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International Legal Studies has funding available to defray some of the travel expenses for qualifying HLS students engaged in independent projects abroad. These grants, which are distinct from funding through the Winter Term International Travel Grant program and S.J.D. International Summer Travel Grants, are designed to support students engaged in research or fieldwork with an international, foreign, or comparative law focus.  

Projects must be devised by the student and connected to their academic or professional work.  For example, a student registered for written work or preparing a dissertation might engage in data collection, interviews, or archival research abroad to augment their exploration of a topic.  Or a student might undertake an activity of a more practical nature such as fieldwork or advocacy in relation to a project they have been engaged with over time.  International Legal Studies Travel Grants are not intended to support travel for stand-alone activities that are not clearly connected to a student’s previous or ongoing pursuits.  Rather, they are intended to augment legal or law-related work to which students have demonstrated commitment.

International Legal Studies will review application materials and consider the following:

  • 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, intellectual, clinical, and/or professional experiences
  • the appropriateness of the scope and the feasibility of the project
  • the potential impact of the project
  • the thoughtfulness and clarity of the proposal
  • the relationship of the proposed budget to the outlined project

ILS Travel Grants will typically range from $500 to $2,000 per student.  Even in cases in which a grant is awarded, International Legal Studies may provide only partial funding for the project based on the relative strength of the application, availability of funds, or other relevant factors. 


Full-time J.D., LL.M., and in-residence S.J.D. students are eligible to apply for ILS Travel Grants for projects that will occur while they are enrolled at HLS. Exchange students, visiting scholars and researchers, and other non-degree students are not eligible.

Please note the following additional parameters and restrictions:

  • Generally, funding will not be provided for travel to attend conferences unless the student is presenting original academic work. Students applying for funding to attend a conference at which they will be presenting should submit documentation of acceptance of their paper and/or their invitation to present, as well as an outline of the paper they intend to present.
  • S.J.D. candidates requesting conference travel stipends from the Graduate Program will be automatically considered for a supplement from International Legal Studies without a separate application. This does not preclude applying for a separate International Legal Studies Travel Grant at another point in the year. 
  • ILS Travel Grants will generally not be provided for domestic travel. In certain limited cases, a grant may be provided for domestic travel for a project/activity/event that a student has demonstrated — and is deemed by ILS — to be sufficiently international in nature, subject to the above-listed considerations.
  • Students who receive Winter Term International Travel Grants or S.J.D. International Summer Travel Grants are not eligible for an ILS Travel Grant for the same trip.
  • Students may not receive more than one ILS Travel Grant in the same fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
  • Students in the final semester of their degree program may not receive a grant for travel that would occur after the last day of class in that term.
  • ILS Travel Grants are designed for individual students and will only be awarded to students working in pairs or small groups in exceptional circumstances. Students who propose to undertake a project in a pair or small group must submit separate applications and provide a detailed explanation of why each student is necessary and the specific role they will play.
  • International moot court teams that will be traveling abroad for competitions may contact International Legal Studies to see about the availability of funding to help defray expenses.
  • Student organizations are not eligible for ILS Travel Grants but may contact the Office of Community Engagement, Equity, and Belonging for logistical assistance.


Applications for funding must be submitted and received by the International Legal Studies office at least four weeks prior to the proposed travel departure date. Applicants should keep in mind that the review process is such that it may take up to four weeks before a decision is issued.

HLS students applying for an International Legal Studies Travel Grant must submit an application form, resume, and a current official Harvard Law School transcript that includes the student’s most recent reported grades as of the application submission.  Students can order official transcripts online by going to the Office of the Registrar’s Transcript Requests page and selecting “Placing a Transcript Order Online.” Official transcripts may be in electronic or paper form but must be sent directly from the Office of the Registrar, or, if delivered by the student, arrive in the original signed and sealed envelope. (Please note that requests for HLS transcripts may take 3-5 days to process, so applicants should plan accordingly.)