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Arts at The Mittal Institute

Visiting Artist Fellowship


The deadline to submit an application for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Visiting Artist Fellowships has passed.

Please check back in Summer 2020 for the next opportunity.

The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute’s Visiting Artist Fellowship (VAF) is an eight-week research fellowship at Harvard that connects artists from South Asia to Harvard’s intellectual resources. The Fellowship provides a platform to conduct independent research that explores critical issues in South Asia through the lens of art and design.

The program welcomes applications from mid-career visual artists in South Asia to come to Harvard University to participate in interdisciplinary discourse with students and faculty on global issues relevant to South Asia. Four artists are selected each academic year for the VAF at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. The review committee will consider the applicants’ experience, as well as the quality of work and written statements.

Please note: This is not an artist residency; rather, it mirrors our academic fellowships in that VAs are expected to utilize Harvard’s academic resources to pursue individual research interests.


The VAF Provides:

  • Each artist a stipend of $8,000 for the 8-week duration of the program to cover all costs incurred during the fellowship at the Mittal Institute. These include but are not limited to accommodations, meals, domestic travels, etc.
  • In addition, one round trip economy travel cost from South Asia to Cambridge, MA.
  • An orientation to the campus in the first week of the artists’ fellowship that includes information and access to Harvard’s extensive physical and digital libraries and archives, Harvard Museums.
  • Access to local museums and arts organizations as feasible.
  • A shared office space at the Institute.
  • A platform to publish blogs or other media.
  • Opportunity to attend classes on campus pending individual Faculty approval.


The VAF does not provide or guarantee:

  • Studio space for making art.
  • Art supplies beyond the artist stipend.
  • Guarantee faculty approval for classes or meetings.


Requirements of the Fellowship:

  • An artists talk/seminar on campus and in the region, as appropriate.
  • A curated exhibition of the Visiting Artists works on campus.
  • A 4 to 5-page paper covering what was accomplished during the Fellowship.
  • An exit interview.


You are eligible to apply for the VAF if you are:

  • An artist who is a current resident in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka). We will pay attention to the geographic and thematic representation of the applicant.
  • A mid-career artist with an established body of work, who is actively exhibiting current work in professional artistic venues, such as gallery and museum spaces. Although formal professional training at an accredited institution is not a requirement, artists with professional training are preferred.
  • Demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship. Special consideration will be given to artists whose proposals directly relate to The Mittal Institutes ongoing research:
  • Able to provide a plan and rationale for utilizing Harvard’s resources including: specific classes, archives, libraries, or museum collections.
  • In possession of a valid passport and are able to apply for the necessary visa.
  • Short-listed candidates will be required to participate in a Skype interview with the review committee.



The application to apply for the 2019 and 2020 Visiting Artist Fellowships is now closed

Fall 2019

  • Program begins: October 1, 2019
  • Program ends: November 26, 2019

Spring 2020

  • Program begins: March 3, 2020
  • Program ends: April 28, 2020

Application Requirements

To apply through the CARAT application database, you will need to set up an XID Login. Instructions for creating an XID are here. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for XID logins to become active.

Once your XID is active, visit and fill out the Online Application Form. When taken to the HarvardKey page, be sure to click the “XID” tab above the login fields to log in with your new XID information.

Please upload the following items with your application:

  • Artist Statement (Max. up to 300 words)
  • Resume/CV
  • Work Portfolio: Your work portfolio should consist of no more than 15 images, 15 minutes of video, or 15 pages of text. You can find an example of the work portfolio PDF here.
  • Fellowship Proposal (max 500 words): This written statement should describe your preliminary proposal and how it will benefit from being hosted by the MI and Harvard. Please list in as much detail as possible which resources, departments, and faculty at Harvard would be pertinent to your research. Also, please state whether you would be drawing on the collections of the Harvard Museums for your research. Anything longer than 500 words will not be considered.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Please find two references to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. One letter must be from a senior professional involved in art or practicing artist. Their letters should address the following questions (as well as any other relevant information): 1. How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant? 2. Assess the candidate’s qualifications and previous achievements and evaluate the potential impact/contribution of his or her project. These letters should be uploaded directly to CARAT. 

If you have any questions, please consult the FAQs here.


Learn More

Watch our video below to learn more about the Visiting Artist Fellowship opportunity at the Mittal Institute:

This opportunity is made possible with the generous support from the Dean of the Division of Social Science’s Donald T. Regan Lecture Fund and the Mittal Institute Arts Council members.