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Students traveling abroad for a winter independent clinical project should apply for a Winter Term International Travel Grant through International Legal Studies.

Local Travel to Clinical Placements

Reasonable student travel expenses that are required to complete clinical obligations for academic credit will be covered, but Independent Clinical travel funding is by application and not guaranteed. In-House clinics manage their own processes for student travel and will share with enrolled students their procedures for funding closer to the beginning of the semester. The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs (OCP)  will pay for reasonable local travel expenses for student clinical practice in most externships. OCP will reach out to students enrolled in local externships and approved independent clinicals before the semester with a short survey to confirm your travel plans and allocation – do not submit the application below.

For local travel for clinical work in the Boston area, students will likely be provided a pre-paid MBTA subway/bus Charlie Card. In most cases of public transportation to the clinical placement, the total cost of round-trips per week will be less expensive than a semester-long pass so students will not be reimbursed for the full amount of a semester-long pass.  You may have other transportation needs for a pass, but it is not advised to purchase a MBTA semester-long pass solely for travel to a clinical placement. Public transportation should be used in most cases, unless an alternative form is deemed necessary after consideration of time, safety, and cost-effectiveness. In those cases, you might be added to a clinic’s Zipcar account or reimbursed for using your personal car.

Domestic Travel Funding Outside the Boston Area

Application Deadlines

Note: These deadlines are for independent clinical funding applications outside of the Greater Boston area. OCP will contact students in externship placements about applications for travel within the Boston area.

Winter 2024: October 27, 2023 (midnight)
Spring 2024: No funding available

How Does it Work?

Winter Term Independent Clinical

Independent clinical students may apply for winter term independent clinical domestic funding once. If students are contemplating applying for two Winter Term domestic independent clinical placements, please plan accordingly.

Students receiving HLS financial aid – defined as being eligible for and receiving at least $20,500 in the form of an educational loan certified by Student Financial Services office, or the equivalent for international students, are eligible to receive funding up to $2,000 to cover the costs of travel and housing.

Students who are not receiving any HLS financial aid are eligible to receive funding up to $1,000.

Generally, students are NOT eligible for travel funding to get from Cambridge to home or anywhere else students may be going for the holidays. However, students may apply for reasonable transportation costs if daily commuting to their placement creates a financial hardship.

Winter Term Externship

Students enrolled in a winter term externship clinic may submit the funding application to cover the costs of reasonable travel expenses associated with the winter term placement outside the Boston area. Students’ financial need is considered when reviewing funding requests.

Generally, students are NOT eligible for travel funding to get from Cambridge to home or anywhere else students may be going for the holidays. Students are eligible for funding for daily commuting.

Fall or Spring

Externship clinic students who are engaged in remote placements in the fall or spring may apply for funding for short-term visits related to their work only with prior approval and subject to funding availability.

Before Submitting an Application:

Students should research and document travel and housing costs in advance of applying for funding. Requests should be reasonable and necessary for the completion of the project. Students should pay careful attention to the relevant requirements and be sure to leave enough time to obtain the necessary documents. You must login with a Microsoft Office 365 account to submit the funding application.


Steps to Apply and Receive Funding

  • Review Funding Criteria

    In reviewing funding requests for domestic independent clinicals, OCP considers the following:

    • The merit of the project,  thoughtfulness and clarity of the proposal, and the necessity of travel in order to complete the project.
    • The reason that a particular student should undertake the project, including its relation to the student’s past and intended academic, clinical and other experiences.
    • The appropriateness of the scope and the feasibility of the project.
    • The potential impact of the project and the relationship of the proposed budget to the outlined project.
    • The availability of funds and student’s financial need.
    • Expenses must be reasonable costs that are necessary for the completion of the clinical project and that arise as a direct result of the placement.

    In reviewing funding requests for externship clinicals, OCP considers the following:

    • The reasonableness of the funding request and evidence provided;
    • Public transportation should be used for local travel, and other forms of transportation will only be considered if public transportation is not accessible;
    • The student’s financial need.
  • Review Eligible Expenses


    • Air, train, and bus fare may be eligible for funding..
      • For air travel, only economy-class airfare with one bag can be requested (Miles or upgrades are ineligible).
    • If travel does not originate in Boston and is more expensive than traveling from Boston, we will fund the portion of the fare equivalent to the fare from Boston. If travel does not originate in Boston and is less than the cost of traveling from Boston, we will fund the lesser amount.
    • Travel to/from the airport/station is not eligible for funding (taxi, shuttle, car sharing service, train, etc.).
    • Students are generally NOT eligible for funding if the students’ placements are located in their home region. However, students may apply for reasonable transportation costs if commuting to their placement creates a financial hardship.


    Students are responsible for finding their own housing (some options include extended family, friends, local universities, churches, hostels, or apartment rentals). Housing incidentals (utilities, groceries, etc.) are not eligible for funding, even if you receive free/low-cost housing from family or friends.


    • Funding for rental cars is typically not provided to students unless frequent travel is necessary as part of the project (e.g. prison visits) and public transportation is not available in the area. Please be sure to estimate/document the cost, explain the need, and provide the route if you were to take public transportation in the “Rental Car Expense” section of the funding application. Students should use the Harvard Rental Car rates that include insurance. Be sure your estimated cost includes taxes, insurance, and fees.
    • Students using their own car for travel to/from their placement may be eligible for a mileage reimbursement up to account for gas and wear and tear on the car.  Please consult the current GSA mileage reimbursement rate to calculate the expense.  Gas is an ineligible expense for students using their own vehicle.
  • Submit Funding Application and Financial Aid Waiver by Deadline

    The funding application includes a waiver allowing OCP to access student financial aid records from Student Financial Services. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of OCP.

  • Accept Your Funding

    Winter funding decisions will go out via e-mail in mid-November. Students should read this e-mail carefully.

    To accept this funding, students must officially reply to the email. Additional follow-up may be required to set you up in the Harvard Vendor system.

  • Submit Receipts and Other Documentation by January 31

    Students must submit their receipts along with the expense tracking spreadsheet according to the instructions provided in the funding award email. The deadline to submit receipts for winter term is January 31.

    For travel, submit an air, bus, train, or rental car receipt.  Documentation for online booking or purchases must be a receipt and not an itinerary or booking reservation confirmation. A receipt should include all required information:

      • Passenger name
      • E-ticket or ticket number with proof of payment
      • Itinerary
      • Class of service (which should appear on an itinerary or ticket confirmation) First class is not an allowable expense.
      • Total amount paid
      • Payment type (credit card, cash)
    • If driving to and from your placement in a personal car, please indicate the total miles driven and calculate your reimbursement using the appropriate GSA rate and a Google Map.
    • For housing, submit a sublet contract, official agreement, hotel folio, or other form of receipt that includes:
      • Name of parties
      • Location
      • Total amount paid
      • Dates of occupancy
    • For public transportation, gas, and tolls, submit receipts.

    Students should expect to receive a check in the mail from Harvard Financial Services approximately four weeks after receipts are submitted or sooner if by Zelle.

  • Important Information for International Students

    If you are an international student, please note that Harvard University has implemented an online program designed to collect tax-related information from foreign individuals via a secure internet site, called Glacier. This system automatically determines the individual’s U.S. tax status, treaty eligibility, and tax withholding rates based on information provided by the foreign national. To this extent, please note that the final grant check amount may be less than the initial grant funding amount awarded by OCP and the process to get set up in Glacier may take time.