By Catherine H. Feng


Admin hates this one little trick to get Harvard to pay for your summer vacation...
By Io Y. Gilman

To help any readers who may be considering applying for thesis funding this summer, The Crimson got hold of successful grant applications. Below is a particularly exemplary one.

Dear Harvard Grant Committee,

I am excited to embark on a transformative thesis writing experience over the next year. But to make that happen, I need your money. As I’m sure you know, right now in the United Kingdom there is great income inequality. The top 1 percent of British society has almost a quarter of the country’s wealth. And these really rich people matter. They donate tons of money to politics in the UK and have enormous cultural influence — like the Royal Family!

That is why, for my senior thesis, I would like to conduct an ethnography of aristocrats in the UK. Over the summer I will integrate myself into the community of wealthy Brits. I will learn their ways, and gain a deeper understanding of their values, social structure, and what direction they would like the country to go in.

In order to properly study to this community, I will need to be able to pass as one of them. Otherwise they would never deign to talk to me. I’ve already started this process by watching every season of The Crown, practicing my British accent all the time (girls love it), and calling all my friends mate.

But to complete my integration into the British upper crust, I will need Harvard’s help. First, I will need to get to the UK. To blend in with the gentry, I will need to travel by private jet or by yacht. Imagine telling a Duke that I flew economy!

Second, I will need somewhere to stay. To truly immerse myself in this community, I will need to be able to invite the people I meet to my place. So I have to stay in an estate and have a personal butler bring me tea every morning. I’ve found some great options on Airbnb for this!

Finally, I will need money for daily expenses — playing polo, vacationing in the Mediterranean, betting on horse races, shooting deer, drinking scotch, and going on moody early morning horse rides.

All in all, looking for the most economical deals on all these things, the total is only 1 million dollars. Please consider funding my vitally important thesis research. This project will be nothing less than crucial for understanding the future direction of the UK. I am so excited to truly take advantage of my transformative Harvard education.

— Io Y. Gilman was the Magazine Chair of the 150th Guard. She can be reached at