Postdoctoral Fellowships in Chinese Studies

Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences

2021-22 An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships

School Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department/Area Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Position Description

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies (FCCS) at Harvard University is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 competition for the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowships in Chinese Studies.

This year the Fairbank Center is offering two fellowships to support postdoctoral participants in an interdisciplinary research group that will focus on Meaningful Ageing and End of Life in China: A Multidisciplinary US-China Collaboration. This research group will be led by Professors Winnie Yip (T.H. Chan School of Public Health) and Arthur Kleinman (Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Harvard Medical School). The primary objective of this research group is to conduct in-depth study and analyses in order to understand what constitutes a meaningful life for older people in China and what policies and actions can be designed to advance that objective. The group will take an inter-disciplinary and comparative approach, drawing on experiences and lessons from other relevant countries.

Examples of questions to be examined include: What does purpose/meaning-driven aging mean and how does it manifest in the context of Chinese culture, ethics and social values? What kind of care system should policymakers be considering (e.g., palliative care, other forms of end of life care) in integrating medical care with socially and culturally meaningful support? What is the role of social technology in communicating and intervening in the perceived worth of elders experiences of living? What is the role of the government versus the market in financing and delivering an eldercare system that suits the preferences of the Chinese elderly? How do we guide urban planning and housing policies so as to enhance social and cultural values in a physical environment for elders who reside either in institutions or residences?

As part of the group, fellows’ primary responsibility will be to conduct their proposed research project under the mentorship of Profs. Yip and Kleinman. Using the balance of their available time, they will have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities to be decided upon by the group, but which may include presentation in seminars, contribution to a white paper summarizing the group’s analyses and policy recommendations for ageing in China, or other interdisciplinary engagements and collaborations with the scholarly community at Harvard.

Total stipend for An Wang Postdoctoral Fellows: $60,000

Health insurance benefits and $3000 for scholarly activities will also be provided to each fellow. In addition, there are potential funding opportunities for presentation in international conference and a research trip to China.

Basic Qualifications

Applicants must have completed all Ph.D. requirements (dissertation completed and filed) between May 2016 and July 2021.

Additional Qualifications

A strong working knowledge of Chinese and English is required. The team is particularly interested in applicants with a degree in one or more of the following disciplines: Anthropology, Comparative Politics, Economics, Public Health, Public Policy, Sociology. Applications from individuals who hold or have held full-time teaching appointments will not be considered. Holders of a Harvard University doctoral degree are not eligible for the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Applicants must notify the Fairbank Center of any changes to the information provided in their application that may impact eligibility. Failure to communicate such changes may result in disqualification. If awarded the fellowship, the scholar must provide confirmation of successful completion of their Ph.D. degree, in the form of a diploma, certificate of completion from the degree-granting institution, or a letter from the institution’s Registrar, no later than August 1, 2021.

If you have not received your degree at the time of application, your dissertation adviser must also submit the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship Adviser Confirmation Form ( This form must be completed by your adviser and submitted to Nick Drake at no later than February 19, 2021. Failure to submit this form may result in disqualification.

All materials must be in English.

Special Instructions

You are required to submit:
• CV
• A one to two-page cover letter that briefly states your interest in the program, your background, and a summary of your research project. The letter should include one or two ideas for topics in ageing and end of life in China to serve as the basis of a seminar or other scholarly contribution to the research group.
• A five-page, double-spaced research proposal
• A writing sample
• Two letters of recommendation

Contact Information

Nick Drake
Program Coordinator
Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-4007

Contact Email

Equal Opportunity Employer

The fellowships will be subject to all rules and regulations of Harvard University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required 2

Maximum Number of References Allowed 2

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

*What is your current position?
(Open Ended Question)

*In what year did you receive your Ph.D.?
(Open Ended Question)

*In what discipline did you complete your Ph.D.?
(Open Ended Question)

*Please list those languages other than English in which you have fluency, specifying reading, spoken, or both
(Open Ended Question)

*Please identify your primary area of research (field and temporal/geographic specialization).
(Open Ended Question)

*Please list your research interests (200 character limit)
(Open Ended Question)

*Please briefly describe the specific research project(s) you wish to complete during the fellowship (500 words or fewer).
(Open Ended Question)

Applicant Documents

Required Documents

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of Research
  • Writing Sample 1
  • Optional Documents
  • Other