Boston College Ricci Institute—Harvard-Yenching Institute Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship Program (2024)

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BC Ricci Institute–Harvard-Yenching Institute Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship Program
The Boston College Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Institute invite applications for a Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship in the 2024-2025 academic year for full-time faculty members at Asia-based universities or research institutions in Asia, regardless of citizenship. The
purpose of the Fellowship is to bring faculty at a crucial stage of their academic career to Boston for a six-month period of research, to be conducted at both Institutions.


The Institutes


The Boston College Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History is a premier global resource for the study of Chinese-Western cultural exchange with a core focus on the social and cultural history of Christianity in East Asia, including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The Ricci Institute collections include over 100,000 volumes. The majority of these volumes concern traditional
China with a special concentration on the Jesuits missions, East–West cultural exchange, and the history of the Ming–Qing period, roughly from the 16th–19th centuries. In addition to these volumes there are more than 400,000 digital documents, photos, manuscripts, microfilms, paintings, and artefacts, including fifteen special archival collections. For more detailed information on the Ricci Institute’s collections please see the online catalogue. The Ricci
Institute Library has added thousands of volumes annually. About 60% of the volumes are in Chinese, with additional materials in Japanese, Korean, and Manchu, as well as in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, and Latin.

The Harvard-Yenching Institute (HYI) is an independent foundation dedicated to advancing higher education in Asia in the humanities and social sciences, with special attention to the study of Asian culture. The Institute offers fellowship programs to faculty members and doctoral students at leading East, Southeast, and South Asian universities in all fields of the humanities and social sciences. Closely connected with the HYI, the HarvardYenching Library has held a rich collection of research materials and rare books in East Asian languages since its inception in 1928. With its 1.6 million volumes in more than a dozen languages, the Harvard-Yenching Library holds the most comprehensive East Asian collection of any American university and has become the largest academic library for East Asian studies in the Western world.




Applicants will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge of the resources relevant to their research that are available both at the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library collections. They will also need to show how access to these collections will further their research and career development. Priority consideration will be given to scholars who have not previously
enjoyed extended research/teaching residence at either institution. Successful applicants will be provided with a monthly stipend of $5,600 for six months. In addition, they will have Visiting Researcher privileges at both Boston College and Harvard University.

Boston College will assist with the visiting researcher visa process for citizens of countries other than the U.S. (with the exception of foreign citizens who are U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, who do not require a visa). Housing will be the responsibility of the fellowship recipient. Both Boston College and the Harvard-Yenching Institute offer information on their respective websites regarding available housing for rent in the greater Boston metropolitan area.


This joint visiting researcher program offers faculty members the opportunity to undertake six months of independent scholarly research during the 2024-2025 academic year at Boston College and the Harvard-Yenching Institute to take advantage of the resources of the Ricci Institute and the Harvard Yenching Library. Proposed research projects directly related to the history and cultures of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, or Vietnam, including comparative studies between two or more East Asian countries and cultures) will be given priority.

Successful applicants will join the community of researchers at the Ricci Institute and Harvard-Yenching Institute and will have access to all Boston College and Harvard University libraries.


Eligibility Criteria


The Fellowship is open to applicants who are full-time faculty members at Asia-based universities or full-time research fellows at research institutions (e.g., Academia Sinica, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Toyo Bunko and Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences). Scholars whose work focuses on the study of East Asian culture from a wide array of disciplines in the humanities
and social sciences (including interdisciplinary approaches) are eligible to apply. These include, but are not limited to, anthropology, archaeology, art, religion, cultural studies, economic history, geography and cartography, the history of science, music, and/or art, global history, language and literature, legal history, philosophy, sociology and politics.


Terms and Conditions


The most desirable start time for successful joint Fellowship recipients is the end of August 2024, when the academic year begins at both sponsoring institutions. In view of individual circumstances and academic schedules in different countries, late arrivals may be considered (but no later than October 31, 2024).

During the fellowship period, Visiting Researchers will be expected to be regularly present and to play an active role in the academic programs of both Institutes. Each researcher will be expected to deliver a public lecture or seminar presentation, to be jointly hosted by both the Boston College Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Institute. At the end of their stay, they
will also be required to write a report about the research undertaken and how the collections of the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library facilitated and/or aided their research agenda.

The selection criteria include academic training, quality and originality of the research proposal, depth of subject knowledge, as well as the demonstrated knowledge of and need to consult extensively both the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library collections.

The Application Review Process

The Boston College Ricci Institute–Harvard-Yenching Institute Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship application deadline is October 31, 2023. A Ricci Institute and Harvard-Yenching Institute Joint Selection Committee will review all application files, including the candidate’s research proposal
and recommendation letters. Following the final decision of the Selection Committee, candidates will be notified of the status of their application by the end of-January, 2024.

Applicants should submit the following by October 31, 2023:

• Curriculum Vitae;
• a 5–10-page double-spaced statement with an outline of the proposed research and related activities, the contributions the scholar hopes to make in relevant field(s), tentative plans for publication of the research results, and how the research is related to and will be enriched by
resources available at the BC Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library. Please indicate the starting and end dates of your 6-month research stay during the 2024-2025 academic year (from late August 2024 to late January, no later than March 2025 for those who arrive after
• two up-to-date signed letters of recommendation on an official letterhead. All required documents must be in English.

All application documents should be submitted online here. Letters of recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommenders on institutional letterhead electronically here.

Additional Information

For information on how to write a research proposal, obtain recommendation letters and other related matters, please visit:

Ricci Institute at Boston College fellowship application information webpage:

Harvard-Yenching Institute:

For additional questions and inquiries, please write to Dr. Xiaoxin Wu, Director of Research, BC Ricci Institute at:

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