The Public Service Venture Fund supports two different types of postgraduate fellowships. It provides “seed money” for startup public interest ventures (Seed Grants) and salary support to graduating Harvard Law School students who hope to pursue post-graduate work at nonprofits or government agencies in the United States and abroad (Organization-Based Fellowships). Each of these two fellowships has a separate application process. We encourage those applying for Seed Grants to apply for an Organization-Based Fellowship as well.

This page provides application requirements, application instructions, and links to the online application submission forms.

On this page:

Apply for a Seed Grant

Application Requirements

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Resume/C.V.
  3. Transcript: Either a scan of your official transcript or an electronic copy of your unofficial transcript will be accepted.
  4. Required Application Essays: Essay questions are available on the Application Submission Form.
  5. Business Plan
  6. Two-Year Budget
  7. Three Letters of Recommendation: At least one recommendation must be from a faculty member; at least one recommendation must be from an employer; the third required letter may be from a source of your own choice.
  8. Letter of Support from a Community Leader or Expert in the Field
  9. Two References: You must provide two references in addition to the people who will write your letters of recommendation and support. These people must be able to speak to your ability to carry out your proposed work.

Application Instructions

  1. Tell your recommenders how to submit their letters of recommendation, encouraging them to view the special guidelines on the online recommendation form before writing the letter.
  2. Tell your letter of support writer how to submit his/her letter.
  3. Prepare all application materials.
  4. Access the online Application Submission Form. You will upload all required materials to this form.

Links for Materials Submissions


Apply for an Organization-Based Fellowship

Deadline for the 2015-16 cycle to be announced at a later date.

Application Requirements

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Resume/C.V.
  3. Transcript: Either a scan of your official transcript or an electronic copy of your unofficial transcript will be accepted.
  4. Three Required Essays: Essay questions are available on the Application Submission Form.
  5. Two Letters of Recommendation: One recommendation must be from a faculty member and one recommendation must be from an employer.
  6. Sponsorship Letter from Host Organization: You must submit a letter from a supervisor at your proposed organization confirming:
    1. Your sponsorship by the organization for a one-year fellowship.
    2. The name(s) of the proposed supervisor(s) for the fellow and information about the proposed supervisor(s)’ background (e.g. years of experience).
    3. That the organization would not be able to hire any entry-level attorneys in 2015 absent outside funding.
    4. That the organization has not turned down any HLS applicants for sponsorship for external fellowships (unless they had multiple HLS applicants and sponsored one of them).
    5. That the organization will sign and abide by the Memorandum of Understanding with Harvard Law School if you are selected as a fellow.
    6. Whether or not the organization will pay health care or any other benefits.
  7. Two References: You must provide two references in addition to the people who will write your letters of recommendation and support. These people must be able to speak to your ability to carry out your proposed work.

Application Instructions

  1. Tell your recommenders how to submit their letters of recommendation.
  2. Tell your sponsoring organization how to submit your sponsorship letter.
  3. Prepare all application materials.
  4. Access the online Application Submission Form. You will upload the required application materials to this form.

Links for Materials Submissions