Djokovic Science and Innovation Fellowship

In 2016, the Center and the Novak Djokovic Foundation launched the Djokovic Science and Innovation Fellowship in an effort to contribute new, science-based innovations in early childhood development. The fellowship will build the capacity of emerging leaders to conduct cutting-edge research, translate and communicate research into policy and practice, and create and test new strategies that drive the early childhood field forward.


About the Fellowship & Application Requirements

The Center on the Developing Child’s Djokovic Science and Innovation Fellowship is a one-year fellowship that supports the dissertation research of Harvard University doctoral students whose independent research aligns with the mission of the Center, which is to drive science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity. It provides a $10,000 stipend and a series of thematic and skill-building workshops to help students grow both intellectually and professionally, with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to catalyze innovation that impacts the early childhood field. Award decisions are made in the Spring, and the fellowship begins the following September. All Harvard University doctoral students from the biological and social sciences as well as the professional schools are eligible to apply.

During the fellowship, students create a work plan for the year, attend workshops, deliver a seminar presentation, attend Center-sponsored events and explore community perspectives, policy strategies, and leadership practices relevant to their area of study. Fellows will receive training in the Center’s science-based innovation model and on effective strategies for communicating their research to non-scientists. Each Djokovic Fellow is asked to identify a faculty mentor, whose responsibilities include providing input on the fellowship year work plan, attending the fellow’s seminar, and helping to identify an interdisciplinary group of faculty from across the university to provide feedback at the fellow’s seminar presentation that augments the mentor’s expertise. There is an expectation that significant progress will be made on the fellow’s research during the year; specific benchmarks will be determined individually with input from the faculty mentor.

Candidates should have excellent academic records and defined research interests related to child health, learning, and behavior. Priority will be given to candidates whose work aligns with the Center’s mission, crosses disciplinary boundaries, and offers promising new thinking in support of the healthy development of children and their families.

“We look forward to a wonderful collaboration between the Novak Djokovic Foundation and Jack Shonkoff’s team at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Our investment will strengthen the body of research in early childhood development and education and ensure we nurture the next generation of leaders in this field. The coming year promises to be both memorable and consequential as we welcome the first Djokovic Fellows in 2017.”

–Alberto Lidji, Global CEO, Novak Djokovic Foundation

How to Apply

Applications for the 2017-18 academic year are no longer being accepted. For additional questions, please see our Application FAQs.

About the Novak Djokovic Foundation




Founded in 2007, the Novak Djokovic Foundation is a global organization that champions and invests in early childhood education with a focus on Serbia, a country where only one in two children has access to preschool education. It was founded on the belief that early education can transform the lives of children as well as entire communities. This is achieved by creating best-in-class programs and learning environments in Serbia where more than 600 teachers have received training. The Foundation has built or repurposed 18 schools and helped over 10,000 children to date.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit:

Julius B. Richmond Fellows

collageFrom 2007-2016, the Center awarded Julius B. Richmond Fellowships to 38 doctoral students in support of their science, education, and policy research and scholarly development. Richmond Fellows will become a part of a larger network of the alumni of both fellowships, and Dr. Richmond will continue to be honored at the Center through an annual “Julius B. Richmond Emerging Leaders Profile.” More details coming soon!

Learn about the research interests of the Richmond Fellows.

  Print this page   Subscribe to our mailing list