We seek to provide maximum freedom for early-stage intellectual exploration and innovative thinking.

Applications for exploratory seminars:

  • convey an early vision of proposed research
  • reflect any subject matter or disciplinary concentration, and involve single disciplines or multidisciplinary groups
  • encourage cross-departmental, divisional, and school collaboration
  • involve 10 to 18 participants
  • propose a budget that does not exceed $18,000

Successfully submitted applications are peer reviewed with a focus on academic rigor, scholarly merit, cutting-edge topics, and clarity of purpose. Reviewers also look for:

  • junior faculty participating alongside senior faculty
  • pedagogical impact (which might, though is not required to, include the possibility of developing courses through the Harvard College Program in General Education)
  • diverse participants
  • articulation of why holding the program at the Radcliffe Institute will make a particular difference to the exploration of the topic

The Radcliffe Institute does not fund larger, more formal meetings like conferences under this program. All exploratory seminars take place at the Radcliffe Institute.

Apply online

Additional Information

Please note that successful applicants do not receive a grant. Funding is provided through the Institute to support the program here.

A brief report by the program leader on the outcomes of the exploratory seminar is expected within one month of its conclusion. We want to learn, as relevant, about how your exploratory seminar affects academic research, classroom teaching, public policy formation, and societal discussion. To help make this as easy as possible a template for the report will be sent to you.


The deadline to submit applications for 2017–2018 is Monday, October 24, 2016. If you have any questions, contact Kristen Osborne, program associate for Academic Ventures, at exsem@radcliffe.harvard.edu.