Funding Resources

Research grants to support undergraduates as they complete senior theses are available from a number of Harvard institutes and centers. Below are some of the funding sources most relevant to senior-thesis writers in the Government Department. The list below is not comprehensive, and a more complete list of funding sources at Harvard is available from the Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF). Many grant applications are coordinated through the CARAT portal, which also provides a helpful search tool to find relevant grants for undergraduate research projects.

General Funding Sources: 

  • The Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) provides funding in support of student-initiated, independent scholarly research or creative endeavors undertaken with guidance of a Harvard-affiliated faculty mentor. The HCRP funds many different types of undergraduate research, including quantitative, qualitative, and theory-focused Government theses. Some funding is available for term-time research, but most Government students apply to get funding for research over the summer before their senior year. More information is available from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF).

  • The Saloma Fund for Undergraduate Research provides funding 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.

Saloma Fund Policy for Summer 2021:

As you may know, Harvard College has prohibited its students from accepting more than one source of funding for Summer 2021. This impacts our ability to fund Government students who are applying to the Saloma Fund. If you are accepting another source of funding from Harvard during Summer 2021 (including the tuition waiver for the Summer School), we cannot consider your application for summer funding.

Additionally, due to the pandemic, Harvard is prohibiting funding for travel (and is discouraging personal travel). Given the uncertainty of the next few months, this guidance may change, but as of now we can only consider Saloma applications that do not include travel (for example, you may request funding for translation or transcription services, or for remote research assistance).

In order to help fund research when and if travel restrictions are lifted over the summer, we will be considering additional funding requests after this initial deadline of April 9. We will announce these deadlines when we have more information. We suggest that if you anticipate needing to travel to conduct thesis research, you delay those requests until these later funding periods, and restrict your requests for this period to non-travel research

​​​​​​Region- or Topic-Specific Sources: 

  • The Harvard University Asia Center provides grant support to undergraduates who travel for research projects in Asia. Funding is avaialble for both summer and January term research. Contact the Asia Center for more information and to discuss eligibility requirements. 
  • The Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) at Harvard has research grants to fund rising seniors conducting summer and fall-term thesis research on any aspect of contemporary American politics. There are also smaller seed grants that can be particularly helpful for juniors at the beginning stages of their research. Grants are available for both qualitative and quantitative research projects. You may find it helpful to read about the work of recent undergraduate grant winners. CAPS also maintains a library of senior theses written by previous CAPS grantees; contact CAPS for more information. 
  • The Center for European Studies (CES) 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. CES also offers a series of workshops to help juniors prepare to research and write a thesis. 

  • 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. More information is available on the Korea Institute's webpage. 

  • The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) offers summer research travel grants to students conducting research related to Latin America and the Caribbean. Visit the DRCLAS website for more information and instructions on applying.