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Apply for a Seed Grant

Apply for a Seed Grant

The deadline to apply for the 2019-2020 Seed Grant cycle has passed.

Application Requirements

Submit a completed application via CARAT, which includes

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Transcript: official or unofficial transcripts accepted.
  3. Required application essays: Note that the word limits are maximums, but you are free to write shorter essays. All essays must be submitted via CARAT as PDFs.
    1. Essay #1: The Problem – What social problem do you plan to tackle? Where possible, please provide evidence to support that your identified problem exists. (800 words)
    2. Essay #2: The Solution – Introduce us to your organization and describe your organization’s solution. (600 words)
      1. Why did you create it?
      2. Who is the target population and why will the world be better because of it?
      3. Please lay out in clear detail the mission, vision, theory of change and logic model of the organization. (See sample.)
    3. Essay #3: Status – Tell us how far along you are. (400 words)
      1. What does the organization look like today (e.g., fiscal sponsor, incorporation, money raised, etc.)? 
      2. What does your current day-to-day work look like on this?
      3. Do you have a partner or multiple partners? If so, how is work split? How did you decide to do this together? 
      4. Do you have a board? If so, please include their names and bios.
    4. Essay #4: Landscape Analysis/Innovation – Describe 3-5 organizations that share a client base and/or issue focus with yours. (400 words)
      1. Explain how your organization would differ from, collaborate with, complement, or enhance the organizations already working in your field.
      2. How does your organization address a specific, unmet, need in your target community or issue area? 
    5. Essay #5: Sustainment and Growth – Tell us how will you sustain your organization and implement its objectives. (300 words)
      1. How will you build relationships in your community or field?
      2. How will you deepen your impact over time? Is scaling part of your vision?
      3. If your organization is unsuccessful, or you decide to leave your organization at the end of the grant period, what alternative career paths might you take? 
    6. Essay #6: Measure of Success – Tell us what would long-term success look like. (600 words)
      1. What methods will you use to measure your success, and how will you collect this information?
      2. What difficulties do you expect to encounter and what assets will you bring to bear on those obstacles?
    7. Essay #7: Personal Statement – Tell us about yourself and why you are well positioned to lead this organization. (1000 words)
      1. Why are you well situated to do this work? What do you get that other people don’t get? What experiences do you have that make you well situated to do this?
      2. What motivates you to take on this particular project?
      3. How would this fellowship contribute to your personal and professional development?
      4. What skills do you seek to gain from this work? What background knowledge and prior experiences make you a strong candidate? We know that social entrepreneurs in the beginning stages do not have all the skills necessary. What skills will be critical? What skills are your strengths? Where will you need help? How will you develop that skill set? How will you identify and use the expertise of people who will fill your gaps? How will you use your legal skills?
      5. Tell us what you have figured out and what you have not figured out.
  4. Two-year budget.
  5. Prepare benchmarks for years one and two using the PSVF Benchmarking Handbook.
  6. Three letters of recommendation (References Tab – References #1, #2, #3): 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. Each letter must include the applicant’s name, recommender’s name, recommender’s email, recommender’s phone, and recomender’s relationship to the applicant. Letters must answer the following questions:
    1. Why should we invest in this person?
    2. How will he or she be a future leader in this field?
    3. Why should we invest in this idea?
    4. Why do you think this is the right person to carry out this idea?
  7. Letter of support (References Tab – Reference #4) from a community leader or expert in the field. The letter must include the applicant’s name, sponsors name, sponsor’s organization, sponsors email, sponsors phone.
  8. Two references (Additional Questions Tab): 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 and letter of support writer how to submit their letters, informing them of our guidelines above before writing the letter and to expect an email from CARAT asking them to upload their letter.
  2. Prepare all application materials.
  3. Complete the online application via CARAT
    1. Log in with your HarvardKey, click the “browse opportunities & apply button,” and search for Public Service Venture Fund (PSVF) Seed-Grant Application.
    2. Upload the required application materials in CARAT.
    3. To continue a previously started application, select the “in progress” tab on the homepage. This is crucial so that the correct letters of recommendation are attached to the correct application.
    4. Save your application frequently. CARAT is connected to your Harvard Key and may log-out due to inactivity and your work may be lost.

Apply for an Organization-Based Fellowship

Apply for an Organization-Based Fellowship

The deadline for the 2019-2020 Org-Based cycle is Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 5 pm.

Application Requirements

Submit a completed application via CARAT, which includes

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Transcript: official or unofficial transcripts accepted.
  3. Two required essays. Note that the word limits are maximums, but you are free to write shorter essays. All essays must be submitted via CARAT as PDFs.
    1. Esssay #1: Organization Description – Describe your host organization and the work you propose to do at that organization. Will you work as a traditional staff attorney or will you work on a new project? (500 words)
    2. Essay #2: Personal Statement – Tell us about yourself and your reasons for applying to this fellowship. (750 words)
      1. What motivates you to take on this particular project or work at this specific organization?
      2. How would this fellowship contribute to your personal and professional development? What skills do you seek to gain from this work, and how will your host organization help you develop those skills?
      3. What background knowledge and prior experiences make you a strong candidate? How specifically are you prepared to do this work?
      4. Additionally, where do you see yourself in five years? In ten years? How will this fellowship help you you advance your public interest career?
      5.  Why did you choose to work at your selected organization rather than another in the same community or field?
  4. Prior Efforts Form uploaded into CARAT: Please complete the form with a list all efforts you have made to secure external fellowship funding and postgraduate jobs: list only those fellowships and jobs you have actually applied to and the status of those applications. Additionally, please describe any restrictions in your search, (i.e., geogrpahic, type of work, etc.), as the extent of your search will be a factor in the committee’s decision.
    1. Please list any alternate offers you have received or have turned down, including any private law firm offers.
    2. You will have the opportunity to bring an updated worksheet at the time of your interview.
  5. Two letters of recommendation: (References Tab – References #1 and #2): one recommendation must be from a faculty member (which may include clinical faculty) and one recommendation must be from an employer.
  6. Letter of support from a supervisor at your proposed host organization confirming the following (References Tab – References #3):
    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 will not hire any entry-level attorneys in the application year absent the PSVF & other Fellowships. If an entry-level position opens after the application, your sponsored applicant must be offered the position.
    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. Whether or not the organization will pay health care or any other benefits.
  7. MOU signed by the applicant and host organization following the role of a host organization guidelines.
  8. Two references: You must provide two references who can be called 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.
  9. The date and advisor you met with for your mandatory meeting to discuss your application (job search effort and host organization eligibility). The meeting must take place before January 15, 2019.

Application Instructions

  1. Tell your recommenders and host organization how to submit their letters, informing them of our guidelines above before writing the letter and to expect an email from CARAT asking them to upload their letter.
  2. Prepare all application materials.
  3. Complete the online application via CARAT
    1. Log in with your HarvardKey, click the “browse opportunities & apply button,” and search for Public Service Venture Fund (PSVF) Organization-Based Fellowship.
    2. Upload the required application materials in CARAT.
    3. To continue a previously started application, select the “in progress” tab on the homepage. This is crucial so that the correct letters of recommendation are attached to the correct application.
    4. Save your application frequently. CARAT is connected to your Harvard Key and may log-out due to inactivity and your work may be lost.

Applicant Resources