Independent Research Funding

Overview

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. 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.

Program Details

 

ABOUT HCRP

Funded by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and alumni/ae donations, HCRP is intended for Harvard College undergraduates conducting student-initiated, independent scholarly research or creative endeavors in close collaboration with a Harvard faculty mentor. The grants underline the Harvard Faculty's commitment to individual work, and they help create an environment where students will gain experience, personal encouragement, and insight into academic life and research.

BENEFITS

In addition to the experience of conducting independent research and working alongside a faculty member, HCRP benefits also include:

  • Funding: One of two types of funding available (see below for details); award amounts range up to $1,000 during term time and up to $4,000 during the summer
  • Eligibility to receive Dean's Summer Research Award (see below for details)

TYPES OF FUNDING
HCRP funding is designed to support the financial needs of the students’ research.  Applicants must specify which type of funding request they are submitting:

  1. Living stipend. Students researching in a lab or otherwise making a regular, hourly commitment on a weekly basis are eligible to request a living stipend, as they are thereby foregoing a paying job which would cover living expenses. Students requesting a living stipend must specify the amount of time dedicated research (number of hours per week, and number of weeks per term) in the budget form, and HCRP will determine an appropriate stipend amount.
  2.  Research-related expenses (i.e. travel, materials, conference costs). For these students, the primary cost of research includes things like photocopying, travel to interview subjects, or costs to present at a conference. Applicants must itemize costs in the budget form. See below for examples of allowable expenses.

DEAN'S SUMMER RESEARCH AWARD
The Dean's Award provides up to $1,000 of a credit on a student's term bill to cover part of the summer savings requirement. Students need not apply for the Dean's Award; all who meet the following eligibility criteria will be considered automatically:

  • Summer HCRP recipient
  • Rising senior at Harvard College
  • Financial aid recipient with Summer Savings requirement from the Financial Aid Office
  • Conducting thesis research

COMPONENTS & EXPECTATIONS

HCRP recipients must abide by the following policies:

  • Academic standing: In order to receive the entirety of their awards, students must remain in good academic standing and be continuing as students for the term following the period for which funding is requested.
  • Timing of research: The research conducted must occur during the award period for which funding is requested.
  • Reporting: In order to receive the entirety of their awards, students must submit a final report at the end of their term of research. Final reporting requirements not received within one month of the deadline will result in forfeiture of any funds associated with the award (see below for details).
  • Academic credit: Students conducting research that accrues academic credit cannot receive HCRP funding for the living stipend purpose, but HCRP can cover incidental costs related to such research (i.e. research-related expenses).
  • Additional funding: Students receiving additional funding for the same project outside of HCRP must notify HCRP of all other sources, amounts, and eligible expenses reimbursed.
  • Allowable expenses: Expenses may include any legitimate costs required for the successful completion of your project.
    • Examples of allowable expenses: travel (to and from the site as well as site-specific travel associated with the project); room (housing expenses throughout the project); board (expenses for food throughout the project); major incidentals (such as vaccinations); materials or supplies (archival access fees, photocopying); other related costs and fees (a first aid kit, passport fees)
    • Examples of ineligible expenses: cost of rental cars; tuition or fees of a study program; lab or research facility materials/supplies (these should be provided by the faculty); any itemized cost being reimbursed by another funding source

HCRP Final Report

All final reports require the approval of the student's faculty sponsor before submission is considered complete. For files that remain incomplete within one month of the deadline, any remaining funds associated with the award will not be disbursed.

Report Deadlines:

  • Fall 2017: January 19, 2018 at 5:00 PM
  • Spring 2018: May 18, 2018 at 5:00 PM
  • Summer 2018: August 24, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Guidelines: Reports should be a narrative description of your research experience throughout the term, 2-3 pages in length, double spaced, and should contain the following components:

  • An overview of your research goals, accomplishments, and challenges
  • The implications of your research (academically, professionally, personally)
  • Reflection on how the research experience will advance your thesis or interest in the topic
  • A description of the interaction with your faculty mentor
  • A brief narrative of how your funds were used

Submission: Complete the following steps as directed to ensure successful submission of your final report:

  1. Feedback: Share the report with your faculty sponsor and make any adjustments as needed per faculty feedback.
  2. Submission: Upload a final pdf copy of the report to the HCRP Final Report Submission Form (a link to this form will be made available during the project term). Use the following filename template: Lastname, Firstname_Term Year (i.e. Harvard, John_Summer 2017).
  3. Approval: After receiving your report, HCRP will invite your faculty sponsor to complete the Faculty Approval Form.
  4. Confirmation: HCRP will notify you once your file is complete (that is, when both the report and faculty approval have been received).

