Student Initiatives and Independent Study

HKS Student researchThe Ash Center supports HKS student-led events and initiatives as well as independent study. Preference is given to projects with Ash faculty involvement and applied learning opportunities that overlap with the Center’s core research and programmatic priorities.

Interested students may direct funding inquiries to Will Pfeffer, Program Coordinator for Student Programs.

Research Grants
The Center awards research grants to HKS students for independent research projects on an ongoing basis. Research projects are selected based on several criteria:

- Connection to Ash Center-affiliated faculty (either in an informal or formal advisory capacity)
- Relevance to one of the Center's areas of focus
- Well-developed research plan and appropriate budget

To download a copy of the 2016-17 independent research funding application, click here. Please be sure to complete all fields of this application. In addition to the application and research project proposal, we also request a letter of recommendation or endorsement from a faculty member; this may be submitted with the proposal or emailed by the faculty member directly to Will Pfeffer at

Please contact Will Pfeffer for more information.  Information about past student-initiated-research-projects can be found here.

Student Group and Journal Support
The Ash Center supports many student organizations and journals which focus on one of our areas of interest. We welcome funding applications from groups and journals as well; please refer to the independent research application for guidelines on submitting an application. We also welcome "standard" proposals used by groups and journals to fundraise across HKS.

China Programs Student Research Grants
The China Programs encourage and assist students with an interest in China from Harvard Kennedy School and from across Harvard University by supporting internships, independent research, and other forms of study conducted in China.

You may find examples of previously-supported student initiated research here