Planetary Health Fellows Program at Harvard University

*The application period for the 2018 Fellows Program has closed*

Explore current fellows



Planetary health is an interdisciplinary field focused on understanding and quantifying the human health impacts of the accelerating transformation of Earth’s natural systems (for more details, see The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission Report on Planetary Health). With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) at Harvard University has created The Rockefeller Foundation Planetary Health (RFPH) Fellows program to enable recent doctorate recipients to tackle complex questions at the intersection of global environmental change and human health. The Rockefeller Foundation Planetary Health Fellows will work for two years with Harvard faculty members in any school or department to create new knowledge while also strengthening connections across Harvard University and PHA member institutions. Examples of ongoing work in this field at Harvard can be found on the websites of the PHA Director Sam Myers, the Associate Director Chris Golden, and the current Planetary Health fellows.


The Award 

The fellowship includes a salary of $60,000 per year, employee health insurance eligibility, and up to $1,000 per year for travel, professional development, or other related expenses. The PHA will organize a co-curricular program to ensure that the fellows get to know each other and each other's work, through both formal and informal gatherings. We will require that 15% of each fellow’s effort be allocated to activities that support the development of the PHA (online journal club, electronic digest of literature, annual convening, etc.). The fellowship is a residential fellowship and the fellow is expected to be present in Cambridge for the entire period of the fellowship with the exception of field visits and relevant travel.

The PHA expects to award one fellowship for the 2018 cohort. 


Selection Criteria

• Applicant's prior academic and professional success and his or her potential contribution to scholarship or practice.

• Project focus and significance: The focus of applicants—and that of their faculty hosts—may include any number of disciplines (sciences, medicine, policy, humanities, etc.) that intersect with domains of health, spanning infectious disease, non-communicable disease, nutrition, and mental health. Applications will also be evaluated for the potential impact of the research project on planetary health issues and scholarship at Harvard and beyond.

• Host’s commitment: Each fellow must identify a faculty sponsor from any of Harvard's schools or departments that is willing to host the fellow. We anticipate that the mentors will be active participants in the fellow's research activities.

• PHA member institutions: We will give special consideration to applicants from PHA member institutions interested in cross-fertilizing research efforts by spending substantial time at a member institution while being primarily based at Harvard.

• Interview: A select group of applicants will be asked to further discuss their proposal over video with the selection committee.


Finding Faculty Sponsors

Potential candidates should start early to identify potential intellectual overlap with a Harvard faculty member/s to host his or her research. Successful candidates will have research ideas that are enthusiastically supported by the Harvard host, as expressed in the host’s submitted letter of support (maximum of 2 pages).

Any faculty member from any discipline may serve as a host. Applicants unfamiliar with Harvard faculty members will find potential hosts, although not all, listed on the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) web page and that for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Most faculty members have their own web pages which will provide much more detailed information about publications and interests and which may be accessed through the main Harvard website.


If you have questions about the fellowship or application process, please contact:

Amalia Almada,

Harvard University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer

Planetary Health Alliance

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of over 120 dedicated universities, NGOs, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to advancing planetary health.
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