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Funding & Prizes

The center provides financial support for course-related research, summer internships, research assistantships, student organizations, and a small number of fellowships (eg, tuition support - see the Ray Goldberg Fellowship in Global Food Systems, the Jerome H. Grossman M.D. Graduate Fellowships, and the Vicki Norberg-Bohm Fellowship). Several of the center’s research programs also offer funding and prizes—please check the websites of individual programs for details.


In deciding which student projects to support, M-RCBG takes several considerations into account. Answering "yes" to one or more of the following questions makes you eligible:

  • Are you concentrating your studies in business and government policy, pursuing a joint or concurrent degree at a business school, or otherwise demonstrating an interest in business and government through your coursework?
  • Is an M-RCBG-affiliated faculty member helping to advise your project?
  • Are you pursuing a project that is closely aligned with one or more of the center's research programs?

The M-RCBG contact is Susan Gill, susan_gill@hks.harvard.edu; 617 495-9379. Please note that grants to individual students are taxable.

Winter travel grants

The Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government helps to fund expenses associated with Policy Analysis Exercises and Second Year Policy Analyses (PAEs and SYPAs). Funding is competitive; the same selection criteria are listed above. Most grants are $1000-$2000. A list of students and sample PAE/SYPA projects that M-RCBG helped to support in past years can be found here. The deadline to submit proposals for funding winter travel, when students generally undertake PAE and SYPA research, is 2pm on October 27, 2020. Your application should include the following components:

  • Prospectus or project description
  • Itemized budget and timeline/itinerary.  Please note that grant recipients may be asked to provide receipts for project-related expenses
  • Resume or CV (for each partner)

Please use the school's winter funding common application to apply.

Summer internship grants

M-RCBG provides financial support to students for expenses associated with summer internships. Funding is competitive, and the center’s awards are based on the match between a student’s proposed activity and the research interests of the center’s faculty and programs.  Most grants are between $1000-$2000.  A sample list of past summer internships that M-RCBG helped to support in can be found here, and sample reports from student internships can be found here. The deadline for applying for 2020 summer internship funding is NOON on March 24, 2021. Please apply through the HKS summer application website. Your application should include the following components:

  • Resume or CV
  • Budget
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letter of recommendation from a Harvard faculty member familiar with your work. You may submit your letter along with your other application materials, or ask the person recommending you to send it directly to susan_gill@hks.harvard.edu
Conferences and journals

The center provides small grants (typically up to $1000) to officially recognized Harvard student organizations for publications, conferences, and events that address the business-government interface. Applications are reviewed by the center on a rolling basis. Please send a letter outlining your proposal and need to susan_gill@hks.harvard.edu.


The John Dunlop Thesis Prize in Business and Government is an annual award for Harvard undergraduates. The award is given to the Harvard College graduating senior who writes the best thesis on a challenging public policy issue at the interface of business and government. A $1000 prize will be provided to the winning entry. The application deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year is Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 12 noon. Please submit your thesis, readers' comments, CV, and this application form to mrcbg@hks.harvard.edu.  


Laura Nicolae and her thesis
2020 John Dunlop Undergraduate Thesis Prize winner Laura Nicolae.
Funding Recipient Spotlight

A recent funding recipient was Snigdha Shahi (HKS MPP 2021), who completed a Summer 2020 internship at the Ek Kadam Aur Foundation. A summary of her work is below:

This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Ek Kadam Aur (One Step Ahead) Foundation. The nonprofit, which works in India and Nepal, is committed to providing high quality virtual education experiences as well as improved learning environments to students from under-resourced backgrounds.

My role this summer entailed working on strategic direction and marketing for the NGO – which included contributing to the communications, website, and branding materials of the NGO. As a public-facing nonprofit sustained through funding, communication deliverables were of great importance to the NGO this summer as it moved into fundraising through corporate partnerships.

My experience was enriching in multiple ways – allowing me to build on a variety of soft skills and hard skills. A few highlights from my experience are noted below.

Connecting with the team: The host NGO provided ample and enriching opportunities to connect with fellow interns as well as their staff in India and Nepal, adapting quickly to virtual communication for the team. It was exciting to be able to hear about the work that the entire team was doing – from product development to impact evaluation – and think about how to best present it in my communications deliverables. Further, I also had the opportunity to reach out to previous interns the organization had hosted, thus expanding the network of highly motivated individuals I connected with through this internship.

Opportunity to interface with comms vendors: The host NGO proactively involved me in their communications with the website development firm they had hired. This significantly contributed to my understanding of the landscape of development communications in India – as well as the network of stakeholders involved in getting to a point where a nonprofit was ready to engage with corporates for fundraising.

Management experience and autonomy: The host NGO wished for me to take the lead in recruiting and finalizing an additional staff member – who would serve as the primary content writer for the website. This kind of autonomy and responsibility helped me get involved even more deeply with the NGO and think beyond the scope of my immediate work.