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Please refer to the tabs below for additional information on CARAT and assistance with commonly encountered difficulties

If you are experiencing technical difficulties (e.g., receive error messages, find yourself unable to submit an application despite having passed all validation checks), please email HUIT Support at ithelp@harvard.edu or call 617-495-7777.

If you have questions regarding application requirements, please refer to the Opportunities and Supplements section of this site. If you have further questions, please contact the funding source administrator directly.


CARAT is an electronic tool for both Harvard students and external applicants to submit research, public service, study abroad, and purposeful travel application or funding requests for such opportunities among over fifty different university Opportunities.

CARAT collects basic demographic information, budget requests (if required), and allows you to upload PDF documents, such as your academic record, resume, and required essays as requested in the instructions for each of the Opportunity(s) to which you are applying, which vary from program to program.

You are welcome to apply to multiple Opportunities; however, you are required to submit a separate application on-line for each source you apply to, as the supplementary documents (such as essay responses) are unique to each program.


There are five steps to this application:

    Please enter basic project information, respond to travel questions and furnish a budget, if required (Note: If the program to which you are applying does not require a budget, it will not be shown in the application). You may save and edit this section as often as you like until you submit the application. Once you have submitted your application, it is no longer available for editing. If you have any changes, you must contact the administrator of the program to which you are applying directly.

    If your application requires letters of recommendation, you will be able to select either from a list of Harvard Faculty, Teaching Fellows, Advisors, and Peers, or enter external recommendation information. You should enter the recommender’s information ONLY after you have contacted the individual and have their acceptance. Once you have contacted them, you can click on the ‘Send Recommendation Request Now’ button on the Recommendation tab prior to submitting the application, in order to give the recommendations adequate time to prepare the letters. Beginning with the 2015 application season, internal Harvard recommendations will be able to electronically upload their letters of recommendation in PDF document form. External recommendations will need to email the letters to the Opportunity administrator. Once the recommendation letters have been received, a green check will be shown on your application, to let you know it has been uploaded successfully. It is your responsibility to ensure that all required recommendation letters have been received prior to the deadline for application submission.

    As part of the submission process, you may need to upload application components as PDF documents, as indicated in the instructions for each program. The system requires you to upload all PDF files at the same time, in order to submit. If one of your documents is not ready to be uploaded, simply save the application and proceed when you can upload all of your PDF documents together. Once you have completed all required portions of the application and have selected all of the required documents, you will be able to submit your application.

    After you have uploaded all of the elements of your application there is a brief waiting period while the system processes your application.
    • Initially a construction icon image of figure with shovel indicating file 'under construction' may appear next to the application in the list of applications you have submitted.
    • This icon will change to a green check image of green checkmark indicating success when the processing is completed successfully.
    • In the event of an error processing any of the uploaded documents, the status of the application will be changed to 'saved,' will appear in your list of saved applications below, and an error icon image of red exclamation point indicating error will be displayed. You will then need to address whatever issue caused the processing error and re-upload your documents.

    Once processing is finished, you will receive an e-email message confirming that your application is complete and ready for review. You will be able to download (and print) the entire application as a single PDF document. This is the document that the Opportunity will receive electronically as your application.

If at any time you experience technical difficulties, please contact HUIT Support at ithelp@harvard.edu, or call 617-495-7777. If you have questions regarding application requirements, please refer to the contact information listed for the Opportunity to which you are applying. Please read and follow the directions carefully, and best wishes completing your application!

How to create a PDF

All uploaded files must be of type PDF. Please do not upload files in any other format, as this will cause the application process to fail.

PDF Conversion is built into Mac OS X.

  1. Click File and then Print.
  2. In the Print menu you will see a PDF button in the lower left hand corner, click on this button and choose Save as PDF.
  3. In the Save window that appears, type the file name and add any additional information you wish such as Author, Subject or Keywords 
  4. If this file will be used on a Windows machine remove the check mark from Hide Extension. 
  5. Click Save.

For more information, please refer to Mac OS X convert to PDF

With Adobe Acrobat installed, follow the steps below.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF or XPS.

  2. In the File Name list, type or select a name for the document.

  3. In the Save as type list, click PDF.

  4. If you want to open the file immediately after saving it, select the Open file after publishing check box. This check box is available only if you have a PDF reader installed on your computer.

  5. Next to Optimize for, do one of the following, depending on whether file size or print quality is more important to you:

    • If the document requires high print quality, click Standard (publishing online and printing).

    • If the print quality is less important than file size, click Minimum size (publishing online).

  6. Click Options to set the page range to be printed, to choose whether markup should be printed, and to select the output options. (Find links to more information on these options in the See Also section.) Click OK.

