Charles Bullard Fellowship in Forest Research at Harvard

Charles Bullard Fellowship in Forest Research at Harvard

The Charles Bullard fellowship program supports advanced research and study by individuals who show promise of making an important contribution, either as scholars or administrators, to forestry and forest-related subjects including biology, earth sciences, economics, politics, administration, philosophy, humanities, the arts, or law.

The fellowship is a highly competitive program that only accepts 5 to 7 recipients a year from a large applicant pool. View the listing of past fellowship recipients or learn more about this year's Bullard Fellows.

Applications open each year on September 1st and close on December 15th.
References will be accepted through December 18th.


Bullard Fellowships are generally awarded to individuals in mid-career who have established themselves in academia, public service, or in the private sector. For those in academic careers, preference is ordinarily given to holders of doctoral degrees, but others whose projects show promise of important contributions to forestry and forest studies, broadly defined, will be considered in terms of the likelihood that study and research at Harvard will help fulfill this promise. Judgments of the Committee are based primarily on the quality of the applicant's professional accomplishments, academic record, and potential benefits from interaction with the Harvard community and its institutional resources. Please note: This is not a post-doctoral program; recent PhD graduates are generally not appropriate candidates for a Bullard Fellowship.

Fellowship Scope

The Fellowship program makes available to qualified individuals a wide range of opportunities for research in several divisions of Harvard University; this is its unique and greatest virtue. Research areas include, for example, forest ecology, tree physiology, forest soils, forest resource management, conservation and biodiversity issues, environmental policy, industrial ecological issues and management processes, forest land planning and public policy.


The Fellowships carry stipends up to $60,000; the amount of each award depends on the professional status and needs of the recipient and the duration of the Fellowship. Fellows have the option of having the award paid either to themselves or to the Fellow's employer.

In most cases, the stipend will supplement income received for devoting a period to research, e.g., sabbatical leave pay for an individual in academic life, appointments with federal support for training of individuals in federal public service, or educational leave with pay for individuals in the private sector. Fellowships are not intended to provide significant funds for original research.

In preparing your stipend request, please consider the information regarding costs discussed in the following sections: Fellowship Location, Taxes, Travel Reimbursement, Supplies Budget, Health Insurance and International Fellows.

Travel Reimbursement

All Bullard Fellows will be reimbursed for the costs of one round trip travel between their Fellowship site location and their home base. Reimbursement will be either the actual airfare or mileage (at rate determined by the IRS) between the two, whichever is lower. Bullards are responsible for the travel costs of any people accompanying them.

Supplies Budget

Each Fellow award includes $500 in support for related supplies of their Bullard Fellowship Activities.


Fellowships may start at any time after September 1. Fellowships are typically 9 months, and can be no less than 6 months and no greater than 12 months in duration.

To Apply


  • Personal Data Sheet; Note: The site is a secured site.
  • Letters of recommendations from 3 References providing a perspective of the applicant's proposed program and his/her personal and professional qualifications for carrying it out. Applicants will need to provide the 3 referees' names and contact information online.

    PLEASE NOTE: The FIRST TIME you have entered a referee's email address and press either SAVE OR SUBMIT your application, an email will be automatically sent to the referee with instructions on how to submit the reference on-line. While applicants are welcome to wait to submit their applications until Dec. 15th, it is strongly recommended that an initial application with the 3 referees' email addresses be SAVED as soon as possible to allow the referee time to complete their part by Dec. 18th, the deadline for referee submissions.

  • A statement describing the applicant's professional career to date, proposing a research program at Harvard and evaluating this program in terms of its potential contribution to the applicant's future professional career (5 page single spaced maximum is requested).
  • Financial support requested from the Bullard Fund; other support expected, including sabbatical year pay, other educational leave with pay, and research support. Express in U.S. dollars.
  • 2 page CV including
    • Colleges and universities; dates of attendance and degrees received
    • Professional positions held since graduating college
    • Academic prizes and honors, if any
    • List of up to 10 most significant books, articles, reports, etc.

