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 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 from a broad range of fields and perspectives 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.

  • We welcome proposals relevant to the Institute’s focus areas, which include law, education, justice; youth leadership and civic engagement; and legacies of slavery.

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

Virtual Informational Sessions

We invite Harvard faculty and Radcliffe Fellows to attend one of our five information sessions in the arts, humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, or social sciences, where you can meet with a Radcliffe faculty director and ask questions in person about the program. 

Social Sciences: Thursday, September 10, 3–4 PM
Humanities: Tuesday, September 15, 11 AM–noon
Arts: Wednesday, September 16, 4–5 PM
Life Sciences: Thursday, September 17, 2–3 PM
Physical Sciences: Monday, September 21, 11 AM–noon

If you are interested in attending one of our virtual informational sessions, please register today. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the meeting.

Proposal Submission Deadlines

We are currently accepting applications for seminars to be held between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Completed proposals are due Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Questions about the program?

Please contact Sean O’Donnell, associate director of Academic Ventures” at