There are two kinds of international travel awards for GSD students. Both the International Travel Community Service Fellowship and the Paul M. Heffernan International Travel Award are administered by Career Services.

The Paul M. Heffernan International Travel Award is intended to fund GSD students to travel internationally to extend the academic experience. Students may apply for travel funding related to thesis or to continue research related to academic coursework. Funds have been used for travel during January break as well as during the summer prior to returning for fall studies.

Students are encouraged to apply early (by November 1st). Heffernan funds support international travel expenses, such as airfare and train (within a country). The student must be returning to the GSD after completion of the travel. Students are strongly encouraged to seek additional funding at Harvard for living expenses.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Paul M. Heffernan International Travel Award are now closed.

2018-2019 Award Winners

Naomi Woods (MDes in Risk and Resilience 2019)

Naomi received funding to travel to Mogadishu,Nairobi, Entebbe to conduct research for her thesis related to risk and resilience conflict and adaptation.

Hung Vo ( MUP 2019) received funding to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to conduct thesis research exploring how transnational capital shapes the production of urban space.

Rajii Desai (MDes in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology 2019) received funding to travel to Alang, India to conduct thesis research exploring industrial waste disposal and the environmental catastrophes the accompany it.

2017-2018 Award Winners

Michael Raspuzzi (MDE 2018)

Michael received funding to travel to New Delhi, India to conduct research during summer 2017. His research allowed him to work on solving a pressing issue in developing countries, i.e. an imbalance within the agricultural system as it relates to the individual farmer and intangible aspects of cultural practice.

Colleen Marie Brady (MUP 2018)

Colleen received funding to travel to Accra, Ghana to conduct field research for three weeks in January 2018. Ultimately, data collected from this field research formed the cornerstone of her MUP Master's Thesis. Fieldwork included interviews with 60+ Ministry staff, stakeholders, and zongo community leaders and residents.

Enrique Silva Estrada (MDes in Critical Conservation 2018)

Enrique received funding to travel to Chiapas, Morelos and Oaxaca in Mexico during January break. He conducted field research in the areas devastated by the September earthquakes in Mexico for his thesis.

Marianna Paisana (MAUD 2018)

Marianna received funding to travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to do fieldwork for her thesis. The final research paper investigated the use of public space by street vendors and their structures,
particularly in Ahmedabad, India.

Charles Newman (MDes in Risk and Resilience 2018)

Charles received funding to travel in January to several destinations in Africa to conduct research for thesis.  His research investigates the Great Green Wall (a plan to plant thousands of trees across the African Sahel to prevent desertification), the TransAfrica Pipeline (an 8000km water distribution system that spans the length of the Sahel) and the Lake Chad Replenishment Project (2000km diversion of a portion of the Congo River to “replenish” Lake Chad). These three projects bring into question the definition of Humanitarian Action vs. Economic Development, as well as long term sustainable development vs. short term economic gain.


2016-2017 Award Winners

Valeria Fantozzi (MArch I 2018)

Valeria received an award to travel to Quito, Equador for research related to her long standing interest in communities and housing in developing regions – both in everyday and disaster conditions. She will travel during Fall 2016 to the UN Habitat Conference in Quito.  Valeria is designing graphics for the exhibit using data gathered on site to showcase research on two urban settlements in Ecuador: La Lucha (an informal settlement)  and Solanda (a formal settlement initiated through USAID).

Javier Ors Ausin (MDes in Critical Conservation 2017)

Javier's academic focus at the GSD has been to look at cities and the relationship between citizens and architectural sites that represent the legacy of traumatic historical events. He has been researching the British Empire in India, the importance of its colonial history, and how its dominance in the built environment is expressed through monuments and sites as well as the changes in meaning of these sites that has occurred through the transition to India’s independence.  Javier will travel to Mumbai for three weeks to conduct research for his thesis.

Carly Dickson (March I 2017)

At the GSD, Carly has explored different scales and ways that design can impact the lives of older adults.  She will travel to London to conduct research for her thesis which proposes public spines through remnant spaces of the city, between the home and the destination that extends life outside the home. The goal is to share a new perspective where architecture can generate engaging, empowering places for all ages to enjoy. She will observe the conditions of public spaces in London today, explore the youngest and oldest population boroughs, and evaluate where her thesis would be most impactful.

Haibei Peng (March I 2017)

Haibei's research focuses on how architecture enables us to “travel in time”.  She is interested in how architecture acts as a threshold of transition that allows visitors to access the past, the memory, the prospects and the future. Her research focuses on the Mackintosh Building at the  Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. As a historical building with 120 years of history, it has been home for generations of students and a symbol of the city. In May 2014, a fire destroyed its west wing. The debate for reconstruction is on whether to restore the building as close to its original state or to incorporate memory of the disaster and new designs. Haibei's thesis hopes to invent a new architectural type that combines museum, memorial and school into this important and sensitive site that allows visitors to remember the past as well as to seek new educational opportunities. She will travel to Glasgow to do research about the building, Mackintosh and the city.

Claudia Tomateo (MAUD 2017)

Claudia is developing a thesis called “Archipelago of Mirrors” where she investigates the relationship between “heterotopias” (utopias implemented in the real world as a reflection of the context) and islands/archipelagos as opportunities for new forms of urban design. The thesis aims to look at the Japanese context as a model contrasting the Seto archipelago (geographic island) and the Zen gardens (ideological island) within the urban fabric. Claudia will travel to Tokyo and the Seto Inland islands to conduct research for her thesis.

The Seto Archipelago, during World War II, was used to locate industrial buildings to protect the mainland (i.e copper refineries), which seriously contaminated the environment. Since 1985 the area has been recovered as a network of artistic festivals and built interventions (i.e art museums).

2015-2016 Award Winners

Arthur Leung (MDes in Risk and Resilience 2017)

Arthur received an award to support his travel to the Tohoku region of Japan to document the reconstruction efforts during the fifth year anniversary of the 3.11 Disaster. During his trip, Arthur spoke with academics, officials, designers and locals about the rationale and effectiveness of strategies being implemented.

Michael Meo (MArch I 2016)

Michael received an award to support a bike tour in Baja, Mexico and film-making related to his thesis. The film follows the story of a 1000 mile experimental bicycle journey across one of the most rural desert roads on the continent with blind, deaf, amputee, young, and old cyclists of all abilities. 22 people from the most congested city on the planet cross the desert, creating a space of collective imagination from which new languages and perceptions of bodies, abilities, and space emerge.

Mike Johnson (MArch II 2016)

Mike received an award to support his travel to Haiti to volunteer with SamanHaus, which provides environmentally sustainable architectural design and organizational strategic planning to children's institutions in Haiti.

Jessica Rose-Alice Jean-Francois (MUP 2017)

Jessica received funding to support her participation in a group project in Haiti,  in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health students. During the monitoring and evaluation process of the trip, she utilized interviewing, observation and quantitative and qualitative analysis to not only evaluate healthcare programs but also to form comparisons to other programs and other regions.

Vasileios Ioannidis (MAUD 2017)

Vasileios received funding to support his travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he volunteered with +D/Design with Purpose, an anti-disciplinary studio that conducts research, design and development integrating public policy, architecture and technology to create public value, inter-generational legacies and systemic change.

Nishiel Patel (MAUD 2016)

Nishiel received funding to support his travel to Sumte, Efurt, and Friedland, Germany to conduct independent research for his thesis.

Sofia Erika Balters (MArch II 2017)

Sofia received funding to support her travel to several cities in South America to conduct research on housing typologies for her thesis.


For more information, contact Anne Creamer.