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Eligibility for Funding

To be considered for a Winter Term International Travel Grant, an HLS student must:

  • be enrolled as a J.D. or LL.M. student during Winter Term in January 2024
  • apply for and be approved for a clinical project, or register for a Winter Term research/writing project, that will require travel outside of the United States for the duration of Winter Term in January 2024
  • submit the Winter Term International Travel Grant Application, together with all required attachments (see Applications for Funding below), to International Legal Studies
  • demonstrate in the grant application that the proposed travel is critical to the completion of the project, and clearly explain the proposed methodology/work plan for the time abroad
  • provide evidence of strong faculty support for the project; in the case of Winter Term Writing, a detailed proposal signed by the faculty supervisor is required

Please note, however, that these are minimum eligibility requirements and meeting them does not necessarily guarantee a Winter Term International Travel Grant.

Applicants should also note the following:

  • Students who are traveling internationally over Winter Term in conjunction with a class or a group program are not eligible for Winter Term International Travel Grants; they will receive information about funding directly from the faculty responsible for those courses.
  • Students who are foreign nationals should be aware of considerations with regard to funding and visas when traveling abroad during their studies and plan accordingly. For this reason international students should be sure to contact the Harvard International Office before committing to any travel outside the United States. International students proposing Winter Term projects in their home countries must demonstrate a sound academic basis for the travel. Visits to family and friends should not be the impetus for Winter Term projects abroad.
  • Students who received Winter Term International Travel Grants or Cravath International Fellowships in a previous year are not precluded from applying for funding for January 2024, provided that they have met all grant requirements and received HLS credit in relation to the project supported by the first grant. The proposals of all applicants (whether applying for the first or second time) will be evaluated on their merits in relation to the other proposed projects for 2024.
  • Winter Term projects should be conducted between January 2 and January 19, 2024, not including travel. If a student obtains permission to vary these dates slightly due to a compelling reason, the project period must still encompass a minimum of 14 working days. A student must petition for permission to work or undertake research for fewer than 14 days. Students may not extend project-related travel beyond Winter Term.

Please also review the information on our Creating a Strong Proposal page.

Applications for Funding

The deadlines for applying for a Winter Term International Travel Grant are noted under Program Deadlines and Requirements, below.

Applications for these grants must include the following:

  • The Winter Term International Travel Grant application form, which includes a proposal summary and budget proposal
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • A copy of the student’s complete substantive program application, as follows:
    • J.D. and LL.M. students applying for clinicals should provide a copy of the project proposal submitted to the Office of Clinical Programs
    • LL.M. students applying for Winter Term Writing should provide a copy of the application and narrative description submitted to the Graduate Program
    • J.D. students registering for Winter Term Writing should provide or authorize access to the registration form and proposal submitted to the Office of the Registrar
  • For students conducting research/writing projects, a bibliography of basic sources on the topic they wish to explore
  • A current official Harvard Law School transcript from the Office of the Registrar. The transcript should include the student’s most recent reported grades as of the application deadline.  Students can order their official transcript online by going to the Office of the Registrar’s Transcript Requests page and selecting “Placing a Transcript Order Online.” Official transcripts 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.)
  • A letter or email from the student’s HLS faculty supervisor, indicating that the faculty supervisor has reviewed the proposed project and offering comments on its merit and the student’s ability to conduct the work outlined. The more substantive and detailed the letter, the more useful it will be in the Selection Committee’s deliberations. (This letter or email should be sent directly to International Legal Studies by the faculty member.)

All Winter Term International Travel Grant application materials (including official transcripts, as noted above) should be delivered electronically to International Legal Studies at

Pair or Group Projects

Winter Term International Travel Grants will be awarded on an individual basis so that the program can support a variety of well-conceived projects. 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’s participation is necessary and the specific role each student will play. Usually no more than three students may receive funding for the same independent Winter Term project, though exceptions may be made if circumstances warrant. As applications will be evaluated independently, it is possible that students working together will not all be awarded grants or that, if they are, the amounts may differ.

Program Deadlines and Requirements

Two applications are required: one regarding the substance of the project and the other for the travel grant itself. (This is similar to applying for admission and financial aid.)

Substantive Program Application Deadlines:

  • J.D. and LL.M. students seeking approval for independent clinical projects should submit applications to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs by Friday, October 27, 2023.
  • LL.M. students seeking approval for Winter Term writing projects should submit the required application to the Graduate Program by Monday, November 13, 2023.
  • J.D. students must register for the Winter Term Writing Program by submitting the required registration form to the Office of the Registrar by Friday, November 10, 2023. 

