New in 2017, if you are a PhD student who entered GSAS in fall 2015 or later and have begun or passed your third year of study, you may be eligible to apply for up to $2,500 from the GSAS Professional Development Fund. Before following the application instructions below, review the list of approved professional development expenditures developed by your program and discuss your professional development plans with your faculty advisors.

The award will be disbursed in one stipend payment after you receive e-mail notification from the GSAS Office of Financial Aid. Once you receive the award and complete the professional development activity, you must complete an online progress report form within 60 days. 

PhD students are eligible for this program, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Students must have entered GSAS in the fall of 2015 or later, must be in their third year or beyond, and must be deemed eligible by their Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Students must be making satisfactory academic progress. 
  • Students must draft a proposal and apply for funding, see below.

Award Amount: 

Students can request up to $2,500 for professional development purposes.  The entire amount does not have to be requested all at once.  Students can request smaller amounts multiple times until they reach the maximum.

Application Deadlines:

  • September 30 (funds disbursed November 1)
  • March 31 (funds disbursed May 1)
  • June 30 (funds disbursed August 1)

How to Apply:

  1. With your advisor, complete a faculty endorsement form.
  2. Log in to the Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT)* using your Harvard Key.
  3. Click Apply! at the top of the page, which will take you to the Browse Opportunities and Apply! page.
  4. Click on the blue Filter button in the upper right section of the page. In the Enter Keywords to Search For field, type GSAS Professional Development Fund and click on the blue GO button.
  5. Select GSAS Professional Development Fund in the left column to display program details and click on the blue Apply button.
  6. Choose the Project Description tab, enter the requested information, and click Save and Next.
  7. You will now be on the Travel tab. Enter the requested information (Cambridge/USA if not traveling), then click Save and Next.
  8. You will now be on the Additional Questions tab. Enter your itemized expenses, and click Save and Next.
  9. You will now be on the File Uploads tab. Select Choose File, then locate and select the Faculty Endorsement Form you completed with your faculty advisor. Click Save and Next.
  10. You will now be on the Submission tab and answer the question concerning human subjects research.
  11. Select Click Here to Validate Application.
  12. Enter your Harvard ID number, hit tab, then click on Submit Application. Click OK to finalize your submission.

​*If you experience problems completing the CARAT application, click Contact Us on the bottom right of the page in the CARAT system.

If you have questions about the GSAS Professional Development Fund or the application instructions, contact your Financial Aid Officer.