Research Grants


This page lists grants that support qualitative research for graduate students.  The grants are from Harvard sources and from external sources.  They offer funding for research, travel, or language study.  For annual fellowships that provide living stipends, see the GSAS Fellowships page.  For undergraduate senior thesis funding, see the Office of Career Services listings.

Internal Grants


Asia Center Graduate Student Grants
The Harvard Asia Center offers several grants and fellowships available to students of Asian Studies and students wishing to pursue research or language study in Asia.

Center for American Political Studies
In order to encourage innovative research by graduate students on any aspect of contemporary American politics, CAPS offers Research Seed Grants to support data collection, research-related travel, or expenses connected with making presentations at professional or scholarly meetings. Grants up to a maximum of $1,000 are available to cover expenses of data collection or travel to obtain research materials; grants up to a maximum of $300 are available to help cover costs of travel to present a paper at a professional meeting or research conference. CAPS Research Seed Grants are available quickly and with a minimum of red tape. At any stage of graduate work, students in Government, Sociology, Economics, History, and other social science Ph.D. programs may apply simply by submitting a proposal including a budget by email to the CAPS Administrator, Lilia Halpern-Smith. The email is circulated to a small committee of CAPS faculty, and a decision is made quickly, usually within a matter of days.

Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History
The Charles Warren Center, Harvard's research center for North American history, awards grants to Ph.D. candidates at Harvard working on topics in American history. To be funded, a student must have passed the general examination, must be undertaking a project centered in American history, and be using a historical methodology.

Committee on African Studies
The Committee on African Studies offers undergraduate and graduate student research and language-training funding for students who focus on Africa.

David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
The Rockefeller Center offers several research and language-training grants for students who study Latin America and the Caribbean.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
The Fairbank Center offers research and language-training grants for undergraduates and graduate students in Chinese Studies.

Foreign Language Study Grants
Foreign language study grants are available to students for summer abroad language study after their G1, G2, or G3 years. Applicants must show the importance of the foreign language for their research, and the grant must be used for an intensive language program lasting at least six weeks.  Grants consist of a stipend of $2,500 plus up to $4,000 toward foreign language tuition costs. (Room, board, travel, or costs other than tuition will not be covered.)

Graduate Student Council Conference and Summer Research Grants
The Graduate Student Council offers grants for conference attendance and summer research on a competitive basis to GSAS students who are enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program or who are GSAS Special Students, who are members of the Council, and whose department has been represented at GSC monthly meetings.

Jeanne Humphrey Block Dissertation Grant
The Henry A. Murray Research Archive is pleased to offer the Jeanne Humphrey Block Dissertation Award to a qualified Ph.D. candidate in the social sciences each spring.  This award is restricted to Harvard women only.

Jens Aubrey Westerngard Fund
The Jens Aubrey Westengard Fund provides money for summer research or study in Europe, Britain, or South America. The Westengards are granted based on both academic and financial need, but primarily on the latter.

Joint Center for Housing Studies Dissertation Award
The Joint Center is pleased to offer a fellowship award for the academic year 2009-20010 for doctoral candidates at Harvard University who are engaged in writing a dissertation on a housing-related topic consistent with the Center’s research agenda. The award will provide a stipend of $5,000. Acceptance of the award comes with the understanding that the Joint Center for Housing Studies will have the option of publishing a portion of the paper as a Joint Center Working Paper, or in the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report.

Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe
Each year the Kokkalis Program welcomes applications from students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs across Harvard University for a limited number of small grants to be used towards non-paying (or low-paying) summer internship and/or research projects, located in or concerning Southeast Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Kosovo, FYR of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and or Turkey.)

Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies Graduate Student Grants
CES believes very strongly that a vital part of the training of future Europeanists is the ability to conduct fieldwork in the region. Thanks to an endowment originally provided by the Krupp Foundation, the Center is able to provide a year of support for dissertation research abroad to large numbers of students as well as summer grants for graduate students who are in the preliminary stages of choosing a topic or who, at a late stage in writing, would benefit from a short trip to do final archival work or interviews.