 

Eligibility & Selection

 

ELIGIBILITY

  • Enrolled Harvard College degree-seeking students
  • Students in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Students whose research project faculty sponsors are members of a Harvard Faculty
  • Students enrolled for the duration of the funded semester*, or for summer funding, students who will be enrolled for the upcoming fall term

* Students in good standing on a voluntary leave of absence may apply for HCRP funding provided that they obtain prior approval for funding from the Administrative Board.

SELECTION

HCRP applications are reviewed by faculty, advisors and URAF staff members. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions within approximately 3-4 weeks of the application deadline (4-5 weeks for HCRP summer funding). Preference is given to students with:

  • A demonstrated background or a proven interest in the subject area (i.e. previous study or lab work, work experience, extracurricular activities, or a bibliography developed with faculty guidance)
  • Research connected to a larger body of knowledge
  • A strong connection to the faculty sponsor’s area of expertise**
  • Autonomy in the development, direction and preparation of the overall proposed research project

** HCRP does not support the work of a research assistant, so research projects closely related to the ongoing work of a faculty member must demonstrate clear divergence and independence from the faculty member's research.

Application

HCRP APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

DEADLINES
Fall term funding: 12 noon, Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Spring term funding: 12 noon, Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Summer funding:  12 noon, Wednesday, March 28, 2018

_________________________________________________________________

STEP 1:  READ

Read the Budget and Proposal Writing Tips carefully to help you prepare your application materials.

STEP 2:  SOLICIT RECOMMENDER

One academic letter of support is required. 

ACADEMIC LETTER OF SUPPORT (Submitted by Faculty Sponsor): The letter of support must be written by the faculty member who will provide direct guidance and supervision on your project. At minimum, the letter must (1) confirm the faculty has agreed to host/support your project and (2) comment on your preparedness to undertake independent research. The faculty member may also comment on the quality, originality, and worthiness of your proposal and provide brief examples of your initiative, motivation, and determination in an academic activity and/or relative to the proposed research project. Please download the HCRP Recommender Instructions below and send your letter writer the instructions, which will guide your letter writer on the topics we would like addressed in their letter of support. 

To download the HCRP Recommender Instructions, please click the button below.


IMPORTANT: You should enter your recommender in CARAT before starting any other application materials. Make sure you provide plenty of time for your recommender to ensure your application is completed by the deadline. Do NOT wait until the night before the application is due to send the reference request from CARAT.

      INPUTTING YOUR RECOMMENDER IN CARAT

  • HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Start by typing in your recommender's last name; you will then see autocomplete options. Select your recommender from the drop down choices. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you have selected your recommender from the list. 
  • NON-HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Enter your recommender's name, title, affiliation (University, Institution, or School), and email address. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you completed the required fields and clicked elsewhere on the page. 
  • Please Note: Be sure to complete the recommendation waiver found under the name of your recommender towards the bottom of the page.

 

STEP 3:  PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS

BUDGET
Follow the instructions below depending upon your type of funding needs (complete for the living stipend OR research-related expenses budget). 

  • Living Stipend (typically requested if your research will be conducted in a lab or will involve a regular hourly commitment): In the “Other Expenses” field, indicate your semester-long hourly commitment. For example: 35 semester hours (5 hours x 7 weeks), 70 semester hours (10 hours x 7 weeks), 70 semester hours (5 hours x 13 weeks), 130 semester hours (10 hours x 13 weeks). See a sample living stipend budget here.

OR

  • Research-Related Expenses: Itemize all research expenses, provide descriptions for each expense, and report any personal resources that can be contributed to the cost of the research project. See a sample research-related expenses budget here. Research-related expenses often include costs associated with travel, archive access, research materials, subject interviews, lodging, food/living, and so on. Be sure to review information on allowable and ineligible expenses in the Program Details tab of HCRP.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL
In 3-5 double-spaced pages, describing your research project, being sure to address the following proposal components:

  1. Objective, significance, and implications of research
  2. Detailed plan for research (research design, methodology, your specific role and responsibilities, steps you will take to execute the project, etc.)
  3. Time frame
  4. Use of funds (provide estimates and quotes, detailed explanation of funds requested, and other relevant details)
  5. Faculty involvement

 

CURRENT TRANSCRIPT
Obtain a copy of your latest online unofficial transcript (NOT the S-REC), including your current course grades. To access your unofficial transcript, login to my.harvard.edu. Select Campus Resources at the top of the page. Under FAS Academics, select Unofficial Transcript. You will be prompted to login via the Harvard PIN System. Select "Show undergraduate transcript." Your Unofficial Transcript will open. Download and save in pdf format. 

