Funding for Faculty

PAS offers the following funding to support faculty and scholars:

Faculty Research Grant

The purpose of these awards is to encourage, develop and support faculty research and creative endeavors. A possible goal for these funds could be the subsequent development of proposals for external funding, but this is not required. These awards are intended to supplement and strengthen the support that comes from both department and college resources, and other university programs. All full-time faculty are eligible to apply. Applications from junior faculty (i.e., pre-tenure) will be given preference. Only one proposal per faculty member may be considered during each academic year. The maximum value of the award is $4,000 with a duration of no more than one year, with all unexpended funds reverting back to the general internal funding pool at the end of the award period. An award carries with it the responsibility to disseminate the results of any funded internal project either through publication in refereed outlets, or in a medium appropriate to the endeavor. Funds can be used for research and scholarly efforts, instructional impact projects, or other worthwhile professional development activities. Funding can be used for salaries and benefits of students, technicians and other non-faculty project personnel. Other permitted expenses include supplies, equipment and miscellaneous expenses such as project-related photocopying and postage. Funds cannot be used for faculty salaries (summer or academic year); travel that is not directly related to project research; consultants, office equipment or computers.

Deadline: Thursday, May 1st, by 5pm. Application instructions: Please provide a two page description of the purpose of the project, the plans for the period of work, and a budget. If the budget is higher than $4,000, please indicate where additional funds are being sought. Please email applications to Kate Klein, PAS Associate Director, at or call 847-491-7325 with any questions.

Working Groups Award

The Program of African Studies invites applications for funds to sponsor an interdisciplinary working group to address research issues in African Studies. Working groups promote building communities of scholars who to come together on a regular basis to reflect and work together on important problems of common interest. Deadline: Thursday, May 1st by 5pm.

Individual groups take different approaches and pursue different goals, such as lecture series inviting leading scholars; discussion of empirical and theoretical works of scholarship; pursing a collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects; producing working paper series; commentary and analysis of group members' work in progress. Working Groups must involve at least one faculty member. PAS will fund up to $5,000 of the working group budget. Upon completion, PAS will require a final report.

Application instructions: Please provide a two page description of the purpose of the group, the plans for the period of work, and a budget. If the budget is higher than $5,000, please indicate where additional funds are being sought. Please include coversheet with application. Download coversheet. Please email applications to Kate Klein, PAS Assistant Director at or call 847-491-7325 with any questions.

John Hunwick Research Fund

President Henry Bienen and Provost Larry Dumas established this award in 2007 to honor the work of Professor Emeritus John Hunwick (History and Religion Departments). This endowment supports research by Northwestern University faculty and graduate students on Islam in Africa. John Hunwick's research and scholarship made significant contributions toward the scholarly understanding on Muslim societies in West Africa, particularly in the area of  West African Islamic scholarship and the translation of primary texts and documents. His documentary history, Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire: Al-Saidi's Ta'rikh al-Sudan Down to 1613 and Other Contemporary Documents, won the 2001 African Studies Association Text Prize.

Awards of varying amounts are given annually to Northwestern University graduate students and faculty to pursue their research on a topic related to Islam in Africa.  Awards may be used for the following purposes:

  • To fund travel to an archive, library, or to conduct field research.
  • For graduate students: to fund expenses associated with presenting a paper related to Islam and Africa at a conference. Faculty members are not eligible for conference support from this fund since they have access to departmental funds for such purposes.
  • While the priority will be given to funding the first two areas, funds may also be made available to a faculty member or graduate student to organize the visit of a scholar of Islam and Africa to Northwestern to give a lecture, visit a class, or interact with students.

Application instructions: Applications are received on a rolling basis. Applications must include a 2-3 page (single-spaced) proposal detailing your research, conference participation, or proposal for a visiting speaker. A detailed budget must also be submitted along with a CV. Please send applications to