Julius B. Richmond Fellowship

Among the core goals of the Center on the Developing Child is the creation of a new generation of leaders who are prepared to think differently, work differently, and drive innovation in research, policy, and practice to improve the well-being of vulnerable children. Each year, the Julius B. Richmond Fellowship program brings to the Center a small cohort of doctoral students from across the university to foster their interdisciplinary thinking, deepen their capacity for applied science, and build their skills in science communication and knowledge translation for the public.

Including the awardees for the 2016-17 academic year, a total of 38 fellows have been named since the program’s inaugural year in 2007–08.

About the Fellowship & Application Requirements

The Julius B. Richmond 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. It provides a $10,000 stipend and a series of thematic and skill-building workshops to help students grow both intellectually and professionally. Award decisions are made in March, and the fellowship begins in 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 thematic and skill-building workshops, deliver a seminar presentation, and attend Center-sponsored events. Each Richmond 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. In addition, fellows are asked to participate in a set of interdisciplinary conversations related to a current challenge or controversy in the field. 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 as to what could be done differently in policy and practice to support the healthy development of children and their families.

How to Apply

Applicants are asked to submit four copies of the Richmond Fellowship application form, a Statement of Interest, curriculum vitae, an official transcript, a letter of recommendation, and a cover letter. Finalists may be invited for an interview. Applications for the 2017-18 academic year will be due on December 9, 2016. Check back for more information. For additional questions, please see our Application FAQs.

Current Fellows

The following four students have been selected as 2016-17 Richmond Fellows:

FongKelley Fong is a doctoral student in sociology and social policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Fong’s research examines patterns of distrust and disconnection among low-income parents, asking how and why parents disengage from services and systems aimed at supporting their children’s health, well-being, and development. Her research will broaden understanding about parents’ ideas about the child welfare system and their interactions with health and social service providers to provide insight into how to reform systems to reach children more effectively. Fong holds a B.A. in American studies and history from Stanford University, and expects to receive an A.M. in sociology from Harvard University in 2016, while simultaneously pursuing her Ph.D. Her mentor will be Devah Pager, Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Kennedy School of Government. Pager is the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, as well as the Director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the Kennedy School.

Mackall-160Abena Subira Mackall is a doctoral student in the Culture, Communities and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mackall’s research is broadly focused on the intersection of education systems and juvenile and criminal justice systems. Her dissertation will explore the lived experience of juvenile probation, and how adjudicated youth sentenced to probation interpret and understand this experience within the social context of their daily lives and development. Her research will offer new insights into fostering supportive familial and peer relationships, promoting positive school experiences, and preventing future incarceration and court sanctions for at-risk youth. Mackall holds an A.B. in politics, with a certificate in African American studies from Princeton University, a master’s in childhood special education: learning disabilities from Hunter College in New York, a master’s in science in race, ethnicity, and post-colonial studies from the London School of Economics, as well as a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her mentor will be Natasha Kumar Warikoo, Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Qureshi-160Farah Qureshi is a doctoral student in the social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research investigates the early life origins of cardiometabolic disease, focusing specifically on psychosocial pathways by which social adversity gets under the skin. Her research will contribute to a growing body of work exploring the interplay between social environments, children’s emotional functioning, and cardiometabolic risk, and the ways in which positive assets may buffer children against poor health over the life course. Farah holds a B.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s of health science in child health and development from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her mentor will be Center-affiliated faculty member Laura Kubzansky, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Lynneth SolisS. Lynneth Solis is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research explores the influence of sociocultural context and the nature of play interactions on young children’s learning and development in formal and informal settings. Her research seeks to improve understanding of how children develop by examining play as a phenomenon ripe with potential to foster positive relationships and stimulate early childhood experiences in diverse settings, and to enrich national and international conversations about early childhood research, practice, and policy. Currently, she studies the play experiences of indigenous children in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Solis has a B.A. in psychology and a M.A.T. in curriculum and instruction from La Sierra University, and a master’s in the Mind, Brain, and Education program from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her mentor will be Center-affiliated faculty member Meredith Rowe, Associate Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Photos of Kelley Fong and Abena Subira Mackal by Sally Pfitzer; photo of Farah Qureshi by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; photo of S. Lynneth Solis by Anna Duong Van Ornam

About Julius B. Richmond

Julius B. RichmondThe Richmond Fellowship is named for Julius B. Richmond, M.D., who, until his death in 2008, was the John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy Emeritus at Harvard Medical School. As a pioneer in public health and early childhood development, Dr. Richmond was the first director of Head Start in the Johnson administration and served as U.S. Surgeon General in the Carter administration, where he was an instrumental public health campaigner against the tobacco industry. Dr. Richmond cherished the fact that the Fellowship was established in his name, and the Center is committed to supporting an annual cohort of promising young scholars as an ongoing testament to honor his enduring legacy.

Read the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health obituary for Dr. Richmond.

Photo of Julius Richmond: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University News Office

Past Fellows

Learn more about the research interests of previous classes of Julius B. Richmond fellows.

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