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The Mittal Institute is excited to launch the Seed for Change Exploratory Grant Program this summer!

The Seed for Change (SFC) competition aims to develop a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India and Pakistan through an annual competition run by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University. Grant prizes will be awarded to interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact societal, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan.

The Mittal Institute recognizes that as a result of COVID-19, we have all had to make adjustments to our daily lives. We also know that students are doing their best under the circumstances to continue learning in new and creative ways. In light of this, we’re offering a one-time SFC Exploratory Grant to students who are currently working on ideas or a project that addresses intractable problems in India and Pakistan.

In addition to our annual Seed for Change competition, which will take place in Spring 2021, this Exploratory Grant Program will run from September 2020 to February 2021. 

Eligibility Criteria

Harvard students (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral) and Harvard alumni who graduated in 2020 with research and academic interests in India and Pakistan are eligible to apply. The grant aims to support students who are interested in developing their projects by refining an idea or a product design, connecting with in-region partners and organizations, considering growth and sustainability plans to further their knowledge about the region, and more.

Applicants must have the endorsement of a Harvard faculty mentor who will agree to advise the student(s) occasionally during the grant period, as needed.

Working with in-region partners is highly encouraged.

Applicants can receive up to $5,000 to support their efforts. Applications can be submitted throughout the summer on a rolling deadline until Monday, August 31st. Students will have the fall semester and the winter session to use their grant funds.

SFC grant recipients can also apply for the full Seed for Change competition in Spring 2021. Information on the application process and deadlines will be released in the coming months.


All applicants must submit:

  • A one-page proposal detailing their project idea
  • A budget with estimated expenses
  • A resume
  • An email acknowledgement from their faculty mentor to the Mittal Institute

All materials and questions can be submitted to Selmon Rafey, Program Coordinator ( Please have faculty mentors email Selmon directly to confirm their role (note: faculty members do not need to submit a full recommendation letter).