Graduate Student Associates Program

For Harvard graduate students only.

The Graduate Student Associates (GSA) program is one of the Center's oldest and most valued programs. Directed by Erez Manela, professor of history and Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate, the program welcomes applicants from any of Harvard's graduate and professional schools. The Center currently supports twenty-three doctoral candidates from advanced degree programs that include African studies, anthropology, architectural and urban planning, education, government, history, law, political economy, public policy, and sociology.

The goal of the GSA program is to provide a supportive and stimulating interdisciplinary environment in which promising graduate students can interact with one another, as well as with faculty, visiting scholars, and Fellows of the Center, as they complete their dissertations and begin their transition to professional careers.

Grants and Benefits

Graduate Student Associates are members of the Center's residential scholarly community. GSAs are provided with shared office space equipped with computers and printers, and receive research grants of up to $2,500 for conference and short-term research travel or for other expenses related to dissertation research and professional development.

Involvement with the program offers students the opportunity to present and receive feedback on their work in weekly seminars, held on Fridays. Because the members of this eclectic community come from many scholarly backgrounds, participants have an opportunity to learn about analytical approaches and research methodologies across disciplines and how to communicate with scholars outside of their own field, resulting in a significant broadening of their intellectual horizons.

Who Is Eligible

Students in doctoral or similarly advanced degree programs at any of Harvard's academic departments or professional schools may apply. Accepted students will have finished their course work, completed general exams, and have a focus relating to the core interests of the Weatherhead Center. These interests are broadly defined to encompass research on international, transnational, global, and comparative national issues and may address contemporary or historical topics, including rigorous policy analysis, as well as the study of specific countries and regions outside the United States. Preference is given to those applicants whose work is related to current research projects at the Center. Most Graduate Student Associates are G4 and above, though some G3s are accepted if they have a fairly well-defined dissertation topic. Applicants should state in their proposals why they are interested in joining the GSA program.


Graduate Student Associates must be in residence at Harvard (except for short-term travel) and are expected to participate regularly in the program's Friday seminars and other activities, including support of the Undergraduate Associates of the Center. They may apply to renew their affiliation for up to three years.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit one set of the following materials to:

Clare Putnam
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

  • Application Cover Sheet;
  • current curriculum vitae;
  • brief (maximum four pages, double-spaced) description of the thesis or research project, along with a statement explaining the reasons for being interested in joining the GSA program;
  • current transcript of grades (a photocopy is acceptable); and
  • two letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with the applicant's work.

Contact Clare Putnam for more information.


February 13, 2015