The call for applications is now closed. CFHI will communicate directly with all applicants.


“When I did my PhD, I really learned how to think small. I learned how to do a confined piece of work that was very rigorous. In a Harkness Fellowship, I learned how to think big.”

Dr. Onil Bhattacharyya, Harkness Fellow 2015 - 2016


The Canadian Harkness Fellowship Award enables the best and brightest Canadian thinkers and leaders 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 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 studying healthcare delivery system reforms and critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the U.S. and Canada.

Canadian Harkness Fellows bring these lessons back to Canada and continue to work with CFHI (as faculty, speakers, attendees at key thought-leadership events) to inform and develop programming to accelerate health system transformation.




The Canadian Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice are co-funded by CFHI and The Commonwealth Fund. Each fellowship provides funding to cover 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 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 began co-funding a full-time Canadian Harkness Fellowship in 2012.

Meet our current and previous fellows »

Benefits of this program include:

Fellows are placed with American mentors, who are experts in the policy areas to be studied and from highly reputable institutions (e.g. Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement)

Participants are expected to author a peer-reviewed journal article or policy report for health ministers and other high-level policy audiences.

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, please contact:

Robin Osborn, The Commonwealth Fund’s Vice President and Director of the International Program in Health Policy and Innovation at, or Bill Callery, Senior Improvement Lead at CFHI at

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation, based in New York, which aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.

Last Updated: September 2019