RESUME
Upload a 1-page resume in pdf format that includes your work experience and a description of your scholarly and extracurricular activities.
 

STEP 4:  SUBMIT YOUR MATERIALS

Once you have completed the required application components found in the tabs of your funding source application in CARAT, upload and submit your application materials:

  • Research Proposal
  • Current Transcript
  • Resume

 

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NOTE: If you are continuing an HCRP-funded project from a previous term, requirements are the same as listed above. Your research proposal should be a progress report and provide a specific plan for continued study. The letter from your faculty sponsor should provide an overall evaluation of your performance and demonstrate a need for continued funding.

 

FAQs

FAQs

What are the typical HCRP award ranges? Term-time support rarely exceeds $1000 per student. Summer support usually ranges from $500-$4000.

How competitive is the application process? HCRP would love to support the research of every student at Harvard. However, there is always a budget that only allows so much to be spent. The summer is usually the most popular time for research because classes are not in session. During the term-time, approximately 80% of students are funded.  During the summer, we accept between 60-75% of applicants.

Is it possible for me to get HCRP funding for both the spring and summer semesters? Does it decrease my chances of receiving funding? It is possible to receive funding for spring and summer but you do need to apply separately for each semester. Further, it does not decrease your chances of funding if you have applied and received funds before.  If you apply for funding every semester and summer throughout your four years it may eventually decrease your chances, but we often see students apply for 2-3 terms consecutively.

Can I still receive funding if I am doing my research for credit? You cannot receive a stipend for research for which you are receiving credit. You can, however, be reimbursed for incidental expenses.

If I am receiving credit for my research and will be attending a conference to present my research can I ask for funding? You are eligible for financial support to go to a conference even if you are receiving credit for the research (HCRP won’t give any stipend for your research, but would consider expenses associated with the conference).

I was wondering if I could still apply for the summer HCRP even for 2-4 weeks, with faculty approval? I am not eligible for federal work study, and would have no way otherwise to support my research here over the summer. With HCRP you can apply for a project that fits your schedule, but we just ask that you adjust the budget request accordingly.  If you are applying for 2-4 weeks, you should make sure those expenses are justified in the budget form.

What if the person directly mentoring me isn’t Harvard-affiliated? HCRP only funds research activity undertaken under the mentorship of a Harvard-affiliated faculty member. However, sometimes you may be working on a project on which there is a Harvard-affiliated faculty member, but the person directly mentoring you is not Harvard-affiliated. In this situation, you should have both the research advisor and the Harvard-affiliated faculty member co-write the letter of support to explain the unique situation and your role and how they will each be advising you.

Can two people who are working on the same project together submit the same research proposal, but tailored to our own personal interests?  Group research projects are generally not well received. HCRP was founded on the principles of individual research and the student experience. However, if a group wants to apply for HCRP the proposals should be unique and independent to each student’s research.

Overview

Herchel Smith is a competitive and generous award supporting high-potential undergraduates who are conducting a promising summer research project in mathematics, engineering, life, physical/natural or computer sciences. The project can be based anywhere in the world, but must be affiliated with a university, lab or research enterprise and be highly substantive: at least 10-weeks in duration, full-time in commitment, and exhibiting some degree of autonomy and input by the applicant in its design and execution (though of course the project will be a part of, and feed into, a larger ongoing research project supervised by a faculty PI).

Program Details

ABOUT HERCHEL SMITH

The Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program was established from a gift of the estate of Dr. Herchel Smith to support highly motivated, talented, and promising undergraduate life, physical, math, and computer scientists conducting full-time summer research at Harvard and its affiliate research enterprises or other domestic and international centers of excellence.


The program experience is designed specifically to prepare outstanding continuing students (i.e., rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors) in good standing for competitive postgraduate fellowships (such as NSF), graduate/doctoral study domestically and internationally (such as Cambridge University), and post-baccalaureate research positions in the private sector. Since 2004, the program has provided exceptional opportunities for over 200 recipients to explore their scientific interests. While most fellows have pursued their activities in the United States—many of them at Harvard and MIT—a number also have undertaken scientific research activities abroad.


There is no preference for any particular research focus or environment, as long as the project provides a substantive experience in one of the science fields listed above. Students may develop their organizational affiliations independently, but ideally will do so with the guidance of a Harvard faculty member in the discipline of the research. Please note that applicants must submit a letter of invitation and support from the host principal investigator at the time of application. (This letter is not required if one of the recommenders is also serving as the research host.)


