Graduate Seed Grant

In order to encourage innovative research by graduate students on any aspect of contemporary American politics, CAPS offers Research Seed Grants to support data collection, research-related travel, or expenses connected with making presentations at professional or scholarly meetings. Grants up to a maximum of $1,000 are available to cover expenses of data collection or travel to obtain research materials; grants up to a maximum of $500 are available to help cover costs of travel to present a paper at a professional meeting or research conference. **Please note that CAPS Graduate Seed Grants may NOT be used to pay Work Study students**

Students are limited to a total of two of these seed grants over the course of their time at Harvard.


  • At any stage of graduate work, students in Government, Sociology, Economics, History, and other social science Ph.D. programs at Harvard may apply for a CAPS Research Seed Grant, but being a CAPS affiliate is required prior to applying. Click on the application to be a CAPS affiliate for more information. 
  • The fall review deadline for academic year 2022-23: Oct. 14th, 2022.
  • The spring deadline for submission is TBD. 
  • No exceptions will be made to these deadlines.

Submit your application as a PDF with this file name only: Last Name, First Name - Seed Grant app/Fall OR SP/Year (ex. Smith, Jane - Seed Grant app/Fall/21). The application may run 1-3 pages maximum and must include a detailed budget. Failure to include a detailed budget may result in rejection of your application. Include your full name and your department at the top of the first page. No CVs or letters of recommendation are required; if the reviewers need additional information the applicant will be notified. Email your applications to  

CAPS Seed Grant application questions to consider as you formulate your proposal (address as applicable):
1.  What is the research question?
2.  What is your general research approach or method? (E.g., archival research, qualitative interviews, mathematical modeling, experiments)
3.  What is the specific design of this research? How will this research address the research question?
4.  What are the specific research activities that you plan to undertake?  (E.g., conduct interviews, design and implement a survey). Please describe, in as much detail as possible.
5.  What do you expect to find? What ideas or hypotheses are you testing?
6.  Why is this study important to other scholars or to others outside of academia, especially those involved in American politics? You need not provide a long literature review, but please describe some of the existing research or literature to which your research contributes.
7.  Is this research part of another research project?
8.  If yes, please describe the broader project briefly.
9.  Is this your first CAPS research grant?

10.  If no, please describe the connection between this request and any prior grant?   

Any questions about these guidelines may be directed to