Big Ideas Proposals

About this grant

The Buffett Institute intends to build a set of unique, large-scale, multi-year research programs on topics of long-term significance that engage important global challenges. We will build signature interdisciplinary research programs that are recognized as among the very best in the world.

To initiate development of such programs, we seek faculty proposals that address “big ideas” with the potential of transforming scholarly activity at Northwestern and beyond. We encourage bold, ambitious proposals that ask new questions or which will produce new and better understandings of important global questions and challenges. Proposals should present a plan for how the development of this research program could occur over time, defining in aspirational terms what might be accomplished with sufficient resources, but also specifying what activities are proposed in each year of the project, and explaining how these culminate in the overall research goals.

Proposals will ideally be interdisciplinary, and are encouraged to integrate and engage the full range of resources that the Buffett Institute can provide, including research or conference funding, visiting scholars, postdocs, course release time, and other types of programmatic support. Be sure to describe the types of research outputs that are envisioned from the program.

Award details

Up to $50,000 per year for up to three years, renewable


Open to full-time, tenure-line Northwestern faculty

Application details

The application deadline is April 1.

Application requirements: All proposals must be submitted through the online form only. Whole or partial applications submitted via personal email or other methods will not be accepted. 


Contact Katherine Hapeman with questions.