BENEFITS

  • A generous summer stipend
  • Travel funds necessary for domestic and international locations
  • For financial aid recipients, coverage of Summer Savings obligations required by the Financial Aid Office

POLICIES & EXPECTATIONS

 

  • Duration: Students must undertake a project that is at least ten weeks in duration
  • Reporting: Fellows must submit a midterm and final report
  • Presentations: Fellows must participate in an honors symposium and poster presentation of their research in the academic year following their award

Eligibility & Selection

 

ELIGIBILITY*
 

  • All Harvard College continuing undergraduates (rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors)
  • Students in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Preference for students intending or pursuing concentrations and post-graduate study or a professional trajectory in the sciences for whom research experience is essential

* Note: Applications for formal coursework or practical clinical training are not eligible.

SELECTION


 Applicants will be evaluated on the quality of their proposals and their academic and personal qualifications to pursue the indicated research project. In particular, the selection committee will look for:

  • A compelling, well-designed research project with a faculty host, specific to a particular site
  • Evidence of appropriately high academic preparation and achievement;
  • Relevant work or other experience
  • Strongly positive endorsements from Harvard faculty recommenders
  • A commitment to full-time research of at least ten weeks duration

 

 

Application - Deadline February 9, 2017

HERCHEL SMITH APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS


The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials is 5:00pm EST, February 9, 2017.  INCOMPLETE OR LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
 

_______________________________________________________________________
 

STEP 1:  SOLICIT RECOMMENDERS

Download the Herchel Smith Recommender Instructions below. Send each of your recommenders the instructions, which will guide recommenders on the topics we would like addressed in their letters of recommendation. 

TWO ACADEMIC LETTERS: Preferably one letter should be written by someone in the Harvard academic/research community who can comment on your initiative, and interest in pursuing excellence. This letter should include brief examples of how you will benefit from the Herchel Smith Fellowship. If one of your academic recommenders is also your summer faculty research host, he/she also should confirm your lab placement in that letter; in this case, this letter of recommendation will also count as a letter of support, and therefore you do not need a separate letter of support. 

To download the Herchel Smith Recommender Instructions, please click the button below.


IMPORTANT: You should enter your recommender in CARAT before starting any other application materials. Make sure you provide plenty of time for your recommender to ensure your application is completed by the deadline. Do NOT wait until the night before the application is due to send the reference request from CARAT.

     INPUTING YOUR RECOMMENDER IN CARAT

  • HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Start by typing in your recommender's last name; you will then see autocomplete options. Select your recommender from the drop down choices. Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you clicked save changes. 
  • NON-HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Enter your recommender's name, title, affiliation (University, Institution, or School), and email address. Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you clicked save changes. 


STEP 2:  PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS

BUDGET

Complete the appropriate budget information request lines found in the Budget tab of your funding source application in CARAT. Please indicate “0” on any budget information request lines if your research is at Harvard or an affiliate in the Boston area.

 

HERCHEL SMITH APPLICATION SUPPLEMENT 

Complete the Herchel Smith application supplement form. Save the completed form with your information in pdf format to upload in CARAT.  

To download the Herchel Smith Application Supplement Form, please click the button below.


ESSAY RESPONSES 
Prepare a single document with your responses to the two essay prompts on the application supplement, and convert to pdf to upload in CARAT.

RESUME 
Save a resume that includes your work history and a description of your scholarly and extracurricular activities in pdf format.

CURRENT TRANSCRIPT 
Obtain a copy of your latest on-line unofficial transcript (NOT the S-REC), including your fall 2016 course grades, to upload in CARAT. To access your unofficial transcript, login to my.harvard.edu. Select Campus Resources at the top of the page. Under FAS Academics, select Unofficial Transcript. You will be prompted to login via the Harvard PIN System. Select "Show undergraduate transcript." Your Unofficial Transcript will open. Download and save in pdf format. 

WAIVER FORMS
Complete one waiver form for each recommender (but do not give the waiver to your recommenders) At the time you make your request for recommendations, you must disclose to the letter writer your intention to waive or not waive your right to view the letter.

To download the Waiver Form, please click the button below.


STEP 3:  LETTER OF SUPPORT

LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM RESEARCH HOST 
A letter from your designated research principal investigator must confirm your placement in the lab, provide details about the proposed project, as well as to what extent and by whom you will be mentored. Your faculty host should email their confirmation letter in pdf format to undergradresearch@fas.harvard.edu with HERCHEL-SMITH and [YOUR LAST NAME] in the subject line. If your faculty host is also your academic recommender, your faculty host should confirm your lab placement in their letter of recommendation, which they will upload directly to CARAT on your behalf after you indicate them in the Reference section.

