About the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Our mission

The Institute 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.

About the Institute

The Institute offers fellowship programs for overseas study and research to doctoral students and younger faculty members at leading East, Southeast, and South Asian universities in all fields of the humanities and social sciences. 

The Institute also supports several publication series at Harvard and in Asia, publishes a book review series and working paper series, and provides support for the Harvard-Yenching Library as well as other research initiatives.

Facts & Figures

60+

Partner Institutions across Asia

1928

Year founded

1.8k+

Fellowships granted to faculty and grad students in Asia

Our People

"To date nearly 1200 faculty and over 600 graduate students from Asia have received Institute fellowships, including over 400 doctoral and M.A. students who have received their degrees with Institute support."

Interested in becoming a Harvard-Yenching Institute fellow or scholar?

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Our History

1928

The Harvard-Yenching Institute, founded in 1928, is funded by the estate of Charles M. Hall.

Mr. Hall was the inventor of a process for refining aluminum and founder of ALCOA.

1930s-40s

HYI provided support to Harvard and 6 Christian colleges in China, including Yenching University.

1930s

Members of the HYI-funded Sinological Index research team, led by William Hung (洪业).

1947

The Harvard-Yenching Office at Yenching University: Lin Yaohua, Wen Dujian, Qi Sihe, Zhou Yiliang

1920s-30s

The Institute founded the Harvard-Yenching Library (1928) and the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (1936).

1930s

HYI supported the development of what became the East Asian Languages & Civilizations Dept.

1954

The HYI Visiting Scholars Program began. (Pictured here: 1959-60 Visiting Scholars)

1958

The Institute moved its office at Harvard to 2 Divinity Avenue.

1950s-

Since the 1950s, HYI has offered fellowships for overseas study and research to Asia-based scholars.

Alumni Spotlight

Chen Fei

Shanghai Normal University

Asia-Pacific Studies Training Program, 2020 - 2021

Fei Chen is an Associate Professor of Japanese and Chinese History at the Department of World History, Shanghai Normal University. He is interested in the transnational production of modern knowledge in East Asia, which has been situated at the intersection of multiple layers of power relations. His research so far has explored the emergence of Western-style education in China, Chinese elites’ endeavors to transplant the American Revolution to China, transnational discourses on Zheng Chenggong, Japanese influence on China’s Tibet policy, and a Japanese Buddhist monk’s travels in Tibet. His recent... Read More

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Featured Scholars & Fellows

Partners in Asia

The Harvard-Yenching Institute currently enjoys partnerships with more than sixty universities and research centers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and India.