John K. F. Irving AB ’83, MBA ’89 and Anne Irving Oxley established the John E. Irving Dean’s Innovation Fund in 2013 to honor the legacy of their father, John E. (Jack) Irving, and support the tradition of outstanding teaching and innovation at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


Current & Past Irving Innovation Fellows

Current: Alia Bader, Alex Yueyan Li, Sheng Zhao; Irving Instructional Technology Fellows are Jon Gregurick, Esesua Ikpefan, Kevin Liu, and Blake Mitchell

AY2021: Sarah Fayad, Isabella Frontado, Gia Jung, Ian Miley

AY2020: Inés Benítez Gómez, Mark Heller, Evan Shieh, John Wagner

AY2019: Ernest Haines, Hyojin Kwon, Enrique Aureng Silva, Youngjin Song (extended from AY2018)

AY2018: Xun Liu, Zahra Safaverdi, Caroline Smith, Youngjin Song

AY2017: Iman Fayyad and Alex Timmer


Fellowship Details

Following a model introduced at the Harvard Kennedy School, we are pleased to be able to create one DIB Research Associate position (“Associate”) as the GSD’s Irving Innovation Fellowship for the academic year 2022-23. The Associate will work in collaboration with department chairs, program directors, and DIB staff to advance the GSD’s DIB focus areas:

  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Community Engagement
  • Representation
  • Assessment

The Associate may also play a key role in connecting the GSD to related initiatives across Harvard University, such as those anticipated to emerge from the recent release of the Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery. Additionally, the Associate may contribute research to the expansion of the school’s curriculum.

Projects undertaken by the Associate may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Supporting DIB efforts across the school and promoting cultural change
  • Capturing school-wide DIB efforts in an annual report for the Dean’s Office
  • Liaising with departmental DIB committees to move DIB efforts forward, including contributing to discipline-specific DIB workshops and cultural competency training for orientation
  • Assisting faculty requests for curriculum-driven DIB resources, e.g. annotated bibliographies
  • Creating and maintaining public-facing and internal resources to track DIB initiatives across the school
  • Working with the Admissions and Student Affairs offices to improve recruitment of students with historically marginalized identities and increase their retention

The fellow is required to provide an overview of their work at the end of the fellowship.



This year’s graduating GSD master’s degree students, as well as master’s graduates from the 2020 and 2021 graduation cycles, are eligible to apply. You must be authorized to work in the US and are responsible for securing a work authorization if applicable. We regret that we are unable to provide visa sponsorship.


Basic Qualifications

  • Demonstrated interest, initiative, and experience related to DIB history, opportunities, and programming
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with sensitivity and respect among diverse constituencies
  • Initiative and independence: ability to prioritize and execute multiple tasks and meet deadlines
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, time management, and project management skills
  • Solid communication skills, both verbal and visual
  • Ability to handle sensitive, complex, confidential information with discretion
  • Strong skills in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint


Length of Appointment

September 2022 – June 2023 (10 months)



$4,958/month for 30 hours per week, plus benefits



The Associate will be provided with a workspace at the GSD for the duration of their fellowship. The GSD’s educational programs are being conducted in person, and the Associate is expected to be in residence within commuting distance from the GSD. This position does allow for remote work as approved by project supervisors. In-person meetings with stakeholders may be required at times, in accordance with any applicable policies regarding in-person operations.


Mentorship and Supervision

The Associate will work closely with the Chief DIB Officer (Naisha Bradley) as the programmatic supervisor for the AY 2022/23 in order to align their work with the school’s DIB efforts and goals; the Associate will also be mentored and administratively supervised by the Senior Director, Curriculum Planning and Strategic Initiatives (Sebastian Schmidt Dalzon), who oversees the Irving Fellowship. The Associate will also be working closely with the school’s departmental chairs and program directors, as well as the dean.



After reviewing all applications with Chief DIB Officer; Senior Director, Curriculum Planning and Strategic Initiatives; Associate Dean for Student Affairs; department chairs and MDes program director; one finalist will be appointed by the dean.

We are not currently accepting Irving Innovation Fellowship applications. Please check back in Spring 2023 for updated instructions.


For reference, the last cycle’s instructions were as follows:


Submit the following application materials as attachments to [email protected] in the form of a single PDF labeled

“Irving Fellowship_Lastname_Firstname.pdf”:

  • Application letter detailing your background, relevant experiences, interests, and desired areas of focus for the duration of the appointment, with clear indications of how this work would advance DIB efforts at the GSD
  • CV
  • Names and contact information for three references
  • Relevant samples of work (optional)


Application Timeline

  • Application deadline: noon (12:00 PM EDT), June 15, 2022
  • Interviews will be held via Zoom in July
  • Offers made by the end of July


For more information, please email [email protected].