Undergraduate Semester Research or Research-Based Internship Grants

The Harvard Center for African Studies is now offering undergraduate Fall & Spring semester research or research-based internship grants in lieu of J-Term/Winter Break Travel Grants for the 2020-2021 academic year. All research and internships 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 work/research conducted while located on the African continent, students must already be located in the country where they intend to work/conduct research at the time of application. No sponsored travel is permitted. All research must be supported by a Harvard faculty member and all internships must have a supervisor contact. 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 internship, study abroad, or research experience.
  • Applicants conducting senior thesis research will be given priority.
  • If applying for a remote internship: internship has a research component where applicant will produce a publication or comparable deliverable that communicates the findings to a wider audience.
  • Research or internship has a direct partnership or affiliation with an individual, organization, or institution of higher education based on the African continent and internship/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. Applicants applying for a research based internship can apply for up to $14/hr for up to 178 work hours for the semester. Applicants applying for independent research can bill up to $14/hr for 100 hours of their time in addition to requesting funding for research expenses (Printing, archive fees, etc.). This grant is capped at $2,500 for the semester. 
  • If applying for a remote internship with a research component: applicant can show a clear description of assigned duties & responsibilities, deliverables, and weekly assigned work hours.
  • Applicant has a clear research proposal with an itinerary and description of methodology.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicant is currently enrolled at Harvard College 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 (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).
  • 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 and Travel Guidance: https://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/travel-guidance.
  • Harvard College research grants may not be used to pay others to provide services, to purchase equipment or be given to an organization; for example, stipends cannot be used to hire third-party researchers or clinicians or make charitable donations. Students whose research will require payment to a third-party should be in touch with CAS to discuss what arrangements are permissible.


Deliverable Requirements:

  • All grantees will need to complete the following deliverables within six months 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 your award packet)



Read the instructions below and visit the CARAT application portal to apply. 

  • Applications are due October 15 for Fall and February 15 for Spring by 11:59pm. 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 this research or internship experience 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 or internship proposal describing methodology and research/internship goals and deliverables.
    • Detailed Expenses Budget OR Internship Acceptance Letter with work hours noted ($2,500 maximum)
    • Detailed Itinerary (Research applicants) or Description of assigned duties/responsibilities (Internship applicants)
    • One letter of recommendation from a Harvard affiliate
    • Research Applicants: Additional letter of recommendation from the faculty member signing off on your research
    • Internship Applications: Invitation letter from your internship supervisor outlining your responsibilities, expectations, and deliverables.

Interested in applying? Contact Lindsay Moats at lmoats@fas.harvard.edu with any clarity seeking questions.