Select Page

Seed for Change



  • Teams must include at least one current Harvard student at the time of submission – this can include undergraduate students, graduate students, clinical fellows or postdoctoral fellows, who will spend a period of time in India or Pakistan to test their proposed idea.
  • Team can have a maximum of four members.
  • Teams should have a Harvard faculty mentor to provide feedback and input.
  • Projects in the early ‘seed’ stages are prioritized over start-ups that may have previously received substantial support.
  • While a local partner in India or Pakistan may not always be available at the seed stage, such a partnership is highly encouraged.
  • The proposed enterprise can be a nonprofit, advocacy, or a for profit venture.
  • Everyone listed as a team member must have a pivotal role.

The application deadline for the 2019 competition has passed. Please check back in early 2020 for information on the next competition.

For questions about the application process, please email


Application Checklist

Complete an Application via CARAT

One Harvard team member should submit an application via CARAT. If the Harvard team member is an undergraduate, please click here. If the Harvard team member is a graduate student, please click here.

One-page Letter of Intent (LOI) by December 21, 2018
Please have one member of your group email a PDF copy of your LOI to by December 21, 2018.  Your LOI should address the issue you are trying to tackle and your approach to tackling this issue.  You will subsequently receive information about the next steps for your application. Applicants are encouraged to supply this letter but it is not mandatory.

Current Resume/CV 
Please include a resume for every team member.

Endorsement from Faculty

A Harvard faculty member must submit an endorsement letter to The endorsement letter confirms that the team has communicated with a Harvard faculty member about the idea.


Your budget will provide an explanation of the expenses the Seed for Change fund will cover. Please complete the budget spreadsheet and also enter the budget total into the applicable space in CARAT. The grant may be used to cover the following costs: translators, surveyors, transportation, housing, fees associated with visas and other bureaucratic systems, marketing, equipment, and safety measures.


The narrative must contain the following sections and answers to all questions listed below in a maximum of 7 pages:

  • Background and Literature Review
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Justification for Solution: Hypotheses and Relevant Data
    • What are the underlying causes of the problem being tackled?
    • What are the reasons for your hypothesis?
    • Justify the efficacy of the proposed solution
  • Business Model Solution
    • How will your business model efficiently scale up?
    • What are your goals and objectives?
  • Evaluation
    • What is the economic viability of the project?
    • How sustainable is the project?
  • Outcome
    • What do you intend to be the outcome of the project?
    • How will you quantifiably measure your impact?



December 21, 2018
Deadline to submit optional Letter of Intent

February 8, 2019
Deadline to apply

Early March 
A review panel will determine which applications will pitch their idea

March 1, 2019
Pitch presentation notification

March 25, 2019
Pitch presentation and finalists selection

Late March to April
Finalists work on developing their projects

April 25, 2019
Finalist presentations, followed by announcement of grand prize at Seed for Change Showcase

May 2019 to May 2020
Teams will implement their project and submit updates outlined in the agreement every 4 months