Application Instructions

Applications are open only to returning Harvard undergraduates. You must submit a separate application in CARAT for each internship to which you are applying, and you can apply for up to three internshps. If you would like to apply for more, please contact emily_maguire@harvard.edu and include the names of the internships you are considering. The application deadline is Sunday, February 7th, 2021 at 11:59pm.

For SURGH only: House tutors and deans are asked for input regarding your candidacy, which is taken into consideration during the selection process.

NEW: This year, applicants will submit the names of two references in lieu of formal recommendation letters for HGHI's Research & Internship Program. Letters of recommendation are still required for Independent Funding applications. 

Research & Internship Application Instructions300 KB
Independent Funding Application Instructions271 KB

Research & Internships Application Process

How to Apply:

1. Visit the Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT) site and find the Harvard Global Health Institute (Research & Internships) funding source.

2.  Complete all of the required fields in CARAT.

3. Upload the following four documents in PDF format:

A. Personal Statement (500 word max)

This is your cover letter, so please articulate why you want this position, how this experience will enhance your learning, and the ways you see it connecting to your future goals. Be specific! This should include details about the skills you’ll bring to this specific position and include examples from relevant experiences. This should not be a narrative essay or academic paper. Some organizations ask that you address specific topics in your personal statement, so please make sure to check the position description for any specific application instructions.

Please address your statement to the “Selection Committee” and include a heading in the following format at the top:

  • First and Last name & Graduation Year
  • Concentration & Secondary Field, if applicable
  • The name of the organization or lab to which you are applying

B. Resume (1-2 pages)

C. Unofficial transcript

Obtain a copy of your latest online unofficial transcript, including your fall course grades. To access your unofficial transcript:

  • Login to my.harvard.edu.
  • Select Student Home at the top of the page.
  • Under Grades, select Current Level, and then select View Unofficial Transcript.
  • In the Academic Institution drop down menu, select Harvard University.
  • In the Report Type drop down menu, select Harvard College.
  • Click View Report.
  • Your Unofficial Transcript should open. (If you have a pop-up blocker, you may have to disable it to allow this page to open.)
  • Download and save in pdf format.

D. References

Due to the pandemic this year, a letter of recommendation will NOT be required to apply for HGHI’s 2021 Summer Research and Internships. Instead you must provide two references, who may be contacted during the internship selection process to comment on your candidacy. Please upload a document containing both of the following:

  1. One academic reference: This should be from a faculty member, TF, Proctor/Tutor, RD, etc. who can comment on your academic initiative, interests, and competencies.
  2. One professional reference: This should be someone who knows you in a professional capacity and who can comment in detail about the positive skills and traits you possess.

For each reference, you MUST provide the following information:

  • Recommender’s Name
  • Recommender’s Position and Title, if relevant
  • Recommender’s Email Address (this should be their professional address, whenever possible, versus a gmail or other free address)
  • Recommender’s Telephone Number
  • 1-2 sentences about the capacity in which you know your recommender.

Please notify your references that they may be contacted in February or March by our internship host organizations regarding your candidacy. If you would like to provide additional references, you are welcome to do so, though we do not recommend exceeding four.

5. Submit!

Selection Process and Timeline:

  1. Each application is read by a committee at HGHI that makes the first round of decisions and narrows the pool to the top candidates. Generally there are about 5 finalists for each internship. Applications are evaluated based on your:
    1. Personal statement and whether you make a convincing argument for why the internship is a good fit;
    2. Resume and whether you demonstrate that you have the experience to complete the tasks of the internship;
    3. Transcript and the connection between your coursework and the skills needed by the organization;
    4. Letter of recommendation.
  2. All applicants will be notified at the end of February if they are a finalist or not.
  3. Once finalists are selected, the host organization will review applications and decide who they want to contact for in-person or phone-based interviews. Interviews occur in March. There is a short turn-around time for interviews, so if you are selected as a finalist, it’s important that you respond to interview requests quickly. Note on interviews: Each organization has their own internal selection process, which means you may not be called for an interview, even if you are a finalist. It also means that some organizations will contact you faster than others, so don’t worry if you don’t hear from organizations at the same time as other applicants.
  4. HGHI will make offers via email beginning in mid-March, and students will have three days to accept or decline the position. Note on acceptance timeline: We understand that 3 days is not a lot of time to make a decision, especially if you are waiting to hear about other offers. As much as we would like to be able to give everyone more time, we cannot allow individuals to hold an offer for an extended period of time, as this is not fair to the other students who are also waiting to hear about the same position. If this situation arises for you, please let us know if there is any additional information we can provide that will make your decision easier, and we will do our best to help.
  5. Students who do not receive offers will be notified on a rolling basis as decisions are made. All applicants should hear results by the end of April. Note on Offers: If you are a finalist for multiple internships, once you accept a position, you will be automatically withdrawn from consideration for other internships.
  6. Once a student has accepted a position, they should begin working on the program requirements immediately to ensure they meet the deadlines to receive funding.

