Graduate Semester Research Grants

*UPDATE: Grant opportunities for the 2021/2022 academic year will be announced by mid-September. Please sign up for our weekly newsletter HERE for the announcement.

The Harvard Center for African Studies is now offering Graduate Fall & Spring Semester Research Grants in lieu of J-Term/Winter Break /Summer Travel Grants for the 2020-2021 academic year. All research must be Africa related and can be remote or in-person depending on the applicant’s location and current COVID-19 restrictions. For students applying for in-person research conducted while located on the African continent, students must already be located in the country where they intend to conduct research at the time of application. No sponsored travel is permitted.  All research must be supported by a Harvard faculty member. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate the following:

  • Applicant has completed (or be in the process of completing) at least two African Studies-related courses while at Harvard.
  • Applicant has previously traveled to the African continent for an academic or professional experience.
  • Research has a direct partnership or affiliation with an individual, organization, or institution of higher education based on the African continent and research will benefit both parties (for example, if applicant is based in the US and conducting remote research, they may work with another non-Harvard student/fellow based at an African university to conduct research and produce a shared deliverable).
  • Applicants can demonstrate a clear budget. Travel expenses will not be considered. Living expenses may be considered on a limted basis; however, preference will be given to students who request funding for research expenses only.
  • Applicant submits a clear research proposal with an itinerary and description of methodology.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who did not receive funding during the Fall 2020 semester grant cycle. 


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicant is currently enrolled at Harvard University full-time for remote learning (applications will not be accepted from students currently taking a leave of absence).
  • Research is supported by a Harvard faculty member.
  • Applicant can demonstrate a previous and continued interest in African Studies.
  • Any applicant conducting human subjects research must seek IRB approval from the Harvard Committee on the Use of Human Subjects prior to conducting their research and receiving  their grant.
  • Applicants may not accept any other Harvard awards towards the same activity during the award period.
  • All applicants must review and adhere to Harvard University’s current Coronavirus Health & Well Being Guidelines and  Travel Guidance.


Deliverable Requirements:

  • All grantees will need to complete the following deliverables within 6 moths of the award:
    • Present their work/findings in-person of via Zoom to CAS staff, faculty, and affiliates
    • Complete a final written deliverable that can be published on the CAS website (details to be provided in award packet)



All applicants must apply through the CARAT application portal

  • Applications are due October 15 for Fall and February 15 for Spring. Award notifications will be sent within a month following the application deadline. The following application materials are required:
    • Resume
    • Unofficial Transcript
    • 250 word personal statement describing how your research is relevant to your academic and professional goals. In doing so, describe your previous and continued interest in Africa and share any previous travel experience to the continent.
    • 750 word research proposal describing methodology, goals and deliverables.
    • Detailed Expenses Budget (Up to $3,000)
    • Detailed Itinerary
    • One recommendation letter from the Harvard faculty member signing off on your research

Interested in applying? Contact Lindsay Moats at with any clarity seeking questions.