Winter Term International Travel Grant Application Deadlines:

  • J.D. students applying for independent clinicals or Winter Term Writing Program projects should submit travel grant applications to International Legal Studies by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023.
  • LL.M. students applying for independent clinicals should submit travel grant applications to International Legal Studies by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023.
  • LL.M. students applying for Winter Term Writing Program projects should submit travel grant applications to International Legal Studies by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 13, 2023.

Notification Deadlines:

Students will be notified by Monday, November 20, 2023 whether they have been awarded a Winter Term International Travel Grant and, if so, the amount. Students have until Monday, December 4, 2023 to accept the grant.

Again, the Winter Term International Travel Grant Program confers a financial grant only. Students are responsible for arranging academic credit for the Winter Term directly with appropriate faculty and offices as specified above.

Grant Amounts and Funding Guidelines

Funding for Winter Term International Travel Grants is limited. Typically grants are awarded in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 per qualifying student. For Winter Term in January 2023, the average grant offered was $1,880.

Winter Term International Travel Grants will not exceed the amount of anticipated expenses detailed in the grant application. The budget proposal should include only reasonable expenses that are necessary for the completion of the project. Students should try to secure the least expensive flights possible. If travel will not originate in Boston, it should be because it is less costly to travel from another city to the destination than it is to travel from Boston to the destination. Other expenses such as lodging can be included in the budget proposal for funding consideration if they are necessary costs. However, expenses related to retaining an apartment in Cambridge while traveling abroad cannot be included in budget proposals. Expenses must also be verifiable:  budget proposals must specify the source of prices, and receipts will be required upon return.

Students opting to purchase plane tickets in advance of the November grant notification date should take note that grants are not guaranteed; therefore, they may wish to purchase cancellation insurance. In general, all students should plan carefully to secure the funding needed for their projects.

Sources of Funding

The sources of funding for Winter Term International Travel Grants include several programs. There is no need for students to apply directly to these programs, as these funding sources will be coordinated through the Winter Term International Travel Grant Program.

They include:

  • Cravath International Fellowships

    Cravath International Fellowships provide funding to a select number of HLS students to pursue academic projects with an international, transnational, or comparative law focus. Priority will be given to J.D. students, but LL.M. students are also eligible to compete for selection. Although Cravath Fellows’ projects may involve clinical placements, efforts will be made to first fund the strongest research proposals.

  • The Human Rights Program

    The Human Rights Program awards a small number of grants to HLS students conducting human rights research abroad during Winter Term. The program’s emphasis is on research for Winter Term Writing involving research in the developing world. HRP will also consider proposals from students traveling to the developing world in connection with human rights clinical or advocacy projects.

  • The Lee and Li Foundation for the Public Interest

    The Lee and Li Foundation for the Public Interest, which was established by the law firm of that name headquartered in Taipei, provides grants to support HLS students with a serious demonstrated commitment to public interest who wish to undertake public interest-focused research or clinical projects concerning Taiwan or Mainland China.

  • Reginald F. Lewis Internship Grants

    Reginald F. Lewis Internship grants are available for research and clinical projects of an international nature. Past Lewis internship grants have supported work relating to law and development, environmental law, human rights, and international business, trade, and poverty, among other areas of focus.

  • Mead Cross Cultural Stipends

    Mead Cross Cultural Stipends are available to fund research, clinical work, study or other educational endeavors, to be undertaken by students during Winter Term, that foster a better understanding and appreciation of differences in jurisprudence among cultures, and to advance Harvard Law School’s goal to provide comparative international legal experiences.

  • Andrew B. Steinberg Scholarships

    Andrew B. Steinberg Scholarships are awarded to J.D. students undertaking clinical or research and writing work that will foster empathy and cultural understanding, and develop the advocacy and creative problem-solving skills that the late Honorable Andrew Steinberg ’84 found integral to his own international experiences and legal career. Special consideration will be given to projects relating to antitrust law, aviation, environmental law, technology, or international law.

Securing Sufficient Funding

Students are responsible for securing sufficient funding for their project-related travel and expenses, so they should be enterprising in seeking financial support. The financial requirements of a student’s project, as outlined in a reasonable and well-constructed budget, will be reviewed, but the amount of a Winter Term International Travel Grant will not be determined based on financial need. We strongly encourage students who are concerned about their financial ability to undertake projects abroad to look for multiple sources of funding well in advance of Winter Term.

