Harvard Boas Awards

The Frank Boas Scholarship for Graduate Study at Harvard , and the Frank Boas Scholarship for International Legal Studies at the Harvard Law School are two prestigious international scholarships for graduate study at Harvard University.

HISTORY

In 1964, Mr.and Mrs. Maurits C. Boas, who had come to the United States from the Netherlands in 1940, endowed a generous and unprecedented scholarship program at Harvard University for the benefit of young scholars from Belgium and Luxembourg: the Frank Boas Scholarship for Graduate Study at Harvard. Together with a travel grant from the Commission for Educational Exchange (the Fulbright Commission) in Brussels, this scholarship provides both a full year of graduate study at Harvard and an opportunity for travel in the United States. Two years later, Mr. and Mrs. Boas established an equally generous scholarship for graduate study at Harvard Law School, open to candidates recommended by the Fulbright Commissions in Austria, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden, as well as Belgium and Luxembourg: the Frank Boas Scholarship for International Legal Studies at the Harvard Law School.

Mr. and Mrs. Boas were inspired to create the Boas scholarship programs as a result of the experience of their son, Frank Boas, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, who served for many years as a Board Member for the Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States, Belgium and Luxembourg. Frank’s parents wanted talented scholars from Western Europe to have the same educational opportunities in the United States as their son, and were keenly aware of the need to provide financial resources to make this possible.

HOW TO APPLY

Applicants to the Harvard Boas Awards must meet all eligibility requirements for the Fulbright Program in Belgium, and must submit an online application to the Fulbright Commission by 1 December. Simultaneously, applicants must apply to the graduate degree program of their choice at Harvard University. Applicants may be invited to interview with the Fulbright Selections Committee in late January, and will be informed of their selection by the Fulbright Commission and Harvard University by March.

The most competitive applicants for Harvard Boas Awards demonstrate that Harvard is their top choice university in the United States. It is important for candidates to be able to articulate a clear, creative, and feasible plan for their time at Harvard, why right now is the right time to pursue this plan, and how it will ultimately help them achieve their personal and professional goals in the future. Visiting Researchers are eligible to apply, but preference will be given to candidates seeking degrees.

The recipient of the Frank Boas Scholarship for Graduate Study receives a full scholarship for a year of study at Harvard University, including tuition/fees, health insurance, a stipend, and a travel grant and visa sponsorship from the Fulbright Commission in Belgium. The recipient(s) of the Frank Boas Scholarship in International Legal Studies receive a partial scholarship based on financial need and a travel grant + visa sponsorship from the Fulbright Commission in Belgium. All Harvard Boas grantees, having been approved by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, also receive a travel grant, J-1 visa sponsorship, and sickness and accident insurance from the Fulbright Commission in Belgium.

HEAR FROM THE GRANTEES

Richard Steppe (2017-2018): “Looking back, the experience at Harvard has been life-changing on diverse personal, academic, and professional levels. In that context, it would be difficult to overestimate the tremendous support provided by the Frank Boas Scholarship for Graduate Studies in realizing this objective. In a time where international mutual understanding and cooperation are highly relevant and important, the Frank Boas Scholarship enables students from a broad spectrum of disciplines to engage in an enriching experience at Harvard and to interact with a community of talented scholars from across the globe. I am truly grateful to form part of the Boas family and will work to also help future students obtain the opportunities essential to fulfilling their aspirations, opportunities which have been provided to me so generously by the Frank Boas program.” Read more here.

Petra Foubert (1998-1999): “My LLM-year at the Harvard Law School was a landmark in both my professional and personal life. Professionally, I profited enormously from the academic atmosphere on and around the law school campus. Never before or since have I been taught by such bright and passionate people and have I been able talk to so many legal scholars who were specializing in my field.” Read more here.

Paul Heinerscheid (1976-1978): “The overriding benefit I drew from my two years at Harvard Business School have more to do with leadership training and general management perspectives and analysis than with specific technical courses, and it has been very beneficial to me in my professional as well as my personal life. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity given to me by this scholarship.” Read more here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

These answers relate specifically to applicants interested in the Frank Boas Scholarship for Graduate Study and the Frank Boas Scholarship for International Legal Studies. For answers to more general frequently-asked-questions, please visit the FAQ Section of the Graduate Studies & (Pre)-Doctoral Research page.

  • Is there a separate application for the Harvard Boas Awards? No. Applicants must apply independently to Harvard University and to the Fulbright Program in Brussels. Candidates whose first choice is Harvard apply to Harvard and to the Fulbright Program and are immediately considered for the Harvard Boas Award(s). 
  • Who selects the recipients of the Harvard Boas Awards? The selection of Harvard Boas Awards is made based on the feedback of the Fulbright Selections Committees, the Committee on General Scholarships at Harvard University, and Harvard Law School.
  • What is the difference between the Frank Boas Scholarship for Graduate Study and the Frank Boas Scholarship in International Legal Studies? One recipient of the Frank Boas Scholarship for Graduate Study receives a full scholarship for a year of study at Harvard University, including tuition/fees, health insurance, a stipend, and a travel grant + visa sponsorship from the Fulbright Commission in Belgium. This award is open to all fields of study, including law. One grant is awarded every year. Recipients of the Frank Boas Scholarship in International Legal Studies receive a partial scholarship based on financial need and a travel grant + visa sponsorship from the Fulbright Commission in Belgium. This award is open to students in the field of law, and the number of grants awarded varies from year to year.
  • Where can I learn more about the Harvard Boas Awards? Please visit the website of the Harvard Boas Scholars, a dedicated alumni website that provides additional information about the award, including an overview of past recipients.