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Governor Robert F. Bradford Fellowship Program

Founded in 1996 by the family of Governor Robert Bradford, the Bradford Fellowship is one of the Commonwealth’s most esteemed programs for leaders in public service. Recipients learn from renowned faculty and engage with students from around the world. Accepting applications for the academic year of September 2021 through May 2022.

Table of Contents

What You Need to Know

The Harvard Bradford Fellowship provides for one academic year, September 2021 - May 2022, and includes a summer program in July/August 2021 preceding the start of the school year. 

Completion of the summer program is required as a condition of acceptance into the program.  In addition to full tuition and fees for the academic year, fellowship recipients will receive full salary while attending the MPA program, including the summer program.  Fellowship recipients are personally responsible for the cost of books/supplies that are approximately $2,500 for the full year.



December 8, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST

Harvard Kennedy School admission application due. (Must be complete, no deadline extensions will be granted.)

February 5, 2021, 4:00 p.m. EST

The Commonwealth's Harvard Bradford Fellowship application due(Incomplete applications will result in disqualification.)

March 1, 2021 Bradford Fellowship virtual interviews: Candidates must interview in order to be considered. Candidates will be notified of date and time.

Week of March 15th 2021

Applicants notified of Harvard Kennedy School’s admission and Bradford Fellowship decisions.

Eligibility & Exclusions

Eligibility & Exclusions

In order to be eligible to receive the Bradford Fellowship, a manager must;

  • Have graduated from an undergraduate institution;
  • Be accepted for admission by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, for its Mid-Career MPA Program;
  • Upon application, occupy a full time position, be paid from the AA subsidiary, have at least twelve (12) months of full-time service with the Commonwealth, be in an active status, classified as management at levels MV - MXII within the Executive Department, or be a member of the Massachusetts State Police Department classified as a Lieutenant or above;
  • Possess at least seven years of professional work experience in federal, state, municipal or county government, including time spent as a consultant or volunteer for a public and/or private non-profit organization; or as a manager in a private non-profit organization;
  • Be recommended by the appointing authority and supervisor;
  • Possess a strong commitment to continue serving the public interest upon completion of the program;
  • Be willing to sign an agreement to serve in Massachusetts State Government in the Commonwealth in the same or higher level management grade for a minimum of two years following graduation, or to repay the salary received while attending the program if one defaults on this agreement. This repayment provision will not apply if the individual is not offered a position at the same or higher-level management grade;
  • Not have applied for the Bradford Fellowship more than three (3) times.

Please Note:

  • Applicants who hold a graduate degree must specifically address what an MPA would offer them that their current graduate degree does not, in reaching their management career goals.


The following categories of employees are excluded:

  • Contract employees
  • Employees in non-management positions
  • Employees classified below Lieutenant
  • Employees in positions classified at level MV who occupy a qualifying position in an "acting" capacity are excluded from participation in the program
  • Employees appointed directly by the Governor; whose salary, by statutory requirement, is set by the Governor
  • Employees employed by the Office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Attorney General and State Treasurer
  • Employees in public institutions of Higher Education
  • Employed by in Legislative and Judicial branches
  • Employed by Massachusetts public authorities or other quasi-public agencies
  • Employed by county government organizations

How to Apply

Governor Robert F. Bradford Fellowship Program 

Step 1 - Admission to the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)
The HKS catalogues and admission application packages are available at: To learn more about the Harvard Kennedy School experience, please visit:

Step 2 - Submit online application to HKS Admissions Office
Completed applications for admission must be submitted online directly to the Admissions Office at the Harvard Kennedy School by December 8, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST. Please mark the HKS application as "Bradford Applicant” in the sponsorship section. Please note that the admission application will not be forwarded to HRD to be considered for the Bradford Fellowship application.

Step 3 - Commonwealth Bradford Fellowship Application 

The Bradford Fellowship Online Application must be submitted online and all required forms and signatures must be submitted directly to the Human Resources Division by 4:00 p.m. EST on February 5, 2021

Note: in order to be considered for the Bradford Fellowship, applicants first must be accepted for admission by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, for its Mid-Career MPA Program.

Next Steps

In addition to completing the Harvard Bradford Fellowship Program online application, all applicants must ensure the submission of the Supervisor Letter of Recommendation Form and the Leadership Commitment Form by 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday, February 5, 2021.