If you have questions, please see these FAQs; you can also contact Emily Maguire. For help with your cover letter and resume, please refer to these resources from OCS.

Independent Funding Application Process

IMPORTANT NOTE before you begin:

You should enter your recommender in CARAT before starting any other application materials. Ask your recommender in advance, and complete the Reference part of CARAT as soon as possible so that your recommender has all the instructions for submitting the letter, which is due by the application deadline.

How to Apply

1. Visit the Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT) site and complete all the required fields, including the budget section.

If you don’t know your available dates yet, you can enter June 15th 2016 for a start date and August 15th 2016 for an end date. (This is not exact and is just for the purposes of the application.)

2.  Complete all of the required fields in CARAT.

3.  Provide one reference:

In CARAT, you will be asked to indicate one recommender. It is best to ask someone who knows you well and can comment about your performance in a context similar to the internship or research placement you are seeking, therefore:

If you are applying for funding for a research-related role, your letter of recommendation should be from a faculty member, TF, Proctor/Tutor, RD, etc. who can comment on your academic initiative, interests, and competencies.

If you are applying for funding for an internship or volunteer role, your recommendation should be from someone who knows you in a professional capacity and who can comment in detail about the positive skills and traits you possess.

Do not submit a reference from a family member. Below are instructions on how to enter a reference request, and additional instructions are also available directly in CARAT:

  • If your recommender is a Harvard affiliate, search for them by their last name, and their information will auto-populate when you click “enter.” If your recommender is outside of Harvard, manually completed the name, title, and email fields.
  • Once your recommender’s information is entered, click the “Send reference request” button that appears.
  • CARAT will send an email request to your recommender with a URL link, which will bring them to a page in CARAT where they may upload a PDF letter of reference. The deadline for the letter is the same as the application deadline.

4. Upload the following four documents in PDF format:

A. Personal statement (750 word max)

Please articulate why you want this position, how your former experiences have inspired you to pursue this type of summer experience, how this experience will enhance your learning, and the ways you see it connecting to your future goals. Be specific!

  • For internships, please describe the internship or type of work you will be pursuing and how this experience will further your personal and professional goals.
  • For research, please describe the research question or problem you will be exploring, the advisor(s) you plan to work with, the types of methods that you plan to employ, and why you feel this project is important.
  • If you plan to volunteer, please describe the types of projects you plan to work on, and how you think you will grow personally and academically through the experience.

Please address your Personal Statement to the “Selection Committee” and include a heading in the following format at the top:

  • Name and Graduation Year
  • Concentration and Secondary Field, if applicable
  • The name of the organization to which you are applying

B. Resume (1-2 pages)

C. Unofficial transcript

Obtain a copy of your latest online unofficial transcript, including your fall course grades. To access your unofficial transcript:

  • Login to my.harvard.edu.
  • Select Student Home at the top of the page.
  • Under Grades, select Current Level, and then select View Unofficial Transcript.
  • In the Academic Institution drop down menu, select Harvard University.
  • In the Report Type drop down menu, select Harvard College.
  • Click View Report.
  • Your Unofficial Transcript should open. (If you have a pop-up blocker, you may have to disable it to allow this page to open.)
  • Download and save in pdf format.

D. Proof of acceptance to the program or organization with which you will be working (If you have applied but have not yet been accepted, upload a sheet with the approximate date of the application results.)

5. Submit!

Selection Process and Timeline:

  1. Each application is read by a committee at HGHI.
  2. Most decisions are made without interviews, but some applicants may be asked to come for an in-person interview in February or March.
  3. Final decisions will be announced via email in mid to late March, and students will have one week to accept or decline the award.

If you have questions, please see these FAQs; you can also contact Emily Maguire. For help with your cover letter and resume, please refer to these resources from OCS.