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Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice Modelled after the Rhodes Scholarships, the Harkness Fellowships aim to produce the next generation of health policy leaders in participating countries


This fellowship will be open for application in June 2024.

  • The Commonwealth Fund, in collaboration with the Health Foundation and the National Institute for Health and Care Research, invites mid-career professionals – including government policymakers, academic researchers, clinical leaders, hospital and insurance managers, and journalists – to apply for its Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice.   
  • This is a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in the United States as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice.  
  • The 2025–26 Harkness Fellowships will open for applications on 1 June 2024. 

The Harkness Fellowships were established by The Commonwealth Fund in 1925 and were modelled after the Rhodes Scholarships. They aim to produce the next generation of health policy leaders in participating countries.  

In the UK, the Harkness Fellowships have been supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research since 2010 and the Health Foundation since 2016.

About the Fellowship 

During their year in the US, Harkness Fellows are placed with mentors who are leading experts in their field and are based at organisations such as Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Duke University, Harvard University, Kaiser Permanente, RAND Corporation, and Stanford University. Fellows conduct research on issues relevant to The Commonwealth Fund’s mission to support a high performing health care system, including insurance coverage, access and affordability, health care delivery system reforms, cost containment, and other critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the US and the UK. 

Harkness Fellows are expected to disseminate the results of their research. Products may include a peer-reviewed journal article or report for a high-level policy audience, as well as issue briefs, op-eds and blog posts, or audio/video recordings. Depending on the nature of the project, other products more relevant to frontline delivery system innovation also may be encouraged.  

The Commonwealth Fund brings together the full class of fellows throughout the year to participate in a series of high-level policy briefings and leadership seminars with US health care leaders.   

Building on their fellowship experiences, Harkness Fellows have moved into senior positions within academia, government and health care delivery organisations, making valuable contributions to health policy and practice at home and in the US.  

The fellowship award provides dedicated research funding and a monthly living stipend (approximately USD8,000), plus round-trip airfare, support for relocation, health insurance coverage, and payment of U.S. federal and state withholding taxes. An additional family supplement is provided to Fellows accompanied by a partner and/or children under the age of 18. Exact terms of the award may vary by country.  

2025–26 Harkness Fellowships 

Harkness Fellowships are designed for mid-career professionals who are committed to advancing health policy and practice in The Commonwealth Fund’s principal areas of interest: improving health insurance coverage, access to care, the quality and efficiency of care delivery, and advancing health equity.  

Applications for the 2025–26 Harkness Fellowships are expected to open on 1 June 2024, with a submission deadline of 1 November 2024. 

This funding round will be open to individuals from the following countries: UK, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Singapore. 

An information call (via Zoom) is being held on 28 May 2024 from 18:00 to 19:00 BST. Register for the information call.

To find out more about the Harkness Fellowships and to apply, visit The Commonwealth Fund’s website 

If you have any questions about the Harkness Fellowships, including eligibility, contact Molly FitzGerald, Program Manager, International Leadership Programs, mf@cmwf.org or contact Ruth Thorlby, Assistant Director Policy, Ruth.Thorlby@health.org.uk  

UK Harkness Fellows

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