No. 11: Deep Pockets, Easy Grants

They say Harvard smells like money, and with $25 billion in the bank, the University can’t help but agree. Still,
By Samuel C. Scott

They say Harvard smells like money, and with $25 billion in the bank, the University can’t help but agree. Still, it’s not just the size of the endowment that matters—it’s what the Harvard diploma can help us kids bilk from outside donors. Grant opportunities are now centrally listed at, so go forth and get to lootin’.


Rhodes Scholarships

Haul: Avg. $35,000

Deadline: Sept. 12—You missed it, but you weren’t going to get it anyway.

Facts: From a pool of 1,000 highly competitive applicants, up to 32 of the best are selected for this, the Holy Grail of academic scholarships, funding one to three years of study at Oxford University.

Keasbey Scholarships

Haul: $35,000

Deadline: Oct. 3

Facts: It’s no Rhodes, but on the up side, it’s more flexible and even more elitist. Keasbey draws from a few top American institutions, offering to fund study at Cambridge, Oxford, Wales, or Edinburgh. According to the Keasbey website, “the Scholarship may not be held by a married scholar. A nominee should not have expectations of marrying before completing two years of study abroad. If the scholar marries, the scholarship is forfeited.”

Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships

Haul: $35,000

Deadline: Nov. 29-Dec. 15

Facts: There’s a fast track from Cambridge, Mass. to Cambridge, U.K. Six scholarships send Harvard students to different colleges at the University of Cambridge for advanced study. So go long and drown the Type-A personalities that got you there in pints of bitter.


John Thomas Patterson Traveling Fellowship

Haul: $2000

Deadline: Feb. 9

Facts: Want Harvard to foot the bill for espresso and sambuca? Travel around Italy for two to three weeks on such jaunts as a “self-guided tour” or “genealogy research.” Peep the description: “The proposed travel should be intellectually purposeful and personally enriching, but need not contribute in any way to an academic project.”

Anton Segal Memorial Fellowship

Haul: $2500

Deadline: Mar. 9

Facts: The Segal Fellowship funds “purposeful travel in non-Western countries.” Information for the fellowship includes clutch phrases like “broaden

ing horizons,” “getting to know people [as much as] seeing well-known sites,” and “Academic performance, while important, is not as vital…” After you get back from Borneo, the Fellowship requires that you write a travel article or short story with intent to publish.

George Peabody Gardner Fellowship

Haul: $18,000

Deadline: Feb. 14

Facts: A Harvard-only fellowship with a Harvard-only name, the Gardner sends one graduated senior abroad for a year of travels “in an unfamiliar culture with an unfamiliar language.” So don’t try to go to Germany if you have a German grandpa. And don’t make a play for Australia if that is where you were born. Those two situations would not be ideal for this grant.


IOP Summer Stipend and Director’s Fellowship

Haul: $2,500-$3,500

Deadline: Apr. 20/Feb. 16

Facts: If you’re going to be working on a losing campaign anyways, you might as well let Harvard compensate you for your lost time and heartache. Past recipients of the Director’s Fellowship have worked for the Lord Mayor of London (jolly), New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (strategic), or Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (astounding). On the Summer Stipend, students can work for political campaigns, take non-lucrative government internships, or go abroad for unpaid State Department jobs.

Harvard Committee on Human Rights Summer Internship

Haul: $4,500

Deadline: Feb. 21

Facts: A summer internship puts the theory-minded Harvard student in the real world. Won’t the personal satisfaction involved in working for the Hague offset having to pass up on traveling in Italy? Also, if you’re doing it in Russia, Central Asia, or Eastern Europe, you can work through the more sexily named Andrei Sakharov Internship through the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Caroline Isenberg Fellowship

Haul: $2,000

Deadline: Mar. 17

Facts: One of many Radcliffe Fellowships, the Caroline Isenberg sends an enterprising dramatist with plans to return to Harvard for at least another semester for half a year’s worth of practical theater study abroad.

Luce Scholars Program

Haul: Travel, insurance cost

Deadline: Oct. 28—try it next year.

Facts: If you’re interested in Asia, want to get a job in the area, and have no academic or travel experience in the region, the Luce might be your ticket. They’ll take care of finding an organization or institution in which to place you.


Teodoro Raffaele Diaco Memorial Grant

Haul: $300-$3,000

Deadline: Apr. 6

Facts: Study in Italy for the summer. If you get this grant, you’ll have to write a letter to the Diaco family describing your experience in Calabria.

The National Security Education Program

Haul: Varies

Deadline: Feb. 10

Facts: You can get big bucks to study abroad to learn a geopolitically important language in a geopolitically important area. If there’s a downside to the program or a reason why the scholarship is so concerned about national intelligence, it’s because Uncle Sam is footing the bill, and he’ll be expecting service with the defense, intelligence, or national security services after you’re done.

Radcliffe Fellowships

Haul: Avg. $2,000

Deadline: Mar. 17

Facts: Consider it finishing school—if you want to refine your French and café-hop across the Continent, go for one of many Radcliffe Fellowships. This grant tends to favor purposeful travel, language study, and fine art. There aren’t interviews, so your application had better show just how important it is for you and the state of human knowledge that you get two grand to explore the links between Baudelaire and absinthe culture in nineteenth-century France.


Harvard College Research Program

Haul: Avg. $1,400

Deadline: Varies

Facts: If your department doesn’t throw money at your senior thesis, which they probably will, the College just might step right up. The Harvard College Research Program funds student-initated research with faculty; the Let’s Go Travel and Research Fund sends them abroad for thesis research, and the Dean’s Summer Research Award keeps them here the summer before senior year. It’s a shame you won’t start writing your thesis until three weeks before it’s due.