Kempner Announces New Post-Baccalaureate Program in Partnership with Harvard GSAS Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB)

November 03, 2023

New program designed to support students who may have had limited access to advanced coursework or research opportunities during undergraduate study

Student smiles as she listens to a lecture.

Kempner student Usha Bhalla participating in a Kempner Institute event in October 2023. The Institute’s new post-baccalaureate program will offer two full years of funding for recent college graduates preparing to apply for PhD programs related to the study of intelligence. Photo credit: Anthony Tulliani for the Kempner Institute.

Cambridge, MA – The Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Harvard University is pleased to announce its new post-baccalaureate fellowship program to prepare recent college graduates for successful entry into PhD programs related to the study of intelligence.

The two-year, non-degree-granting program is being launched in partnership with Harvard Griffin’s Research Scholar Initiative (RSI) which is housed within the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB). The program is designed to support students who may have had limited access to advanced coursework or research opportunities during undergraduate study, and enthusiastically welcomes applications from members of groups underrepresented in STEM.

Alongside academic coursework and professional development opportunities, Kempner post-baccalaureate fellows will pursue extensive mentored research related to the study of or applications of machine learning, including but not limited to applications in fields like neuroscience and cognitive science. Kempner post-baccalaureate fellows will receive full funding, including a living stipend, tuition, and health insurance, and funding to attend one domestic conference each academic year.

The new program’s co-directors—Kempner Assistant Director for Education Programs Ella Batty, and Fred Kavli Professor of Neuroscience George Alvarez—hope that the program will provide a launchpad for the next generation of scientific leaders interested in uncovering the foundations of intelligence, both natural and artificial.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Research Scholar Initiative, which has done an incredible job supporting post-bac students within other Harvard departments and schools, to offer prospective PhD students this opportunity at the Kempner,” said Batty. “The Kempner post-bac program will offer unparalleled access to world-class mentorship, resources, and research opportunities within both the Kempner Institute and Harvard University at large.”

Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year are due by February 1st, 2024. Please visit the Kempner Institute website to see eligibility requirements and request an application.

About the Kempner

The Kempner Institute seeks to understand the basis of intelligence in natural and artificial systems by recruiting and training future generations of researchers to study intelligence from biological, cognitive, engineering, and computational perspectives. Its bold premise is that the fields of natural and artificial intelligence are intimately interconnected; the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) will require the same principles that our brains use for fast, flexible natural reasoning, and understanding how our brains compute and reason can be elucidated by theories developed for AI. Join the Kempner mailing list to learn more, and to receive updates and news.


Deborah Apsel Lang | (617) 495-7993 |