Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Edmond J. Safra Undergraduate Fellowships in Ethics

The Edmond J. Safra Undergraduate Fellowship program invites applications from Harvard College sophomores and juniors from any aapplbaumconcentration who are pursuing research and writing with an ethics dimension, and who wish to develop their talents in modes of inquiry that are essential to tackling critical moral issues in public life. Beginning in Spring 2014, eight to twelve fellows will be invited to join a university-wide community of faculty and scholars from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the professional schools at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

The Edmond J. Safra Undergraduate Fellowship program is directed by Professor Arthur Applbaum


The Undergraduate Fellowship program seeks to provide students with the opportunity to engage in an informed analysis of values in their own areas of inquiry that will lead to the completion of a senior thesis. In pursuit of this goal, Undergraduate Fellows complete an ethics seminar with Professor Applbaum, participate in an ongoing ethics research workshop, and attend lectures and dinners hosted by the Center. In addition, Undergraduate Fellows are offered a wide range of opportunities to interact with faculty, fellows, and graduate students affiliated with the Center.


Spring Semester 2014: Undergraduate Fellows will enroll in the interdisciplinary seminar with Professor Applbaum, Government 94saf: Safra Undergraduate Ethics Fellowship Seminar, which meets Thursdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Undergraduate Fellows also will attend the Lester Kissel Lecture and Workshop on Wednesday and Thursday, February 5 and 6, 2014, and at least one other lecture sponsored by the Center.

Fall Semester 2014 and 2015: To help prepare for their senior theses, Undergraduate Fellows will participate in an informal semester-long weekly research workshop in the fall of each year that they remain at Harvard. The research workshop will include discussions of assigned readings, presentations of the students' own work, and reflections on the Center's distinguished lecture series.

Spring Semester, Senior Year: Undergraduate Fellows will submit to their respective departments a senior thesis on an approved topic that has a normative dimension.


Students in their sophomore or junior year, with a GPA of at least 3.0, are invited to apply. Applicants should have completed, or be currently enrolled in, two courses in ethics, moral or political philosophy, or political theory. A nonexhaustive selection of suitable courses is listed in the Center's Ethics Course Catalog. Suggested timelines for sophomores and juniors to plan for the Undergraduate Fellowship in Ethics can be found here.


Undergraduate Fellows receive a one-time book fund of $500, and may apply for summer funding through the Lester Kissel Grants in Practical Ethics. These grants support research and writing that make contributions to the understanding of practical ethics, and normally will be awarded in the summer prior to the student's senior year. 

How to Apply

1. Complete and submit the application webform.
2. Submit the following via email, in PDF format, to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it :
           (a) One page statement describing your interest in ethics and purpose in applying for the fellowship program;
           (b) Unofficial transcript (fellowship recipients will be required to furnish an official transcript).

The deadline for receipt of applications for Undergraduate Fellowships beginning in the spring semester 2014 is:
Thursday, November 14, 2013. Awards will be announced by Monday, December 2, 2013.





Ethics Course Catalog

Ethical Reasoning: General Education

ETH-REASON 11: Human Rights: A Philosophical Introduction*
ETH-REASON 14: Issues in Ethics*
ETH-REASON 21: Moral Reasoning about Social Protests
ETH-REASON 22: Justice*
ETH-REASON 24: Bioethics*
ETH-REASON 30: The Just World*
ETH-REASON 36: Institutional Corruption


Gov 10: Foundations of Political Theory
Gov 63: Recent Political Theory: Topics and Resources
Gov 1060: Ancient and Medieval Political Philosophy
Gov 1061: The History of Modern Political Philosophy
Gov 1082: What is Property?
Gov 1093: Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature

Phil 15: Moral Dilemmas
Phil 168: Kant's Ethical Theory
Phil 172: The History of Modern Moral Philosophy*
Phil 175: Ethical Theory: Proseminar
Phil 178q: Equality and Liberty

PSY 1750: Free Will, Responsibility and Law

Social Studies
Soc Stud 10a: Introduction to Social Studies


*Course is not offered in 2013-2014