Deadline: Applications must be completed by December 15th at 5 pm EST. Reference statements are accepted until December 18th. Successful candidates are notified around March 1st. 

For additional information: e-mail

Fellowship Location

The Bullard Fellowship is a residential program and Fellows are expected to spend a substantial portion of their Fellowship based at either Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts or at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bullards who expect to spend more than a week or two traveling during their Fellowship should include details in their application.

  • Fellows based at Harvard Forest will have a variety of resources available to assist with their Fellowship projects:
    • Research Resources: weekly seminars and lab groups (September - April), computer lab, library, archives, LTER Annual symposium (March), office space, local telephone service and basic office supplies at no cost.
    • Housing: The Forest has furnished housing available for Bullards for $900-$1,600 per month for 1 to 5 bedroom units.
    • Local Transportation: Harvard Forest is located in a rural area. As there is no local public transportation, Bullards must have their own vehicle for transportation. The costs of obtaining a vehicle  including insurance ($750-$1,500 annually); purchase of the vehicle ($5,000+) as well as maintenance and gas. Bullards are responsible for purchasing their own vehicle.
    • Petersham has many resources for its residents.
  • Fellows based in Cambridge will need to make arrangements with their proposed collaborators for access to an appropriate office and/or lab space. Cost considerations should include research support costs (e.g. photocopying, office telephone, fax, office supplies, travel, lab/research/field supplies) and housing ($1,500-3,000/month, based upon size and location of unit).  One source for housing convenient to Harvard's Cambridge campus is 


Bullard Fellows are not considered employees of the University and receive no fringe benefits. For U.S. Citizens, taxes are not withheld by HU. Instead, Bullards are expected to make their own arrangements to pay income taxes via quarterly payments to the IRS.

International Bullards should note that HU will withhold an income tax up to 14% of their stipends unless there is a tax treaty between their home country and the US which reduces or waives this requirement.  See Harvard Office of Controller for more information.

Health Insurance

Massachusetts state law requires all residents to also have health insurance. Therefore, Bullards without insurance may wish to look at purchasing health insurance through:

  1. Massachusetts Health Connector. The Health Connector is Massachusetts' health insurance Marketplace where individuals, families, and small businesses can shop among the state's leading health insurance carriers and choose the right plan to meet their needs and budget. Insurance purchased through Mass Health Connector can cost between $300 to $500 per month for a single person and $1000 to $3000 per month for a family of 4 based in Petersham. Note that moving to Massachusetts to begin your fellowship is a "triggering event" allowing you to obtain insurance outside the standard open enrollment period. 
  2. Insurance Plans outside of Harvard.  This is a list of policies suggested by the Harvard International Office as providing health insurance policies suitable for international scholars who must have health insurance as a condition of their visa. These policies are also available for US citizens but may be less comprehensive than MHC.

All information regarding insurance is provided to assist Bullard applicants with planning and budgeting but the availability of insurance, its suitability and cost may greatly vary depending on individual circumstances. All insurance costs are the Bullard's responsibility. 

International Fellows

International researchers have additional considerations when applying for a Bullard Fellowship, such as the visa process, logistics, and financial implications. All potential international Bullards should consult the Harvard International Office web site (, which includes information about visa policies, taxes and health insurance, as well as other helpful topics.

Costs specific to international scholars vary with the length of the fellowship but include visas (up to $1,500 per person), up to 14% income taxes, health insurance ($300 to $500 per month for a single person and $1000 to $3000 per month for a family of 4 based in Petersham), and the travel to the United States for their families. Upon arrival, international scholars are required to provide the program administrator with proof of health insurance coverage for themselves and members of their family as a condition of their visa. 

Application date
6-12 months
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, Arts and Art history, History, Literature, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences : Geography, Environmental Sciences, Sociology
Other : Biology, Physics, mathematics and engineering