Regan Fund

Established through the generous gifts of Donald T. Regan, 66th Secretary of the Treasury, the Regan Fund supports programs that invite distinguished speakers to Harvard to present views in the fields of economics, government, and social problems of the United States and the world. Eligible programs present views that might not otherwise be available to undergraduates seeking knowledge or just curious about alternate solutions to current and future problems.

The Social Science Division seeks proposals for programs that meet the goals of the Regan Fund by bringing diverse speakers to campus to lecture to undergraduates. Proposed activities may be open to other HUID holders, but the focus must be on undergraduate students. We are particularly interested in supporting programs tied to academic courses, and/or developed in collaboration with the College. We welcome proposals from recognized student organizations, but require commitment of active mentorship by a faculty member or departmental administrator.


Jennifer Shephard (5-7906) in the Social Science Dean's Office with questions.

Terms & Conditions

The following terms and conditions apply.

  1. Regan funds cannot be used to support events that are co-sponsored by outside (non-Harvard) organizations.
  2. Regan funds cannot be used to support events for which tickets are sold.
  3. Regan funds are not meant to provide long-term support for a recurring program's operating expenses.
  4. Being for the benefit of Harvard undergraduates, Regan-funded events shall be restricted to HUID holders only.
    • Within one month of the conclusion of the funded event, all grantees must submit a one-page report describing successes and challenges associated with the activity, including the level of undergraduate attendance.
    • Funds must be spent within 18 months of the award date. Remaining funds must be returned.
    • Recognized student organizations whose proposed activities are selected for funding:
      • Must review their event plans with the Office of Student Engagement prior to receiving funding (review the policies and guidelines outlined in the Recognized Student Organization Resource Guide and email JR Bagley to discuss your plans);
      • Must confirm their security plans in advance of the event if the Regan Review Committee and/or OSE determine security is necesary;
      • In some case may be asked to submit receipts for reimbursement after the conclusion of their event(s); in cases of financial hardship funding will be advanced prior to the event(s) in question.

    Application Instructions

    Regan Fund proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Proposals must include all of the information specified below, and should be emailed to, with the subject line "Regan Fund proposal".

    Please include a statement acknowledging that you have read and understood the FAS Free Speech Guidelines.

    1. CONTACT and overview
      • Proposer contact information including, as applicable, the name of the organization (e.g. research center, department, student group) or course hosting the activity.
      • Planned date(s).
      • Expected venue(s).
    2. A NARRATIVE describing the proposed activity and indicating:
      • How the event(s) will contribute to the academic life of the College, and specifically how the activity will appeal to, and benefit, undergraduates, with emphasis on how the event(s) will provide diverse views that might not otherwise be available to the undergraduate population.
      • The particular expertise of the proposed speaker(s) in economics, government, and/or social problems of the United States and the world.
    3. A PLAN for securing undergraduate attendance.
      If you have a track record running this type of event, feel free to reference it here. Furthermore, undergraduates often have ideas about how to engage their fellow students. Among other strategies, you might consider any or all of the following:
      • Inviting a guest speaker to an undergraduate course (include course enrollment info in your application);
      • Including undergraduates on event planning committees;
      • Working with relevant student organizations;
      • Involving students as participants (not mere attendees) in the events -- can a panel discussion, for instance, include an undergraduate speaker or moderator?
      • Asking interested undergraduates to provide statements or videos that can be used to promote the event(s);
      • Hosting the event(s) in an undergraduate House;
      • If the speaker is spending the night, could you include an additional informal meal event with the speaker and undergraduates?
    4. A brief line-tem BUDGET. Permissible expenditures include:
      Update Fall 2022: Pandemic restrictions on funding for travel and meals have been lifted.
      • Travel (airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals)
      • Honoraria (max. $3,000 per in-person speaker; $1,000 for remote speaker)
      • Advertising/publicity
      • Venue rental & AV or other event staff
      • Translation services
      • Event security (as necessary)
      • Transcription/captioning services (for video-posting)
      • Meals invited speaker and undergraduates

      Expenses must be consistent with Harvard’s travel and reimbursement policies, including class of travel restrictions, and meal/hotel caps. The Review Committee may permit additional categories of expense if strong justification is provided.
      If the funds you are requesting will cover only a portion of the activity's total costs, please provide your total budget amount and list of other funding sources.
    5. LETTER of support. Proposals submitted by student organizations  must include a letter from a faculty member or department administrator committing to active mentorship of, and involvement in, the activity.


    Freedom of Speech

    Regan funding does not imply endorsement of a given speaker's ideas or opinions, expressed here or elsewhere; however, the University and FAS have a strong commitment to freedom of speech.

    "Because no other community defines itself so much in terms of knowledge, few others place such a high priority on freedom of speech. As a community, we take certain risks by assigning such a high priority to free speech. We assume that the long term benefits to our community will outweigh the short term unpleasant effects of sometimes noxious views. Because we are a community united by a commitment to rational processes, we do not permit the censorship of noxious ideas. We are committed to maintaining a climate in which reason and speech provide the correct response to a disagreeable idea." (excerpt from FAS Free Speech Guidelines)