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General Information

The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs provides limited domestic funding to selected students who have proposed the most well-constructed, realistic independent clinical projects during the Winter Term. This funding is to offset the cost of transportation and housing while the student is off-campus. Applications for funding should be reasonable and necessary for the completion of the project. Students should pay careful attention to the relevant requirements and be sure to leave enough time to obtain the necessary documents.

How does it Work?

Students must pay out of pocket and will be reimbursed approximately four weeks after submitting their receipts to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. Students will be reimbursed only up to the full amount of their grant funding award. Students should note that funding is not guaranteed and the full amount requested may not be approved.

Important Note: Students should not make travel or housing commitments until they know whether their project has been approved and whether their funding has been awarded. Funding for International Independent Clinicals is administered by International Legal Studies.

Before submitting an application:

Students are strongly advised to:

  • Research project costs in advance of applying for funding.
  • Understand that all their expenses may not be covered.
  • Document expenses for which they seek reimbursement.

Follow the Steps to Apply for Funding

  • Review Funding Criteria and Eligible Expenses


    In reviewing funding requests for domestic independent clinical applications, OCP considers the following:

    • The merit of the project and the necessity of travel in order to complete the project.
    • The reason that a particular student should undertake the project, including its relation to the student’s past and intended academic, clinical and other experiences.
    • The appropriateness of the scope and the feasibility of the project.
    • The potential impact of the project and the relationship of the proposed budget to the outlined project
    • The thoughtfulness and clarity of the proposal.
    • The availability of funds and student’s financial need.


    Expenses must be reasonable costs that are necessary for the completion of the clinical project and that arise as a direct result of the placement. Expenses must be incurred by the individual student – third-party costs (parent, spouse, etc…) cannot be submitted for funding. Students traveling to placements in their hometown will not be reimbursed for travel or housing expenses.

    • Air, train, and bus fare are eligible for funding. Fares must be economy-class.
    • For air travel, only airfare can be submitted for funding (i.e. no baggage fees, miles, or upgrades).
    • If travel does not originate in Boston and is more expensive than traveling from Boston, we will fund the portion of the fare equivalent to the fare from Boston.
    • Taxis, shuttle services, and public transportation are not eligible for funding.

    Students are responsible for finding their own housing (some options include family, friends, local universities, churches, hostels, or apartment rentals). Housing incidentals (utilities, groceries, etc…) are not eligible for funding, even if you receive free/low-cost housing from family or friends.


    Funding for rental cars is typically not provided to independent and continuing clinical students. If your project requires renting a car, please be sure to explain the need and cost in the Application in the “Other Expenses” box. For students in rural areas only, rental cars may be submitted for funding consideration if frequent travel is necessary as part of the project (e.g. prison visits) and public transportation is not available in the area. Reimbursement is at a rate of $57.5 cents/mile, up to $500.

    If placement requires significant driving, clinical students should first seek reimbursement from their host organization. If students still have gas expenses, our office will consider requests for reimbursements after all other funding has been awarded.

  • Submit Funding Application

    The funding application includes a financial waiver allowing OCP to access student financial records from Student Financial Services. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of OCP. We expect students to use their funding responsibly and for the purposes for which it was awarded.

    Deadline: November 2, 2015


  • Receive Funding Decision

    Decisions for students who applied for domestic funding will be emailed to all students by:

    November 10, 2015

  • Accept Your Grant

    To accept your grant, you must e-mail confirming your approval along with the Travel Grant Agreement form and the Vendor Setup Form. International students must submit the Foreign National Vendor Setup Form.

    The deadline to accept the grant, submit the Travel Funding Agreement, and submit the Vendor Setup Form is: November 13th, 2015

  • Initiate Reimbursement Process

    Deadline: January 29, 2015

    In order to initiate the reimbursement process, students must submit their receipts. Approximately four weeks after receipts are submitted, students should expect to receive a check from Harvard Financial Services.

    • For travel, submit an air, bus, or train receipt that has your name, itinerary, price, and payment information clearly displayed.
    • If driving to and from your project city, please indicate the total miles driven and calculate your reimbursement at the rate of 57.5 cents/mile.
    • For housing, submit a sublet contract, official agreement, or other form of receipt that includes the name of both parties, the location, the price, and the dates of occupancy.
    • If you are a clinical course student who has undertaken significant driving as part of his/her clinic, submit additional gas receipts for consideration.


    If you are an international student, please note that Harvard University has implemented an online program designed to collect tax-related information from foreign individuals via a secure internet site, called Glacier. This system automatically determines the individual’s U.S. tax status, treaty eligibility, and tax withholding rates based on information provided by the foreign national. To this extent, please note that the final reimbursement amount may be less than the grant funding amount awarded by OCP.