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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Graduate Student Dissertation Research Travel Award

COVID-19 Update: Given limitations on international and domestic travel, Northwestern Buffett currently invites applications for any research and collaboration activities that speak to global issues.

Northwestern Buffett offers Graduate Student Dissertation Research Travel Awards to doctoral candidates who are conducting dissertation research outside the United States. Dissertation projects should address one or more Sustainable Development Goals.

Funds are also available for projects on modern Turkey through the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program and for projects on the Middle East through the Crown Family Middle East Research Travel fund. Interdisciplinary projects and collaborative projects with institutions and researchers in the regions will be given priority. Only graduate students who have not received a Keyman or Crown grant in the last two years are eligible. To be considered, simply indicate in your application that you would like to be considered for a Keyman and/or Crown grant.

The maximum award is $5,000, and students are limited to one dissertation research award over the course of their graduate career. This is a seed award for doctoral candidates, and students should be seeking competitive grants elsewhere after this initial investment in their scholarly development. All applicants are expected to concurrently seek research support from other sources.

All awards will be made as scholarship awards and will be paid out through the University's payroll system.

Graduate students traveling to any international location: By accepting this award, you explicitly agree to follow all health and safety requirements as outlined by the Office of Global Safety and Security for the location(s) where you will be traveling.

Students can apply for funds for future travel, if it’s possible, and if it’s not, they can send the research team an updated budget proposal for local research expenses.

All Northwestern University doctoral candidates in their third year and beyond are eligible to apply. 

Applicants must be Northwestern doctoral candidates working on international and comparative topics addressing one or more Sustainable Development Goals.

Applicants who have received a previous grant from Northwestern Buffett must have submitted a post-award report before applying for a new award. 

These awards may not be used for:

  • Language study programs or other coursework
  • Expenses in the United States
  • Special equipment such as tape recorders
  • Fees for transcription or translation

Application Deadlines

  • October 15 for winter & spring projects
  • March 15 for summer & fall projects

Application Requirements

  • Complete the Northwestern Buffett application. Be sure to include a concise description of the research and a detailed and current budget.
  • The faculty member who best knows you and the project should submit a letter of recommendation to Ariel Schwartz ( Applications that do not receive letters of recommendation are considered incomplete.

A committee organized by the Buffett Institute will evaluate applications and decide on award recipients. Winners will be notified within eight weeks of each deadline.

Questions about the award can be sent to Ariel Schwartz at