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Students traveling abroad for a winter independent clinical project should apply for a Winter Term International Travel Grant through International Legal Studies.

Funding Application Deadlines

Note: These deadlines are for independent clinical funding applications. Externship clinic funding applications will still be accepted after these deadlines.

Fall 2021: August 27, 2021 (midnight)
Winter 2022: October 29, 2021 (midnight)
Spring 2022: January 21, 2022 (midnight)

How does it Work?

Students receiving HLS financial aid – defined as being eligible for and receiving at least $20,500 in the form of an educational loan certified by Student Financial Services office, or the equivalent for international students are eligible to receive funding up to $2,000 to cover the costs of travel and housing for winter term. Students who are not receiving any HLS financial aid are eligible to receive funding up to $1,000 for winter term.

Students must pay out of pocket for their housing and travel needs. At the end of the term, students should submit their receipts to OCP to receive a grant check up to the amount of funding granted to them. Note that funding is not guaranteed and the full amount requested may not be approved.

Therefore, students may not want to make travel or housing commitments until they know their project has been approved and whether their funding has been awarded.

Before submitting an application:

Students should research and document travel and housing costs in advance of applying for funding. Requests 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.


Follow the Steps to Apply & Receive Funding

Follow the Steps to Apply & Receive Funding

  • Review Funding Criteria

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

    • The merit of the project,  thoughtfulness and clarity of the proposal, 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 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.

    OCP does not generally fund commuting costs associated with fall and spring independent clinicals or externship clinics. However, students may apply for reasonable transportation costs if commuting to their placement creates a financial hardship.

    Students enrolled in a winter term externship clinic may request funding to cover the costs of reasonable travel expenses associated with the winter term placement as outlined in the Review Eligible Expenses section.  Students’ financial need is considered when reviewing funding requests.

    Independent clinical students may apply for Winter Term domestic funding only once.

  • Review Eligible Expenses

    Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Harvard University COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation Form will be required in order for travel awards to be granted. 


    • Air, train, and bus fare may be eligible for funding. However, fares must be economy-class.
      • For air travel, only airfare can be requested for funding (baggage fees, miles, or upgrades are ineligible).
    • 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.
    • Travel to/from the airport/station is not eligible for funding (taxi, shuttle, car sharing service, train, etc.).
    • Students are generally NOT eligible for funding if the students’ placements are located in their home region. However, students may apply for reasonable transportation costs if commuting to their placement creates a financial hardship.


    Students are responsible for finding their own housing (some options include extended 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.

    RENTAL CARS, GAS, & Privately owned vehicles

    • Funding for rental cars is typically not provided to students.
    • If a placement for an externship clinic 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.
      • For externship clinical students for whom their placement doesn’t provide funding, 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. Please be sure to estimate/document the cost, explain the need, and provide the route if you were to take public transportation in the “Rental Car Expense” section of the funding application. Students should read the Harvard Rental Car Policy for help with estimating the cost of the car rental.
    • Students using their own car for travel to/from their placement may be eligible for a mileage reimbursement up to $500 to account for gas and wear and tear on the car.  Please consult the current GSA mileage reimbursement rate to calculate the expense.  Gas is an ineligible expense for students using their own vehicle.
  • Submit Funding Application and Financial Aid Waiver by Deadline

    The funding application includes a waiver allowing OCP to access student financial aid 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.

  • Accept Your Funding by December 2 (Winter term only)

    Winter funding decisions will go out via e-mail by November 12, 2021. Students should read this e-mail carefully.

    To accept this funding, students must submit the online Travel Grant Agreement form by Monday, December 6, 2021. Additional follow-up may be required to set you up in the Harvard Vendor system.

  • Submit Receipts & Other Documentation by January 31

    Students must submit their receipts along with the expense tracking spreadsheet according to the instructions provided in the funding award e-mail. The deadline to submit receipts for winter term is January 31.

    For travel, submit an air, bus, or train receipt.  Documentation for online booking or purchases must be a receipt and not an itinerary or booking reservation confirmation. An e-ticket email receipt normally includes all required information:

      • Passenger name
      • E-ticket or ticket number with proof of payment
      • Itinerary
      • Class of service (which should appear on an itinerary or ticket confirmation) First class is not an allowable expense.
      • Total payment amount
      • Payment type (credit card, cash)
    • If driving to and from your placement, please indicate the total miles driven and calculate your reimbursement using the appropriate GSA rate. A Google Map is helpful.
    • For housing, submit a sublet contract, official agreement, or other form of receipt that includes:
      • Name of parties
      • Location
      • Total payment amount
      • Dates of occupancy

    Students should expect to receive a check in the mail from Harvard Financial Services approximately four weeks after receipts are submitted or sooner if by Zelle.


  • Important Information for International Students

    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 grant check amount may be less than the initial grant funding amount awarded by OCP.