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Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice


01 June 2024


01 November 2024

Supporting Information

Virtual information session: Tuesday 28 May, 6:00 - 7:00 pm BST

The Commonwealth Fund's Harkness Fellowships provide a unique leadership development opportunity for mid-career research professionals who are committed to advancing health care policy and practice.

Co-funded in the UK by the NIHR and The Health Foundation, the Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice fund successful applicants to spend a year in the United States (US), conducting internationally comparative research with mentorship from leading US experts.

The Harkness Fellowship provides dedicated research funding to allow Fellows to:

  • gain an in-depth understanding of the US healthcare system and policy landscape
  • engage?in a series of leadership development activities
  • build a robust network for cross-national exchange and collaboration

Successful applicants will also become a member of the NIHR Academy.


The Fellowship provides:

  • dedicated research funding
  • monthly living stipend (approximately 8,000 USD)
  • one round-trip airfare
  • support for relocation and health insurance coverage
  • 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 age 18.

Fellows are encouraged to seek salary support from their home-country employer, particularly if coming from a for-profit organisation. In some cases, Fellows may opt to arrange paid leave from their home institution (in lieu of receiving the monthly living stipend) to maintain their current income. If partial salary support is provided by a Fellow’s home institution, it will be supplemented by the Commonwealth Fund to meet the amount of the monthly living stipend.

Eligibility criteria

All applicants must:

  • be established residents of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, or the United Kingdom and eligible to receive a J1 Research Scholar Visa
  • be committed to continuing their career in the country from which they are applying
  • show significant promise as a policy-oriented health care leader
  • have demonstrated expertise in health policy issues and a track record of informing health policy through research, policy analysis, care delivery, or clinical leadership
  • propose a research project that is relevant to both the U.S. and their home country and is focused on creating policy or system-level change
  • have the relevant education and work experience to carry out the proposed research and take full advantage of the Fellowship experience.

People from historically marginalised backgrounds and/or populations under-represented in health policy and health care delivery are strongly encouraged to apply.

Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds, including government/policy, health services research, clinical practice, health care management, and journalism. If you have specific questions about whether your career path fits with the programme, please contact