Summer Travel & Research Grants

Harvard graduate students can apply for funding to support research travel to the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe during the summer and academic year. 

COVID-19 Update

Recently, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) updated the Harvard travel policy. This update allows Harvard travelers who are fully vaccinated (meaning 2 weeks have elapsed after receiving the final dose of an FDA-authorized vaccine) to travel without an OVPIA waiver to countries with a CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Level of 1 or 2.

Alas, countries in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe currently have higher Risk Assessment Levels of 3 or 4. 

Therefore, in order to travel to a country in our region, you must petition OVPIA for a travel waiver. For full details, please refer to Harvard’s travel guidance (including OVPIA’s petition process)

The Davis Center may award funding after receiving formal confirmation of an OVPIA waiver. Please be in touch with Donna Cardarelli ( as soon as you receive written confirmation of your waiver.  


The competition is open to Harvard doctoral and master’s candidates. Funding priority is given to doctoral candidates in the humanities or social sciences, as well as to first-year master’s degree candidates in the program in Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (REECA).


Applications for summer 2021 and the 2021–22 academic year are due by Monday, February 8, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.

Please apply using the FAS Common Application for Research and Travel (CARAT).

Given that travel may be restricted in 2021 due to COVID-19, all research proposals must include alternate plans that cover the possibility that research travel as originally conceived may not be possible. Alternate proposal plans may include domestic travel in the United States, language study, and/or virtual research opportunities that do not involve travel. All proposals must include a detailed plan and corresponding budget. 

The maximum stipend is generally $4,000 and can be used during the summer or academic year. 


  • In CARAT, select the grant "Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Graduate Research Travel Grant." 
  • Arrange for one letter of recommendation to be uploaded to CARAT directly.
  • Include a current printed grade report from the Registrar’s Office (an official transcript is not necessary). To access and print your grade report, go to and sign in. Click on "Campus Resources." Under "FAS Academics," click on "Online Student Record."
  • Have questions about the application or about research travel in the region? Contact Donna Cardarelli.

Visas to the Russian Federation

If you are travelling to Russia to conduct archival or interview-based research, you must secure an appropriate visa type for research through an academic institution in Russia. Tourist visas are not appropriate for research activity in Russia. 

If you require visa support and do not have a working relationship with an academic institution in Russia, please reach out to Donna Cardarelli, Research Programs Coordinator, as soon as you begin planning for your research trip.

Plan Ahead

From start to finish, it could take up to 4 months to receive your visa. The process is complicated and unexpected issues can arise. Additionally, visa rules and processes can change without notice. If you require visa assistance through the Davis Center, you should plan to submit documentation as soon as you begin planning for your research trip.

For example, if you plan to travel in the middle of May and you require visa assistance through the Davis Center, please contact Donna Cardarelli by the beginning of February to ensure your timely travel.