  7. Click Publish.

If you want to make changes to the PDF after saving it, return to your original 2007 Microsoft Office system file in which you created it and save the file as PDF again. To learn more, see Learn about PDF and XPS file formats.

For more information, please refer to Microsoft Office Support


CARAT serves Harvard students, external applicants and participating Opportunities by providing an electronic printable cover sheet that applicants submit to any of the participating funding sources. CARAT is an electronic application process that registers basic demographic information of the applicant plus high-level information about the applicant's project and budget with the Opportunity(s) to which the applicant applies.

CARAT is intended to ease the application process for applicants applying to multiple Opportunities by:

  1. Providing a standard application form required by all participating Opportunities; and
  2. Centralizing the Opportunities' required supplemental materials listed on the Application Worksheet.
  • You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader to download and print the documents.
  • You will need a web browser that has Javascript activated and cookies enabled.
  • Supported web browsers include Chrome, Safari (for Macintosh users), and Firefox. Use of Internet Explorer is not recommended.
  • Do not use AOL's internal browser.

If you need to edit or re-print your application, you may do so by logging back into CARAT, clicking on the 'Applications' tab, then selecting the application you wish to edit from the list of 'Saved Applications;' you will need to edit and submit before before the application deadline for the applied Opportunity(s).

In rare cases, successful submission has been prevented by the introduction of special characters, some of which are non-printable and therefore invisible, due to copying/pasting text from formatted Microsoft Word Documents directly into the form fields of the CARAT application.

To prevent these types of errors from happening, CARAT processes your entries upon save/submission, and strips out these characters. This may result in reduced legibility for those entries affected.

To avoid this problem, please type your information directly into the form field. If you wish to type and edit your responses outside of CARAT, we suggest doing so using a plain text editor, such as NotePad on Windows or TextEdit on Mac.

Submission to Opportunities that participate in electronic file upload
  • Once you have completed all required fields on all tabs of your application, validate your application information by clicking on the 'Click here to validate application information before submission' button on the 'Submission' tab.
    • If any required information is missing, you will receive guidance on what needs to be added.
  • Once all required information has been provided, the file upload section on the 'Submission' tab will be activated. You will then need to select the appropriate files for upload.
  • Once you have selected all the appropriate files, enter your HUID as the electronic signature, and click the 'Submit Application' button, then click 'OK' on the pop-up window that asks you to confirm your submission.
Submission to Opportunities that do *NOT* participate in electronic file upload

Opportunities that require delivery of physical copies will specify the steps required for submission in the 'Additional Information' section of the Opportunity description, which can be found on the 'Opportunities' tab by clicking on the desired Opportunity name in the table of available Opportunities.

If you have already submitted an application, and then noticed that the cover sheet has outdated personal information about me (e.g., degree(s), addresses, schools, etc.), it is possible to update this information and fix the application cover sheet.

  1. On your Home page, you will notice the Profile tab - on the Profile tab you can either enter some of the data yourself, and click 'Save My Changes' or you can click on 'Import My Data from Registrar' which will then overwrite your CARAT data with the latest data available from the FAS Registrar.
  2. After you have modified your personal data, please contact the administrator(s) for the Opportunity(s) to which you applied, and request that they search for and 'Refresh' your application(s).

If you need to modify application information and not personal data, or need to replace an uploaded file, please contact the Opportunity administrator and request that they 'Unsubmit' your application. You will then be able to modify the information and resubmit, selecting the appropriate files to upload.

Yes, if you are applying for more than one project. Please check with the individual Opportunity regarding their policy on funding multiple projects. Please click here for links to all participating Opportunities.

Many Opportunities require supplemental materials. Please refer to the additional information section of the Opportunity description, and contact the Opportunity for additional questions regarding supplemental materials. Please click here for links to all participating Opportunities.

If you have questions regarding application requirements that remain after reading the full Opportunity description, please contact the administrator for the Opportunity(s) to which you are applying. Please click here for links to all participating Opportunities.

A listing of the Opportunities' deadlines can be found here.

On the 'My Applications' on the Home page you will find list of applications that have been saved and submitted

In the table listing applications with those statuses, you will see a column marked 'Refs'

  • Each recommendation oval will display the name of the recommender and will have one of following three background colors representing its current status:
    • Email has NOT been sent to recommender - no Recommendation letter uploaded
    • Email has been sent to recommender - no Recommendation letter uploaded
    • Recommendation letter has been uploaded
    Also, hovering on the oval will display further information such as when the email was sent.

If you have questions about the status of any of your applications, or associated recommendation letters, please contact the appropriate Opportunity administrator, who can be identified on the 'Opportunities' tab on the Home page.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please email the HUIT Help Desk at ithelp@harvard.edu or call 617-495-7777.