How to apply

Led by an interdisciplinary group of faculty at Harvard University, the Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) fosters discussion, research and public outreach on all aspects of modern U.S. politics. Issues of concern to CAPS affiliates range from patterns of public opinion, electoral politics and civic participation, to the operations of governmental institutions, the dynamics of social movements and groups in politics, the ideological and intellectual roots of American politics, and the causes and results of public policies.

In order to encourage innovative research by undergraduate students, the CAPS awards summer research fellowships up to $2,500 each to Harvard College juniors who are writing a senior thesis on any aspect of contemporary American politics. Undergraduates in any concentration in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are welcome to apply. The purpose of the fellowship is to enable students to spend time in the summer and in the fall of their senior year on thesis research. It is acceptable to apply for funding to support archival research efforts locally and domestically, in addition to other methods to gather relevant materials and data (surveys, literature searches, etc.). CAPS is one of the few resources for undergraduates in the social sciences to obtain funding to support qualitative thesis research.

Applications are made through CARAT. Click here for application guidelines.

Applications must be submitted via CARAT by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.  [You may find it helpful to look at our listing of previous award recipients to get an idea of what kind of projects the CAPS has funded in the past.] No applications will be accepted past the deadline.

If you have any questions please contact Laura Donaldson at