STEP 4:  SUBMIT YOUR MATERIALS
 


Once you have completed the required application components found in the tabs of your funding source application in CARAT, upload and submit your application materials:

  • Herchel Smith Application Supplement Form 
  • Essay Responses 
  • Resume
  • Current Transcript 
  • Waiver Forms 

 

Overview

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF) selects ten students in their sophomore year to join a tightly-knit research community during junior and senior years to conduct independent research in close collaboration with a faculty mentor. Fellows attend regular seminar meetings (twice per month) with this cohort to discuss their projects, hear from faculty speakers, learn skills for effectively conducting and presenting research, and receive support in the graduate school application process. MMUF exists to counter the under-representation of minority groups on college and university faculties nationwide through activities designed to encourage the pursuit of the Ph.D. in the humanities and core sciences.

 

Program Details

ABOUT MMUF

 

To counter the serious shortage of faculty of color in higher education, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program encourages minority students and others with a demonstrated commitment to racial diversity to pursue academic careers. The program is funded primarily by the Mellon Foundation, and its name symbolically connects the mission to the stellar achievements of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, educator, college president, and civil rights activist.

MMUF addresses two issues that contribute to the low number of minority students in Ph.D. programs: lack of familiarity with the nature of academic careers and concern about the long-term cost of education. MMUF addresses these issues by fostering learning about academic life and financial assistance.

BENEFITS

In addition to biweekly programming and research support, the MMUF provides financial assistance, enabling students to devote time to academic pursuits that might otherwise have been spent on part-time jobs. All MMUF participants are eligible to receive the following forms of financial assistance:

  • Term-time awards: Fellows receive $3,600 for their junior year and again for their senior year. This is meant to cover term-time expenses, and is disbursed to students in monthly increments of $400 (provided they attend the biweekly meetings).
  • Summer awards: Fellows conducting research related to the MMUF project in the summers after their sophomore and junior years are also eligible to receive up to $3,900 per summer.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SELECT MELLON-DESIGNATED FELLOWS
If interested in selection as a Mellon-designated Fellow, MMUF participants are asked to submit an application during junior year requesting inclusion in this part of the program. If selected as Mellon-designated fellows, applicants receive the following additional benefits:

  • Membership in a larger community of academics representing undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty who have access to resources available through the Mellon Foundation.
  • Loan Repayment: Fellows who enroll in a Ph.D. program in one of the designated fields within 39 months of receiving their undergraduate degrees are eligible for up to $10,000 in undergraduate loan payments. The program repays guaranteed student loans in two halves. The first half is disbursed in yearly increments of $1250. The second half is repaid upon receipt of the Ph.D., provided that occurs within 6 years of entering graduate school. This loan forgiveness helps students overcome any disincentive to pursue an academic career caused by undergraduate loan indebtedness.

COMPONENTS & POLICIES

The following program components facilitate participants’ learning about academic life:

  • Research with a faculty member (required): Program participants gain insight into the life of a professor by working closely with a faculty mentor on a research project. Along with enriching the student's academic life, these research experiences also enhance graduate school applications. Juniors may serve as a research assistant to a faculty member and choose to begin an independent research project with that same faculty mentor at the end of junior year. Students will continue their independent projects and present their work as seniors (see below)
  • Establishing a community of scholars (required): One of the missions of the Mellon Program is to establish a community of young scholars who can share undergraduate research experiences and support one another throughout graduate school. Dedicated time is set aside at regular MMUF meetings for participants to share and learn about each other’s research and reflect on the experience of research itself.
  • Biweekly seminars (required): Participation in the MMUF program requires attending biweekly meetings. Meetings involve faculty speakers and seminars on topics ranging from “Choosing your research focus,” to “Writing your senior thesis.” These meetings support various aspects of students’ personal and professional development, including the graduate school application process.
  • Statement of Purpose (required): Seniors submit a draft Statement of Purpose for graduate school applications and receive feedback from the program.
  • Research Symposium (required): Seniors present their research at the end of senior year in a MMUF Research Symposium open to members of the Harvard community. 
  • MMUF Regional gatherings (required): Throughout each academic year there are one to two opportunities to interact with MMUF students from other campuses in the Northeast that support a MMUF program.
  • MMUF Journal (optional): Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows are encouraged to submit an article for inclusion in the MMUF Journal. Published annually in the winter by Harvard, this Journal includes the work of Fellows from across the 43 participating MMUF universities. Click here to view the latest MMUF Journal. (Note: submissions, due in July to the Harvard MMUF coordinator, must be no more than 8 pages and be carefully reviewed by your faculty mentor).

