Summer Grants

The Center for African Studies offers funding to Harvard graduate students traveling to Africa for Harvard faculty-supported research. Grants require a minimum stay of eight weeks in Africa. Applications and/or any missing components received after the deadline are not considered. Grant awards are limited to a maximum of $5,000 during the summer and intended to cover otherwise unfunded costs of round-trip travel and modest accommodations. Summer grants are highly competitive and we encourage students to apply for multiple funding sources.


  • Applicant must be a full-time graduate student at Harvard.

  • Applicant’s purpose of travel must be for Harvard faculty-supported research.

  • Research/work/study must take place in any African country (check Harvard student travel policies and current COVID-19 travel guidance for any restrictions).

  • Minimum duration of travel is eight weeks (This does not include COVID-19 entry quarantines that might be required).

  • Preference will go to applicants who have completed at least two African Studies courses, have experience in the region, and/or have language experience related to Africa.


Deadline to Apply: March 1st, 2022 at 11:59pm

  • CARAT online application form 

  • Current unofficial transcript

  • Current resume/CV

  • 750 word proposal, including a description of the research/project you are planning to work on and whether or not it is continued research from prior time spent in Africa.

  • Detailed itinerary, including expected flight dates and plans for use of time while in Africa. Please include any entry/quarantine requirements for each destination. 

  • Detailed budget for all expenses while traveling. Please include any quarantine expenses. CAS will not pay you for time spent conducting research. Funding is meant to cover expenses only. If your budget exceeds the $5,000 maximum, please describe how you plan to fund the excess expenses (i.e. Weatherhead Center grant, personal funds, etc.). Be sure to list all other grants to which you have applied and your award status. Please note that grant funds cannot be used to pay research assistants. 

  • Two letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation should also be submitted through CARAT by the grant deadline. Simply notifying references through CARAT will allow you to submit your application but will NOT mark your application as complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all letters are submitted by the deadline.  CAS does not follow up with references on your behalf. For research grants, one letter of recommendation must be from the Harvard faculty member that has approved the project you are working on. (Recommenders outside Harvard University may e-mail or mail recommendations directly to the Center for African Studies Student Support & Outreach Officer Lindsay Moats at or 1280 Massachusetts Ave., 3rd Floor, Cambridge, MA.)