International Legal Studies Discretionary Grants

HLS has funding available through International Legal Studies to potentially defray some of the travel expenses for qualifying students engaged in independent study projects abroad. HLS students interested in applying for an International Legal Studies discretionary grant must submit an application, resume, and most recent HLS transcript.

Applications for funding must be submitted and received by the International Legal Studies office at least three weeks prior to the proposed travel departure date. Applicants should keep in mind that the review process may take between 2-3 weeks before a decision is issued.

Full-time JD, LLM, and in-residence SJD students are eligible to apply for ILS discretionary grants. Exchange students, visiting scholars/researchers, and other non-degree students are not eligible.

The pool of funding for these grants is limited and it is quite possible that some worthy projects may not be funded in any given year.  Even in cases in which a grant is awarded, International Legal Studies may decide to provide only partial funding for the project (based on the relative strength of the application, availability of funds, or other relevant factors). Grants will typically not exceed $500 per student.  

International Legal Studies will review application materials and consider the following:

  • 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, intellectual, clinical and other experiences 
  • the appropriateness of the scope and the feasibility of the project
  • the potential impact of the project 
  • the thoughtfulness and clarity of the proposal
  • the relationship of the proposed budget to the outlined project

Please note the following additional parameters and restrictions:

  • Generally, funding will not be provided for travel to attend conferences unless the student is presenting original academic work. Students applying for funding to attend a conference at which they will be presenting should submit documentation of acceptance of their paper and/or their invitation to present, as well as an outline of the paper they intend to present.  SJDs who are eligible for conference travel stipends from the Graduate Program may apply for International Legal Studies discretionary grants only if their anticipated expenses are such that additional funding is clearly necessary.
  • ILS discretionary grants will generally not be provided for domestic travel. In certain limited cases, a discretionary grant may be provided for domestic travel for a project/activity/event that a student has demonstrated and is deemed by ILS to be sufficiently international in nature, subject to the above-listed considerations.
  • Students who receive Winter Term International Travel Grants are not eligible for an ILS discretionary grant for the same trip.
  • Students may not receive more than one ILS discretionary grant in the same fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
  • ILS discretionary grants are designed for individual students and will only be awarded to students working in pairs or small groups in exceptional circumstances.  Students who propose to undertake a project in a pair or small group, must submit separate applications and provide a detailed explanation of why each student is necessary and the specific role s/he will play.
  • Moot court teams that will be traveling abroad for international competitions may contact International Legal Studies to see about the availability of funding to help defray expenses.
  • Student organizations are not eligible for ILS discretionary grants but may contact the Dean of Students Office for logistical assistance.
Last modified: April 28, 2014

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