 

Current Fellows

To learn about the 2016-2017 Harvard Mellon Mays Fellows, please click this link.

Eligibility & Selection

ELIGIBILITY

  • Students in their sophomore year of study at Harvard.
  • Students considering graduate study toward the Ph.D. in fields where minorities have been most severely under-represented, primarily the humanities and natural sciences. For a list of approved fields, please visit the Mellon Foundation website. Please note your undergraduate field of concentration need not correspond directly with the approved graduate fields of study.
  • Domestic and international students (although international students are not eligible for loan repayment)

All students who meet the above criteria are welcome to apply to MMUF, though applications are particularly encouraged from African-Americans, Latinos and Latinas, Native Americans, and other underrepresented minorities.

SELECTION

Up to ten fellows are chosen in spring of their sophomore year for funding during junior and senior years and the summers between. The Committee is comprised of faculty, graduate students, and administrators throughout the University who are focused on issues of access and opportunity for underrepresented minorities. Winners will be notified in early April and are expected to attend the Welcome Reception & Research Symposium held shortly thereafter. 

Selection is based on:

  • Academic performance and promise
  • Interest in pursuing graduate study toward the Ph.D. in one of the designated fields
  • Demonstrated commitment to the goals of MMUF
  • Availability for, and commitment to, full and enthusiastic participation in all aspects of the MMUF program

Preference is given to students who have a faculty mentor or specific research interest identified at the time of application.

Application - Deadline NOON on February 15, 2017

MMUF APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials is 12:00pm EST, February 15, 2017.  INCOMPLETE OR LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

_______________________________________________________________

 

STEP 1:  READ

Read the current MMUF Fellows' Profiles and the MMUF Program Description carefully to help you prepare your application materials. Also, take a look at a Sample MMUF Schedule to learn more about our programming. 

STEP 2:  SOLICIT RECOMMENDERS

Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one of these should be from a professor who has taught you at Harvard. Please share the MMUF Program Description with your potential faculty mentor and recommenders who may not be familiar with the program.  

ACADEMIC LETTER: The academic letter should be written by someone in the Harvard academic/research community who can comment on your initiative, ability to pursue research independently, and interest in pursuing excellence. This letter should include brief examples of how you will benefit from and contribute to the MMUF Fellows community.


IMPORTANT: You should enter your recommender in CARAT before starting any other application materials. Make sure you provide plenty of time for your recommender to ensure your application is completed by the deadline. Do NOT wait until the night before the application is due to send the reference request from CARAT.

      INPUTING YOUR RECOMMENDER IN CARAT

  • HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Start by typing in your recommender's last name; you will then see autocomplete options. Select your recommender from the drop down choices. Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you clicked save changes. 
  • NON-HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Enter your recommender's name, title, affiliation (University, Institution, or School), and email address. Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you clicked save changes. 

 


STEP 3:  PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS

TWO ESSAYS  
Prepare two double-spaced essays and save as one pdf file to upload in CARAT.

ESSAY 1: In 750 words or less, explain your reasons for seeking this fellowship and the plans you have for using it. This essay should address your background and connection to the MMUF mission to increase diversity among college and university faculty, as well as your academic interests, possible career plans, and intended contributions to and benefits from the Harvard MMUF community. 
ESSAY 2: In 1,000 words or less, discuss the research project you plan to undertake if selected as an MMUF. Please be as specific as possible and describe the research in your own words. Discuss particular topics of interest, what you hope to learn, experiences and ideas that have shaped your interests, and possible professors who might serve as your faculty mentor.

POTENTIAL FACULTY MENTORS 
Complete the potential faculty mentor form, selecting up to 3 faculty members with whom you would like to work. This is not a commitment, but a suggestion of someone whom you would like to serve as your mentor. Save the completed form with your information in pdf format.

To download the potential faculty mentor form, please click the button below. 


CURRENT TRANSCRIPT

Obtain a copy of your latest online unofficial transcript (NOT the S-REC), including your fall course grades to upload in CARAT. To access your unofficial transcript, login to my.harvard.edu. Select Campus Resources at the top of the page. Under FAS Academics, select Unofficial Transcript. You will be prompted to login via the Harvard PIN System. Select "Show undergraduate transcript." Your Unofficial Transcript will open. Download and save in pdf format. 

RESUME
Upload a pdf version of your resume that includes your extracurricular activities, work experience, and any honors or awards.

