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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Graduate Student Dissertation Research Travel Award

About This Award

Northwestern doctoral students doing fieldwork outside the United States contributing to their dissertations addressing one or more Sustainable Development Goal are eligible for the Graduate Student Dissertation Research Award.

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.

Award Details

The maximum award is $5,000, and students are limited to one award over the course of their graduate career.  This is a seed award for doctoral students, and students should be seeking competitive grants elswhere 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.


All Northwestern University doctoral students in their second year and beyond are eligible to apply. Applications from students conducting exploratory thesis research are particularly encouraged.

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

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 Details 

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
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from the faculty member who knows you and the project best. The letter must be submitted by the recommender to Ariel Schwartz at

A committee organized by the Buffett Institute will decide on awards and notify winners within 8 weeks of each deadline.


Questions about the award can be sent to