The Radcliffe Exploratory Seminar Program provides funding to scholars, practitioners, and artists for collaboration in an interdisciplinary exploration of early-stage ideas. Our program encourages intellectual risk taking as participants gather in an intensive seminar setting to explore new fields of research and inquiry. Hundreds of Harvard faculty members and Radcliffe fellows have benefited from this program, which challenges its participants to reimagine the boundaries of knowledge through multidisciplinary discussion. 

Program details:

  • Funding of up to $18,000 available to support one- to two-day, by-invitation-only seminars
  • Hosted on the campus of the Radcliffe Institute
  • Accommodates roughly 12–20 participants, subject to budgetary limitations
  • Lead applicant must be either a Harvard ladder (tenured or tenure-track) faculty member (from any school) or a former or current Radcliffe fellow; co-applicants may apply with lead applicants who meet eligibility requirements
  • Applications are peer reviewed

We welcome proposals that:

  • explore the viability of early-stage research ideas in any discipline or multiple disciplines
  • invite the perspectives of diverse participants and stakeholders to the discussion
  • integrate senior and junior scholars from institutions in the greater Boston area, across the United States, or around the world
  • demonstrate risk taking and creativity

The following areas—while not exclusive—are of special interest:

  • Radcliffe supports engaged scholarship. We welcome proposals that connect research to public policy, pressing social issues, and/or seek to actively engage audiences beyond academia. In particular, we encourage proposals in the areas of law, education, justice, and youth leadership.

  • Reflecting Radcliffe’s unique history, proposals that focus on women, gender, and society or draw on the Schlesinger Library’s rich collections

Proposal Submission Deadlines

For seminars to be held between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, proposals are due by 11:59 PM EST on Monday, October 21, 2019. The application portal is now open at

Informational Lunches

We will offer a series of informational lunches on our seminar and workshop programs with our faculty directors in the early fall. If you are interested in attending, please register here. Those who register will be sent details on the informational lunch, including locations.

  • Arts: Wednesday, September 18, noon–1 PM
  • Physical Sciences & Mathematics: Thursday, September 19, noon–1 PM
  • Humanities: Thursday, September 26, 12:15–1:15 PM
  • Life Sciences: Thursday, October 3, noon–1 PM
  • Social Sciences: Tuesday, October 8, noon–1 PM

Questions about the program?

For any logistical questions about the application or assistance with applying through our online portal, please contact Kristen Osborne, program associate of Academic Ventures, at

For any questions regarding content, please contact Sean O’Donnell, associate director of Academic Ventures, at