Native American Program (HUNAP) Research Grants
Throughout Indian Country, Native peoples are addressing the challenges of building self-determined nations and communities. HUNAP's senior thesis, graduate research grant, and Nation Building fellowships provide financial assistance to the work of enrolled Harvard students pursuing an undergraduate, professional, or graduate degree as well as qualified pre-candidacy doctoral students. Students must be in residence at Harvard. Harvard undergraduates are eligible to apply in their junior year and must be completing a senior thesis. Grants are made to support the direct expense of research, fieldwork, travel, and practicum, leading to fulfillment of course work, research papers, or related degree requirements and/or advancement to doctoral candidacy. A research paper must be completed for a course. As conditions of the award, the fellowship/grant recipients must present their research as a part of the HUNAP Colloquia Series.

Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston
The Rappaport Institute has offered small grants in the past for research expenses for projects concerning Boston.

Real Colegio Complutense Small Research Grants to Spain
Real Colegio Complutense provides research grants to undergraduates and graduate students to conduct brief visits to Spain for research.

Real Estate Academic Initiative
The Real Estate Academic Initiative at Harvard University offers grants to support real estate and urban development research by Harvard faculty and students. The research committee will review applications for grants on a rolling basis and will give priority to interdisciplinary and interfaculty collaborative research efforts.

Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
The Reischauer Institute offers several research and language-training grants for undergraduates and graduate students who study Japan.

Schlesinger Library Oral History Grants
The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America invites scholars who are conducting oral history interviews relevant to the history of women or gender in the United States to apply for support of up to $3,000.

Ukrainian Research Institute Summer Travel Grant
Both undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at Harvard are invited to apply to the HURI Summer Research Travel Grant Program for support to conduct projects in Ukraine during the summer of 2010.  Grants of up to $2,000 for graduate students and $1,500 for undergraduates will be available for travel and research expenses.

Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
The Weatherhead Center offers research and language-training grants for students who conduct research on international, transnational, and comparative topics (both contemporary and historical), including rigorous policy analysis as well as the study of countries and regions other than the United States.

External Grants


American Council of Learned Societies
The ACLS offers fellowships and grants in more than a dozen programs for research in the humanities and related social sciences at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels.  Funding is available for students studying Eastern Europe and a few other areas.

Council for European Studies Graduate Student Grants
The CES offers funding for pre-dissertation research in Europe.

Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy
The Foundation makes targeted grants for work in major areas of the social sciences, including anthropology, area studies, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and urban studies, as well as newer areas such as evaluation research. Preference will be given to projects that deal with contemporary issues in the social sciences and issues of policy relevance, and to scholars in the initial stages of their career. Awards are not allocated so as to ensure a representative base of disciplines, but are approved solely on merit.

Humane Studies Fellowship
Humane Studies Fellowships are awarded by the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) to students interested in exploring the principles, practices, and institutions necessary for a free society through their academic work. IHS began the program in 1983 as the Claude R. Lambe Fellowships and in 2009 awarded more than 165 fellowships ranging from $2,000 to $12,000.

Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research
The Lewis and Clark Fund encourages exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data and to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. Applications are invited from disciplines with a large dependence on field studies, such as archeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, and paleontology, but grants will not be restricted to these fields.

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants
The National Science Foundation's Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES), and Division of  Science Resources Statistics (SRS) award grants to doctoral students to improve the quality of dissertation research. These grants provide funds for items not normally available through the student's university. Additionally, these grants allow doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and to conduct field research in settings away from their campus that would not otherwise be possible. Proposals are judged on the basis of their scientific merit, including the theoretical importance of the research question and the appropriateness of the proposed data and methodology to be used in addressing the question.

Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund
Offers grants for doctoral dissertation on topics including "aging, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, immigrant and minority populations, culture and education, language and identity, and religion."

Social Science Research Council
The Social Science Research Council offers several grants for dissertation fieldwork and pre-dissertation funding.  Most are for non-U.S. topics.

United States Institute of Peace
The Jennings Randolph (JR) Program for International Peace awards nonresidential Peace Scholar Dissertation Scholarships to students at U.S. universities who are writing doctoral dissertations on topics related to peace, conflict, and international security.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant program is intended to stimulate policy-relevant urban research in several ways: by encouraging doctoral candidates to pursue research topics in community, housing, and urban development; by assisting doctoral candidates in the timely completion of the dissertation research; and by providing an arena for new scholars to share their research findings.

U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration
This program invites doctoral candidates and postdoctoral associates to apply. They anticipate making awards of up to $20,000 for seven months to produce original research projects, which lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals. Applicants can come from any discipline. Winning proposals will address topics relevant to employment and training and exhibit thematic creativity, well-thought out designs, and valid and appropriate methods.