January Term Research Grants

*J-Term Grants are currently on hold for the 2020-2021 academic year given Harvard's current travel restrictions related to COVID-19. Please check our website frequently for updates. In lieu of J-Term Grants, CAS has created Semester Research and Research-Based Internship Grants for both remote and field work. Please review the Semester Research  and Research-Based Internship Grant guidelines and application details for more information.*

The Center for African Studies offers full-time Harvard undergraduate students grants for research to be conducted during the January term (J-term), between fall and spring semesters. Grant awards are limited and intended to cover otherwise unfunded costs of round-trip travel and modest accommodations. Undergraduate J-term research grants are highly competitive, and they support only well-focused, faculty-supported research projects.


  • Applicant must be a full-time Harvard student.
  • Applicant must have completed two African Studies-related courses and/or be able to demonstrate a prior and continued academic or professional interest in Africa. This can be demonstrated through your resume, transcript, and personal statement.
  • CAS J-Term grant supports research-only activities.
  • Research must be 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.)
  • Research may be conducted in any African country (check Harvard student travel policies for any restrictions).
  • Research project must have a minimum duration of three weeks.

Application: (We are not accepting J-Term Grant applications at this time. See above)

  • CARAT online application form
  • Current unofficial transcript
  • Current resume/CV
  • 500 word proposal, including a description of the research/project you are planning to work on in January, and whether or not it is continued research from prior time spent in Africa
  • List of at least two African Studies-related courses you have taken and their relevance to your interests/field of study
  • Detailed Itinerary, including expected flight dates and plans for use of time while in Africa
  • Detailed budget
  • Two letters of recommendation (One letter of recommendation must be from the Harvard faculty member that has approved the project you are working on.) Please note that all letters of recommendation should be submitted through CARAT by the application deadline. Notifying your references in CARAT allows you to submit your application but will NOT mark it as complete. Complete applications include submitted letters of reference. It is your responsibility to follow up with your references to make sure that your letters are submitted by the deadline.