Thesis Funding


Research grants for work on the senior thesis are available from a number of Harvard institutes and centers. Application deadlines for these grants are usually well before Spring Break of the junior year, so you have to plan early. In addition to having a good idea of your thesis topic, many grants also require that you already have an advisor. Contact each program individually for more information.

Many grant applications are coordinated through the CARAT portal:


The Center For African Studies offers summer travel grants to assist Harvard juniors with senior honors thesis research on Africa. These grants are only for travel in Sub-Saharan Africa. All grants cover only partial expenses. Undergraduate grants are for a minimum of eight weeks summer stay in Africa. Undergraduate applications will not be accepted unless candidates first contact the Center to discuss issues of feasibility as well as African and American governmental policies that might affect the study. (Address: CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Rm. S403, Tel.: 495-5265, Website:

The Asia Center provides grant support to undergraduates who travel for research projects in Asia, with preference for students traveling to Chinese-speaking countries. (Address: CGIS South, 1st Floor, 1730 Cambridge Street, Tel.: 496-6273, Website:

CAPS Undergraduate Senior Thesis Research Grants: In order to encourage innovative research by undergraduate students, the Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) awards summer research fellowships up to $2,500 each to Harvard College juniors who are writing a senior thesis on any aspect of modern (post-Civil War) American politics. Undergraduates in any concentration in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are welcome to apply. The purpose of the fellowship is to enable students to spend time in the summer and in the fall of their senior year on thesis research. You may find it helpful to look at past grant recipients to see the kind of research CAPS has funded. CAPS also maintains a library of senior theses written by previous CAPS grantees, the list of theses can be foundhere.  (Address: CGIS Knafel, 1737 Cambridge Street, Rm K429, Tel.: 495-2724, Website:

CAPS Undergraduate Research Seed Grants CAPS undergraduate research seed grants are available to juniors and seniors who are conducting research on modern (post-Civil War) American politics and who are being advised by or taking a class with a member of the CAPS executive committee. The maximum value of the grant is $250. To apply for a CAPS undergraduate seed grant, send an e-mail to The e-mail should briefly describe your project and provide a budget detailing the research-related expenses for which you need support. Your e-mail application will be circulated to a small committee of CAPS faculty, and a decision will be made quickly, usually within a few weeks (please note that review times can vary). There is no application deadline. Students may apply anytime during the year. (Website:

The Dressler Family Traveling Grant is for the purpose of travel and study in a country where a Romance language is spoken (e.g. France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, and Latin America). The Dressler Grant is to be awarded at the discretion of the Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, based on the recommendation of a selection committee. The purpose of the grant is to afford students who have completed at least one course in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard the opportunity to travel and study in these countries in order to further their understanding of language, literature, politics, history, culture, etc. Financial need is a requirement for application. (Address: Boylston Hall, 4th floor, Tel.: 495-2546, Website:

The Center for European Studies offers summer research travel grants for senior thesis writers to explore topics on political, historical, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual trends in modern or contemporary Europe. In preparation for working on a senior thesis, the Center also offers a series of workshops. (Address: 27 Kirkland Street, Tel.: 495-4303, Website:  

Fairbank Center Undergraduate Summer Research Grants These grants support undergraduate research during the summer in China or Taiwan. Preference will be given to students whose research is directly related to a senior honors thesis. Recipients are required to submit a brief report on their work over the summer.  (Address: 1730 Cambridge Street, Tel.:, 495-4046, Website:

Fung Foundation Scholarships for Summer Research, Study, and Work in China (Asia Center & Office of International Programs) These grants for undergraduates may be used for senior thesis research, language study and internships in China over the summer. Recipients become Fung Scholars and are expected to participate in related events. (Address: 1730 Cambridge Street, Tel.: 496-6273, Website:

The Harvard College Research Program provides funding in support of student-initiated, independent scholarly research or creative endeavors undertaken with guidance of a Harvard-affiliated faculty mentor. HCRP grants advance academic experiences outside the classroom and expand opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members. In contrast to a research assistantship, HCRP recipients demonstrate autonomy in the development, direction, and preparation of the overall research project. Awards are available for fall and spring terms of the academic year, as well as for the summer. Undergraduate students from all concentrations are encouraged to apply. (Address: 77 Dunster Street, Tel., 495-5095, Website:

The Korea Institute gives awards to Harvard undergraduates in the humanities or social sciences to use in Korea for research and/or field work relating to a senior honors thesis in an area of Korean studies. Typically, the amount of the award is limited to the cost of travel in the research project. Undergraduate applicants must have at least two years of Korean language training or equivalent proficiency in the language. (Address: 1730 Cambridge Street, Tel.:, 496-2141, Website:  

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies awards a number of travel grants annually to Morocco, Israel, and other Middle Eastern countries. Summer travel and research grants are available for juniors to aid in work on theses pertaining to the country to which they wish to travel. (Address: 38 Kirkland St., Tel.: 495-4055, Website:

The Carol K. Pforzheimer Student Fellowships support undergraduate research based in the support of a wide range of undergraduate research proposals utilizing the special resources of the Schlesinger Library and the Radcliffe College Archives. Particularly suitable for students interested in gender issues and the history of women in America. (Address: Schlesinger Library, Tel.: 495-8647, Website:

The Institute of Politics offers Summer Research awards each year to Harvard undergraduates for field work contributing to senior theses. These grants provide financial aid during the summer months to encourage direct observation of political and governmental processes within the United States. The Institute also awards a number of summer internship stipends to students whose financial needs would otherwise prohibit accepting a public sector internship. (Address: 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Tel.:495-1360, Website:

The Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and the Henry Rosovsky Fund award several summer travel grants for Harvard undergraduates in the humanities or social sciences for research and/or field work in Japan, relating directly to a senior honors thesis in an area of Japanese studies. Applicants must usually have completed at least two years of Japanese language study (Address: 1730 Cambridge Street, Tel.: 495- 3220, Website:

The Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies offers summer research travel grants to students conducting research related to Latin America and the Caribbean. Research proposals are accepted from all disciplines, but must be directly related to the region. (Address: 1730 Cambridge Street, Tel.: 495-3366, Website:

The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies offers research travel grants to undergraduates writing senior theses on a topic in Russian or Eurasian studies. Each spring they host an Undergraduate Colloquium, where seniors present their thesis work. (Address: 1730 Cambridge Street, Tel.: 495-4037, Website:

The Saloma Fund for Undergraduate Research provides monies intended to be used to finance research that leads to a senior honors thesis in Government. Upon completion of the research project funded by the award, each recipient must provide a written report describing what research objectives were accomplished and identifying the salient findings. Interested students should contact the Government Undergraduate Program Office for more information.

The Ukrainian Institute Summer Travel Grants invites undergraduates to apply for support to conduct research projects in the Ukraine during the summer. Grants for undergraduates will be available for travel and research expenses. (Address: Ukrainian Research Fellowships Committee, 34 Kirkland St., Tel.: 495-4053, Website:

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF) administers competitions for 36 or more grants supporting study, work, and travel each year. Complete information about these and other opportunities can be found on their website. (Address: 77 Dunster Street, Tel., 495-5095, Website:

The Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History offers prizes for summer thesis research on some aspect of American history. (Address: Emerson Hall 4th floor, Tel.: 495-3591, Website:

The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs provides grants to some of their Undergraduate Student Associates in the spring of the junior year to fund research abroad over the summer. Each Undergraduate Student Associate presents work for comment in the Center’s undergraduate thesis seminar. (Address: 1737 Cambridge Street, Tel.: 495-4420, Website: