New Buffett Graduate Student Fellows Program to support PhD students in global studies

March 29, 2018

In partnership with the Graduate School (TGS), the Buffett Institute has launched a fellowship program for Northwestern PhD students pursuing research in global studies. The first Buffett Graduate Student Fellows officially begin their fellowships in the fall quarter of 2018.

The program honors the agreement made in 2015 for Roberta Buffett’s historic $100 million gift, which promises to create fellowships for graduate students “who will participate in the intellectual life of the Institute while pursuing a degree in a field relevant to the Institute’s mission.”

Modeled after TGS and the Office of the President’s prestigious Presidential Fellows program, Buffett fellowships are awarded to outstanding graduate students whose research relates to areas of study within the Institute. Like the Presidential Fellowship, the Buffett Fellowship will provide two years of enhanced stipend and two years of tuition coverage, as well as two years of research funding of up to $5,000 per year to help offset the higher costs of undertaking field work outside of the United States.

The Buffett fellows will be fully engaged with Buffett’s community of scholars, and will present their research in a public lecture during their two-year program. They will also have opportunities to participate in events with Presidential Fellows, though the Buffett and Presidential programs are separate.

The 2018 Buffett Fellows

These fellows will be part of the Buffett Institute for the 2018–19 and 2019–20 academic years:

Magda Boutros

Magda Boutros (Sociology)

Dissertation topic: “Experts and Victims: Mobilizing the law against police violence and discrimination in France”




Gina Giliberti

Gina Giliberti (Political Science)

Dissertation topic: “Impassioned Religion in International Politics”




Rana KhouryRana Khoury (Political Science)

Dissertation topic: “Whither Civil Resistance? Assistance and Activism across the Syrian Warscape”



Scott Newman

Scott Newman (Comparative Literary Studies)

Dissertation topic: “The Global Anglophone, Francophonie, and the Writing of African Worlds"




Application and eligibility for future Buffett Graduate Fellowships

In the 2018–2019 academic year, departments will be able to nominate the most promising students pursuing a PhD in global studies to be Buffett fellows. Additional consideration will be given to students whose work aligns with Buffett’s centers, programs, and research groups.

Much of the criteria will be similar to the Presidential Fellowship:

  • Ability of the candidate to communicate the significance and impact of their dissertation research to a broad audience.

  • Scholarly/research achievement at Northwestern in the form of papers, book chapters, review articles, presentations, recitals, lectures, etc.

  • Significant internal and external leadership roles, outreach and interdisciplinary activity.

  • Letters of recommendation indicating academic/research performance and future potential.

  • High academic achievement.

More details about the 2019 application process will be posted later this year. Email Krzysztof Kozubski at with any questions.

Europe, For Graduate Students, Middle East, Peace/Conflict, Religion