard's personnel policies, practices, and benefits. If you are interested in employment at the Radcliffe Institute, we encourage you to check out our available opportunities.