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Student Grants

As a result of COVID-19, Harvard University has prohibited most university-sponsored travel; that also includes travel relating to student grants. As such, we will only be reviewing applications that can be done virtually. If you have any questions regarding which projects and funding would be acceptable as a result, please contact Selmon Rafey, Program Coordinator, at Our plans for Summer 2021 grants will be announced by the start of the Spring 2021 semester.

The Mittal Institute provides three types of grants to Harvard University students:

Internship grants are awarded to students who choose to work with specific organizations on a project developed by either the organization or in collaboration with the internship-site. Summer internships should be around 8 weeks. Wintersession internships should be around 3 weeks.

Language study grants are awarded to students who choose to pursue an intensive study of a South Asian language. Students can choose to either study the language independently or through an institution. Summer language study programs should be around 8 weeks. Wintersession language study programs should be around 3 weeks.

Research grants are awarded to students pursuing research on specific topics that could contribute to a thesis or dissertation or if the applicant has done preliminary work on the topic. Individual independent research will be considered if these requirements are fulfilled. Summer research should be around 8 weeks. Wintersession research should be around 3 weeks.


Applications for Winter 2021 grants are now open.

Winter 2021 Deadline: Friday, October 16, 2020
Winter Session Grant Recipient Notification: Mid-to-late November

Summer 2021 Deadline: To be announced
Summer Grant Recipient Notification: To be announced

Frequently Asked Questions

Can students apply as a group? 

No. Each student in the group should submit an individual application and should specify the intentions of their group in the research plan.

Are students eligible if they’re taking a gap year or if they would have graduated by the time of their travel?

No, they are not eligible for a grant. Students must be enrolled in their programs following the conclusion of the grant period. For someone graduating May 2020, the last session they can apply for is the winter of 2019-2020.

How much funding is available?

Grants can range from $500-5,000, but most are between $1,000-$2,000.

Can students apply to use funding in countries that are not located in South Asia?

Possibly, but the research itself must be on topics related to South Asia. However, at this time all travel relating to grant programs is prohibited.

Should I apply to other centers for funding?  

Yes, but please note that you must submit individual applications to each center! If your proposal deals with cross-border issues in Asia, consider applying to the Asia Center for funding. Or if it is an India-China research project, consider applying to the Fairbank Center. Or if you’re studying a language prevalent in multiple regions or on regional borders, like Tibetan or Burmese, consider applying to the centers that encompass those regions and countries. Please note any additional funding sources that you are applying to in your CARAT application.


Is your question not listed above? Please direct all other inquiries to Selmon Rafey, Program Coordinator, at