John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellowship (for Harvard Doctoral Students)


Doctoral students from a variety of disciplines writing a thesis on a housing-related topic are encouraged to apply for a John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellowship. Meyer Dissertation Fellows receive an $8,000 stipend as well project advising and support from our researchers and faculty affiliates. They are expected to present their work at a Joint Center seminar and publish it as a Joint Center working paper.

The Fellowship honors the memory of the late John R. Meyer, who was the James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Economic Growth, emeritus at the Harvard Kennedy School. One of the leading urban economists of his generation, Meyer also served as president of the National Bureau of Economic Research and as a professor at Harvard Business School and in the economics departments at both Harvard and Yale. He chaired the Center's Faculty Committee from 1997-2003 and served as the Center's Interim Director from 1996 to 1998.


The Fellowship is open to Harvard doctoral students in in any discipline who have an approved prospectus for a housing-related doctoral dissertation and have a genuine desire to be part of an interdisciplinary community of researchers and scholars interested in housing issues. Recent fellows have included students studying Design, Economics, Government, History, Social Policy, Sociology and Urban Planning. Fellows will receive $7,000 in the summer after they are chosen and $1,000 after they have presented their work at our Housing Research Seminar, had it accepted for publication as a Joint Center Working Paper, and have written a blog that will be published when their Working Paper is released.

How to Apply

  • Brief statement (2-3 pages) outlining the dissertation topic, the status of the project, the expected timetable for completion, and the applicant's future interests and goals in the field of housing research
  • Resume or CV
  • Transcript or list of graduate school courses and grades
  • Letters of support from two graduate faculty members who may be consulted as references
  • A short (5-10 page) writing sample

Applications will go live on Monday, January 8, 2024. Applicants should submit their materials via Harvard's Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT) system. The application deadline has passed.