WAIVER FORMS 
Complete one waiver form for each of your two recommenders. Simply upload them completed with your application--do not give them to your recommenders. Please note: At the time you make your request for recommendations, you must disclose to the letter writer your intention to waive or not waive your right to view the letter.

To download the Waiver Form, please click the button below.


STEP 4:  PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Use the "Project Description" Section to give a brief description of your research interests and possible topics for future research if selected.

    • Under Project Dates, enter the dates for your Junior and Senior academic years.
        • e.g. Start: 9/1/17, End: 5/1/19
    • Under Primary Location of Project, enter "Cambridge, MA."

STEP 5:  SUBMIT YOUR MATERIALS

Once you have completed the required application components found in the tabs of your funding source application in CARAT, upload and submit your application materials:

  • Two Essays 
  • Potential Faculty Mentors 
  • Current Transcript 
  • Resume 
  • Waiver Forms 

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Your application is complete when you have fully responded to each of these five steps. After the deadline has passed and we have had the opportunity to initially evaluate the submitted applications, you will receive an email acknowledgement that you are being considered for the program. At this stage of the application process, you will be scheduled for an interview prior to final selection of Harvard Mellon Mays Fellows. 

ALL APPLICANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE SELECTION RESULTS AFTER INTERVIEWS ARE COMPLETED, which we expect to happen in early to mid-March.  Please do not contact our office requesting the status of your application.

FAQs

What if my concentration is not one listed in the Mellon approved areas? This doesn’t matter. Undergraduate concentrations do not need to be in the Mellon approved list. However, if you plan to continue for a PhD and receive funding from the Mellon Foundation, you must be in a Mellon approved field.

Can I apply as a junior? No. Students are selected during their sophomore year with the idea that each student participates in the Fellowship for two academic years. Therefore a junior will not be able to participate fully in the program and is thus not as strong an applicant as the sophomore students.

What if I don’t have a faculty mentor? If you don’t have a mentor at the time of the application, we will help students identify a faculty mentor within their fields of interest. However, students who apply with an idea of faculty with whom they might work tend to be stronger applicants than students who have given no sense to their research and faculty interests.

Contact Us

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Cammi Valdez
Assistant Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
cvaldez@fas.harvard.edu | 617-496-6220

Margot H. Vona
Programs Manager, Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
mhvona@fas.harvard.edu | 617-384-7959

MMUF PROGRAM
Phone: 617-496-6220
Email: mmuf@fas.harvard.edu

HCRPAll FieldsThe Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) provides funding support for students working with Harvard-affiliated faculty during fall, spring, or summer. Applicants must arrange their own research projects.
Herchel SmithSciencesHerchel Smith provides funding for exceptional student researchers conducting research over the summer. Projects may be undertaken anywhere in the world. Applicants must arrange their own research projects.
MMUFAll FieldsThe Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship provides financial support to high-potential juniors and seniors with a commitment to research, as well as faculty mentorship. Students should apply as sophomores.
RCEAll Fields

The Harvard College-Mindich Research and Community Engagement (RCE) award provides funding to students conducting an independent summer project that combines community-engaged service with student-initiated scholarly research.

 

Overview

The Harvard College-Mindich Independent Research and Community Engagement (RCE) award provides funding in support of undergraduates who are conducting an independent summer project that combines community-engaged service with student-initiated scholarly research. The project must involve the guidance of a Harvard-affiliated faculty mentor and be highly substantive: at least ten weeks in duration, full-time in commitment, and exhibiting some autonomy in the development, direction, and execution of the project.

Program Details

ABOUT THE HARVARD COLLEGE-MINDICH RESEARCH & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD

The Harvard College-Mindich Research & Community Engagement (RCE) award was developed by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships in collaboration with the Phillips Brooks House Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship and is funded by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and alumni/ae donations. The award is intended to support students wishing to combine community-engaged service efforts with the collection of data for independent research projects. 

Example projects:

  1. Community engagement project working in a temporary shelter for undocumented children; Research component studying the causes of border migration.
  2. Community engagement project developing education materials for Haitian community health program; Research component assessing the impact of public health interventions among local Haitian population.
  3. Community engagement project working on youth science outreach at local arboretum; Research component conducting molecular analysis of tree responses to climate change.
  4. Community engagement project working as a trainer with statewide student-power-building organization; Research component applying social movement theory to analyze how individuals become active participants in such movements.
  5. Community engagement project working with a nonprofit arts organization serving students with autism; Research component interviewing students with autism on the benefits of arts opportunities.

