HSAFP Application Information


December 2, 2019 HSAFP application opens
April 15, 2020

HSAFP applications DUE (at 11:59pm EST)

May 1 – 31, 2020 Applications reviewed by program staff
Early June 2020 Applicants notified if they have been selected for an interview
July 16-17, 2020 (subject to change) Expected timing for interviews in South Africa
Early August 2020 Interviewed candidates are notified if they have been selected as a Harvard South Africa Fellow finalist
September 2020 – December 2020 Selected finalists apply directly to the Harvard program they are interested in attending
January 2021 – April 2021 Candidates typically hear about their admissions decision from the Harvard School to which they applied
Beginning July – August 2021 Most Harvard South Africa Fellows’ academic programs at Harvard begin
May 2022 Fellows at Harvard for one-year programs complete their academic year at the University


The HSAFP application is hosted on CARAT (Centralized Application for Research and Travel) and search "HSAFP" for the application. Unless you are a Harvard affiliate, you must register for an XID before applying through CARAT. You will create an XID LogidID and password to use when accessing CARAT. If you are a Harvard student or alumnus, you can access CARAT with your HarvardKey user credentials. Please note that upload sizes on CARAT are limited to 2MB.



  • Complete the application on CARAT and upload the necessary documents through the "Uploads" tab. 



  • Submit transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted through the "Uploads" tab on CARAT. Transcripts must show the grades and course titles for all your post-secondary coursework. Copies of diplomas are NOT required.


  • Two letters of recommendation must be submitted by recommenders through the "References" tab on CARAT. Alternatively, recommenders can e-mail the letters directly to Rosaline Salifu, Program Manager.


  • An academic essay and a personal statement must be submitted through the "Uploads" tab on CARAT.
    • Academic Essay: Briefly describe an important issue  relevant to your field of interest and South Africa, where possible. Propose a theoretical framework or strategy to address this issue. Applicants seeking admission into the Special Student or Visiting Fellow GSAS Programs should use this academic essay to describe their research and attach a description of their relevant coursework. Minimum 500 words, Maximum 1000 words.
    • Personal Statement: Tell us something about yourself – in particular, why you wish to study at Harvard University and how doing so connects with what you have done in the past and what you plan to do in the future with your career in South Africa. Applicants seeking admission into the Special Student program should use this personal statement to explain how coursework and research opportunities at Harvard University will strengthen their doctoral work and teaching at their home institution. Minimum 250 words, Maximum 750 words.
    • The Academic Essay and the Personal Statement should be typed in a standard font and font size (10 to 12 point).  Essays should also be double-spaced.
    • Include your full name on the top of each page and your signature at the end of the Academic Essay and the Personal Statement.


  • Submit a copy of your most recent resume/CV with your application through the "Uploads" tab on CARAT.


  • Complete the Education and Professional Experience Form (also available in CARAT instructions) with your post-secondary education history and professional experience including all necessary details. Upload the form through the "Uploads" tab on CARAT.