Visiting Fellows & Scholars

The Growth Lab aims to understand crucial issues of economic development: How does economic growth come about? How do countries and regions embark on new growth paths? How can individuals participate in this growth? To answer these questions, we rely on a team of highly motivated, multidisciplinary researchers. Through our Visiting Fellows and Scholars Program, every year the Growth Lab accepts a small number of visiting scholars to join the lab and pursue common research efforts.

Our understanding of economic development is that to produce complex products, economies must learn to coordinate the efforts of teams of experts from a wide variety of backgrounds. In line with this thinking, most research at the Growth Lab is collaborative, relying on the joint efforts of interdisciplinary teams, and most of our papers are co-authored. Coherence of these efforts is ensured by organizing these teams around the core research agenda of the Growth Lab, and as such great emphasis is placed on synergies with current research streams when selecting candidates.

Logistics and application

Applicants must bring their own funding sources. A typical stay at the Growth Lab is between 6 and 12 months (with a minimum of 3 months). Selected candidates are fully embedded in the Growth Lab's research team: they are expected to present once a semester in the lab's internal seminar series, participate in all research and training activities and have biweekly meetings with the lab's research director.

We accept applications of researchers with a PhD in a relevant field and from PhD candidates in the final two years of their dissertation. With many applications, but only few available places, the program is highly selective. To help ensure the success of a research visit, selection is based on the quality of the proposal, the skills of the applicant and, last but not least, on the proximity to the Growth Lab’s research agenda. As such we encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with the lab's latest research by checking some of these videos, and the research of our current faculty and postdoctoral fellows.

To apply please send all the following documents to

  • Concise description of your research proposal (1-2 pages). Please address how the proposed project is synergistic with our current research.
  • Paper samples
  • Updated CV
  • Desired dates to visit
  • Brief summary of intended funding sources. This is particularly important for those requiring visa sponsorship.
  • For PhD students, a letter of recommendation from your PhD advisor 

If you require visa sponsorship for your stay, the Growth Lab will likely sponsor you for some form of the J-1 Scholar Visa. Please note the funding and health care requirements on the Harvard International Office’s website.

For more information, please contact Andrea Hayes at