BENEFITS

  • A generous summer stipend of up to $4,000
  • In addition, travel funds necessary for domestic and international locations
  • For financial aid recipients, Dean's Summer Research Award ($1,000 credit towards Summer Savings obligation for rising seniors conducting thesis research)

POLICIES & EXPECTATIONS

  • Duration: Students must undertake a project that is at least ten weeks in duration
  • Reporting: Recipients must submit a midterm and final report

Eligibility & Selection

ELIGIBILITY

  • All continuing undergraduates (rising sophomores, juniors, seniors)
  • Students from all concentrations
  • Students in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Students whose project faculty sponsors are members of a Harvard Faculty
  • A preference for students whose service projects are conducted with an existing nonprofit organization/non-governmental agency

SELECTION

Applicants will be evaluated on the quality of their proposals, their commitment to community-engaged service, and their academic and personal qualifications to pursue the indicated project. In particular, the selection committee will look for projects that demonstrate:

  • Active participation in a community-engaged service project (social service or social action)
  • Autonomy in the development, direction, and execution of the research component
  • A reciprocal relationship with members of a community who will benefit from both the research and public service contribution

Application: 12 noon March 28, 2018

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

DEADLINE:  12 noon, Wednesday, March 28, 2018

_________________________________________________________________

STEP 1:  READ

Read the award overview and program details carefully to help you prepare your application materials.

STEP 2:  SOLICIT REFERENCE

One academic letter of recommendation is required. 

ACADEMIC LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION (Submitted by Faculty Mentor): The letter of recommendation must be written by the faculty member who will supervise and provide direct guidance on your project. Among other things, this faculty member can comment on the quality, originality, and worthiness of your proposal. This letter should include brief examples of your initiative, motivation, and determination in an academic activity and/or relative to the proposed project. Download the Recommender Instructions below. Send your letter writer the instructions, which will guide your letter writer on the topics we would like addressed in their letter of support. 

To download the Recommender Instructions, please click the button below.

IMPORTANT: You should enter your recommender in CARAT before starting any other application materials. Make sure you provide plenty of time for your recommender to ensure your application is completed by the deadline. Do NOT wait until the night before the application is due to send the reference request from CARAT.

      INPUTTING YOUR RECOMMENDER IN CARAT

  • HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Start by typing in your recommender's last name; you will then see autocomplete options. Select your recommender from the drop down choices. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you have selected your recommender from the list. 
  • NON-HARVARD RECOMMENDER: Enter your recommender's name, title, affiliation (University, Institution, or School), and email address. Click "Send reference request to" button that appears after you completed the required fields and clicked elsewhere on the page.
  • Please Note: Be sure to complete the recommendation waiver found under the name of your recommender towards the bottom of the page.  


STEP 3:  PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS

BUDGET 
Provide an itemized budget which details to total costs necessary to your project (living expenses, travel, research-related expenses) in the appropriate budget information request lines found in the Budget tab of your funding source application in CARAT.

PERSONAL STATEMENT
In 500 words, describe your reasons for seeking this award, your interest in and experience with the community-engaged service project you propose, and how the research and community engagement project will contribute to your academic, personal, and professional goals.

PROJECT PROPOSAL
In 1,000 words, describe the project in your own words, addressing the following:

  • Community-engaged service component (organization/issue, your role, timeline)
  • Objective, significance, and implications of research (pertinent literature, nature of community involvement, potential impact)
  • Detailed plan for research (methodology, timeline, sources)
  • Faculty involvement

CURRENT TRANSCRIPT
Obtain a copy of your latest online unofficial transcript (NOT the S-REC), including your current course enrollment. To access your unofficial transcript, login to my.harvard.edu. Select Campus Resources at the top of the page. Under FAS Academics, select Unofficial Transcript. You will be prompted to login via the Harvard PIN System. Select "Show undergraduate transcript." Your Unofficial Transcript will open. Download and save in pdf format.

RESUME
Upload a 1-page resume in pdf format that includes your work and service experience and a description of your scholarly and extracurricular activities.


STEP 4:  LETTER OF SUPPORT

LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY HOST 
A letter from your designated community partner must confirm your placement in the organization, provide details about the proposed project, as well as to what extent and by whom you will be mentored. Your community host should email their confirmation letter in pdf format to eperten@fas.harvard.edu with RCE and [YOUR LAST NAME] in the subject line.

 

STEP 5:  SUBMIT YOUR MATERIALS

Once you have completed the required application components found in the tabs of your funding source application in CARAT, upload and submit your application materials:

  • Personal Statement
  • Project Proposal
  • Current Unofficial Transcript
  • Resume