CFHI and the Commonwealth Fund logos          Commonwealth Fund

Canadian Harkness Fellowships

The Canadian Harkness Fellowship Award enables talented Canadians to participate in the Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice , a core program of The Commonwealth Fund's International Program in Health Policy and Innovation.

The Commonwealth Fund, in collaboration with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), offers a unique opportunity for promising mid-career professionals — academic researchers, government policy-makers, clinical leaders, senior hospital managers and journalists -- to spend a year in the United States to study healthcare delivery system reforms (e.g. bundled payments, accountable care organizations, innovative approaches to care for high-need, high-cost patients) and critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the U.S. and Canada.

Application Timetable: 2017-2018

October 6, 2016 Informational webinar (optional)

November 14, 2016  Deadline for receipt of applications

November 2016 – January 2017 Selection of new Harkness Fellows

August – September 2017 Starting dates for the new class of Harkness Fellows


The Canadian Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice are funded by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and co-funded by The Commonwealth Fund. Each fellowship provides up to U.S. $130,000 in support, which covers roundtrip airfare to the U.S., living allowance, project-related travel, travel to fellowship seminars, health insurance, and U.S. federal and state taxes. A family supplement (i.e. $60,000 for partner and two children up to age 18) is also provided to cover airfare, living allowance, and health insurance.

Established in 1925, the Harkness Fellowships were modeled after the Rhodes Scholarships and aim to produce the next generation of health policy leaders in the eight participating countries -- Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

CFHI has brought a Canadian perspective to the program since 2001 and, in 2012, began co-funding a full-time Canadian Harkness Fellowship.
Meet our current and previous fellows >>

Benefits of this program include:

  • Fellows are placed with U.S. mentors, who are experts in the policy areas to be studied, from highly reputable institutions (e.g. Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement)
  • A peer-reviewed journal article or policy report for health ministers and other high-level policy audiences is the anticipated product of the fellowship. 
  • Harkness fellows have moved into senior positions within academia, government, and healthcare organizations and benefit from a strong international network.

For questions about the program, eligibility, and proposed projects, please feel free to contact:

  • Robin Osborn, The Commonwealth Fund’s Vice President and Director of the International Program in Health Policy and Innovation at, or
  • Stephen Samis, Vice-President, Programs, CFHI at