Depending on the nature of the project, students may wish to inquire directly with various research centers and programs at Harvard Law School or research centers and programs throughout Harvard University about possible sources of funding.

For example, these HLS and Harvard University programs offer funding that may be applicable for Winter Term projects abroad:

This list provides examples of possible funding sources, but is not exhaustive. We encourage students to be proactive in their efforts to identify funding sources that align with their particular projects or research interests.  Please note: the availability of and eligibility for funding from these sources may change from year to year, so students should carefully review individual program funding guidelines before applying.

Students may also find these resources from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences useful for identifying additional sources of funding:

A J.D. student who does not receive sufficient funding for their project may inquire with J.D. Student Financial Services about a possible loan to cover a shortfall in Winter Term project expenses.

Award Conditions and Grant Payment Schedule

Upon notification that a student has been awarded a grant, the student will receive a grant agreement as well as relevant information about the grant. All steps specified in the grant agreement must be completed by the stipulated deadlines, or the student will be asked to reimburse their grant in full to Harvard Law School.

Initial Requirements

In order to receive a grant payment, a student must complete the following steps no later than Monday, December 4, 2023:

  • Review, complete, sign and return the Winter Term International Travel Grant Agreement.
  • Review, complete, sign and return the Assumption of Risk Form.
  • Examine Harvard’s Global Support Services travel risk ratings, and if necessary, take appropriate steps (at least 30 days in advance of travel).
  • Register the trip in the International SOS MyTrips platform.
  • Attend a mandatory pre-departure information session. For travel during Winter Term in January 2024, these sessions will be held on Tuesday, November 14 and Thursday, November 16 at 12:30 p.m. in WCC, Milstein East B. (The session is offered twice; you need only attend one of them.)
  • Complete the Global Support Services online orientation.
  • Submit verification of travel costs (in the form of either receipts or credit card statements) equal to or exceeding the amount of the grant. In the event that verification of a portion of travel costs can only be provided upon return, a student should submit as much as possible prior to Winter Term and the remainder upon returning to HLS, no later than Thursday, February 15, 2024. HLS reserves the right to seek reimbursement of funds for any portion of a grant that a student is unable to substantiate.
  • If a student is not a U.S. citizen, the student may be requested to submit additional information including copies of visa documents.

See the HLS International Travel Procedures web pages for detailed information on international travel requirements.

Once a student completes and submits all appropriate paperwork, it generally takes at least three weeks to receive a check. Students should not expect to receive checks before the end of the HLS final exam period in December.

Final Grant Requirements

Students must complete these final grant requirements no later than Thursday, February 15, 2024:

  • Submit a five-page report about the Winter Term work, as a Word document, to This report is related to the grant only and is not a substitute for any academic writing requirements in relation to the Winter Writing Program or Clinical Program. This report should, however, provide detailed information about the substance of the work conducted. Students should note the topic of the research/writing project or the name of the clinical placement organization, describe the work and how they conducted it, what they were able to accomplish, what they learned (e.g., what did interviews or work reveal), conclusions reached, and any other pertinent details. The report should also describe what this Winter Term experience means for the student in terms of their future plans. Please note that these reports may be shared with funders and other individuals (who have not read the initial project proposal), so students should carefully review their reports before submission and ensure that they can be read as self-contained, free-standing documents.
  • Submit verification of any travel costs (in the form of receipts or credit card statements) not provided before the student’s departure.

We hope that all students who receive Winter Term International Travel Grants will be able to take advantage of the funding. However, if a student does not pursue or complete their project in substantially the form proposed, unless a change has been approved in advance by the Grants Committee, then they are responsible for notifying the committee and returning any funding received.

Please review our Winter Term Preparation page for more information on international travel, safety, requirements, and verification of travel costs.

For More Information

J.D. Winter Term Writing ProgramOffice of the RegistrarWasserstein 4007
(617) 495-4612
LL.M. Winter Term Writing ProgramNancy Pinn
Graduate Program
Wasserstein 5005
(617) 384-8302
Independent Clinical ProjectsJill Crockett
Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs
WCC 3085, 6 Everett Street
(617) 384-9940
Winter Term International Travel Grant ProgramSara Zucker
International Legal Studies
Wasserstein 5005
(617) 495-9030