The Center for African Studies is deeply committed to being a valuable resource for Harvard’s students and faculty– across schools and disciplines – both on campus  and on the African Continent. Through research, language and experiential grants, CAS continues to expand opportunities for students to advance their research or to gain experience, in both formal and informal settings.

 2022-2023 Deadlines

January Term  Travel (J-Term) Grants October 23, 2022 at 11:59pm
Summer Internship Programs (Undergraduate)

March 1st, 2023 at 11:59pm

Harvard Student Group Grants

Due 2 weeks prior to the event/project date and before the following deadlines: 
Fall semester deadline: November 30th, 2022 at 5pm
Spring semester deadline: April 15th, 2023 at 5pm

Summer Travel Grants  March 1st, 2023 at 11:59pm
Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships (Academic Year)

February 15th, 2023 at 11:59pm

Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships (Summer) March 1st, 2023 at 11:59pm


Q: If my faculty adviser is on leave, who should write one of my recommendations?

You should think about another professor who would be able to provide a strong account of your ability to perform the tasks that will be required of you during your proposed program. You may include references from former professors, work supervisors, TF’s, academic advisors, etc. If you are applying for an internship grant, you should also anticipate including a letter of support from the organization you have been coordinating with for your expected position.

Q: What should I write about in my proposal?

What you write about in your proposal will depend, in part, on what you are applying to do for the summer. In most cases you should write about why your proposed program/activity will further your career or academic goals. Strong proposals will demonstrate  prior experience and/or coursework related to Africa and how this connects to your overall academic or carreer goals. 

Q: What counts as an African Studies-related course?

The African Studies-related course requirement is interpreted broadly. These can be courses that are international in scope, but touch on Africa/African themes at some point. Overall, the purpose of this requirement is for the applicant to demonstrate a true interest and intent of their work’s applicability in the African context.

Q: What qualifies as “research” for my J-Term grant application?

Research opportunities will only be considered if they meet the following criteria:

  • Your research is supported by a Harvard faculty member. (For example, a Harvard junior/senior working on a Senior Thesis Project would have their faculty adviser sign off on the research proposal in the recommendation letter.)
  • Your research is related to an academic requirement for a registered Harvard course and/or requirement for graduation.

Q: What does it mean if the country I am planning to travel to has a ‘High-Risk Rating’ as determined by the Global Support Services Office?

For undergraduate students: Harvard-sponsored travel to High-Risk Countries and Regions is prohibited. The sole exception to this prohibition is for students (or fellows) visiting their parents or legal guardians, but only if: the parents or legal guardians reside in the High-Risk Country or Region and will monitor the student’s well-being throughout his or her time there. This means that in most circumstances CAS grants cannot be used for travel to any High-Risk region/country.

Travel risk ratings can be found on the ...

Read more about Q: What does it mean if the country I am planning to travel to has a ‘High-Risk Rating’ as determined by the Global Support Services Office?

Q: Should I include my references in my application copies that I bring directly to your office, or who should they send the reference to?

Students may bring recommendations in paper copy to the CAS office (which should be in a sealed envelope, signed on the flap). Recommenders should also feel free to email references directly to Lindsay Moats at 

Read more about Q: Should I include my references in my application copies that I bring directly to your office, or who should they send the reference to?

Q: I am working on a project with a partner. Should we submit one application together, or do we each submit separate applications?

Each student needs to submit their own application materials individually. Students will not be reviewed together. Some parts of your application may be the same: budget and itinerary, for example. Your proposal and letters of reference should be written specifically for you and about your own academic/professional interests. It is unlikely that multiple students will receive funding for the same project. You should do your best to distiguish yourself from others participating in the same project.

Q: When will I hear back from CAS regarding the status of my application?

We begin application review immediately following the deadline date. Typcially, it will take approximately one month to complete the review process, as we involve a faculty review committee. Students selected for a grant or internship will be contacted within approximately one month of the deadline date. Final notifications and waitlist decisions will be sent out within two months of the application deadline.

Q: Do I have to be an African Studies Concentrator to receive funding from CAS?

No! Each year, CAS grantees are from a range of concentrations: from Social Studies to Human Evolutionary Biology, from Biomedical Engineering to History and Literature. Please note, however, that preference will go to students who have taken coursework in African Studies, have experience in the region and/or have language experience related to Africa. With research applications, preference will be given to undergraduate seniors preparing their thesis.