Information for Students

The Community Service Fellowship Program (CSFP) supports students fulfilling a professional degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design by providing the funding to enable immersive summer experiences at nonprofit organizations that address key issues and causes in today’s changing world.


During this 10-week immersive program, students will explore the connections between their research/academic interests and community-based needs. This opportunity for learning and professional growth will offer expansive insights, valuable connections, and the skills necessary to become an informed and impactful practitioner in one's chosen field. 


Students may select an experience they find on their own, or choose a CSFP-eligible role listed on CREATE.

Important Dates


Applications open: January 1st, 2023

Final Deadline to Submit: April 1st, 2023

Awardees will be notified:  Mid-late April 2023

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current GSD students committed to attending classes post fellowship.

  • Students who are on a leave of absence, or planning to take a leave of absence in the fall after the summer experience, will not be considered.


Paid or unpaid experiences can be proposed with the recognition that Career Services will work in conjunction with employers and financial aid (if applicable) to reach a total payment of $7,000 per student. 

Application Requirements

  • Students must demonstrate and detail the reasons for pursuing this experience, what they hope to gain and how this will impact their future endeavors. 


  • For students who apply and propose/submit an alternative host site (not from CREATE), please plan to include a list of duties and expectations in the application.


  • In addition, students will need to submit a current resume, names and contact information for two references, and a current transcript. 


  • Within the application, students will be required to select the funding source that most closely correlates with the work they plan to do.  Please check out our funding sources.


  • Students eligible for Federal Work-Study (FWS) should complete a FAFSA for the upcoming school year at the same time as completing the CSFP application. FWS offered for use with the CSFP will be separate from the FWS amount you assigned during the academic year. Questions about the FAFSA or FWS should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at

What should a Community Service Fellow (CSF) expect during the summer experience?

  • Students selected as a CSF expect to be working on site (or remotely) with their chosen organization for 10-weeks. Students wishing to work for the sponsoring organization beyond this time frame will not be paid by the GSD once the fellowship has concluded.

  • All full-time work must end before the first week of classes begin.

  • Students agree to abide by the schedule agreed on with the host site and plan for time off/vacations before beginning work. 

  • Students agree to a chosen start and end date before the experience begins. 

  • Students agree to complete mid-summer and final evaluations regarding their experience. 

  • Students will take part in up to two meetings with the GSD Career Team (virtually).

  • Students will share photos of their CSFP experiences as well as a personal headshot with the GSD Career Services Team to be used for future marketing materials on the website and social media. 

  • Students agree to take part in marketing the program in future semesters (in person, digital marketing) and connect with funders who underwrite the CSFP for Harvard when possible.

  • Students will need to complete payroll forms before the start of the fellowship, and plan to turn in timesheets weekly, in order to be paid on time.

  • CSFP awardees may not work another job on Harvard University payroll during their 10-weeks of CSFP.

  • Based on the organization's needs, international students may need to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Fellows needing to complete this process, should email Tara Coates, in the registrar's office at as soon as possible.