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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Buffett Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

The Buffett Institute for Global Affairs is pleased to announce a new international research program for undergraduate students. The Buffett Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program aims to provide undergraduates with a significant global or international learning experience through faculty-led research at Northwestern.   

Through the program, Buffett will award grants for faculty to hire individuals or teams of undergraduate research fellows to collaborate with them on a global or international research project. The initial cohort of Buffett Undergraduate Research Fellows will begin in the summer of 2024 and continue, based upon faculty needs and student availability, for up to three quarters of the 2024–25 academic year.

The window for faculty project submissions is now closed. The next call for submissions will take place in Winter 2025.

Each Buffett Undergraduate Research Fellow will be eligible to earn up to $4,000 total through a paid research assistantship ($16 per hour for up to 250 hours, carried out over the summer and/or any subsequent quarters during the 2024–25 academic year). Research project descriptions can also include specific foreign language requirements and/or other skills needed to support the research, and faculty should indicate in their research assistantship proposal whether international travel will be necessary. If international travel is required for Research Fellows to fulfill the duties of their assistantship, they will also be eligible for travel support if funds permit. 

Research Fellows will carry out meaningful research in coordination with a faculty mentor. They should not be expected to simply make photocopies or proofread manuscripts. Rather, the goal is for them to be mentored by faculty and/or research teams on a substantive, well-defined research project.

Undergraduate students currently enrolled in their first, second or third year at Northwestern and in good academic and disciplinary standing will be eligible to apply for a Buffett Research Fellowship.  

If selected, faculty will have the option to pre-select a Research Fellow or list a Research Fellow position for which any student can apply. Once all job applications are submitted and reviewed, faculty will interview and select their Research Fellow(s). The student application and selection process will take place in March. 

Questions? Please e-mail Patrick Eccles, Senior Associate Director for Global Engagement Programs at Northwestern Buffett's Global Learning Office. 

Faculty should consider applying if: 

  • You are a faculty member (tenure or non-tenure track) teaching undergraduate coursework and will be at Northwestern for at least six months after the research project/collaboration ends.
  • You have a global or international summer research project that would benefit from a paid undergraduate Research Fellow.
  • An undergraduate Research Fellow/mentee could meaningfully contribute to your research initiative(s). (Please note that seniors are ineligible to apply.)
  • You are willing to work and meet regularly with your Research Fellow to provide a positive, mentored research experience.

Undergraduate students currently enrolled in their first, second or third year at Northwestern and in good academic and disciplinary standing will be eligible to apply for a Buffett Research Fellowship.

The 2024 application window is now closed. The next application window will open in Winter 2025.  The application will require:

  • A brief research project statement, including a research project topic/title and one-paragraph project description clearly outlining the role(s) an undergraduate Research Fellow will play in the project and how you will mentor them. This will be used as part of the job listing for your project.
  • Your expectations regarding number of hours worked on a weekly basis and any special skills your research requires (language or other) as well as research travel plans, if relevant. 

View a pdf of the 2024 application

Successful applications will demonstrate direct benefits to both the faculty member or research team and the undergraduate Research Fellow. Research Fellows should be meaningfully involved in the research process and, as a result, learn how research is conducted in and/or across disciplines. Successful applications will also include a clear description of what an undergraduate research fellow’s role will entail—the specific tasks they’ll be assigned—and how a faculty member(s) will mentor them throughout the project.