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Northwestern University / University of Hamburg

Call for Joint Proposals

Northwestern University (NU) and the University of Hamburg (UHH) jointly offer seed funding for promising collaborative projects with high potential to lead to externally funded research, larger scale collaborations, jointly authored papers and/or common teaching activities at the undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral levels. Faculty members from NU and UHH may apply jointly for up to 8,000 USD.


  • For joint projects involving Northwestern University and Universität Hamburg
  • Deadline for submission of joint application: November 3, 2024
  • Notification of outcomes: December 31, 2024
  • Amount of funding: up to USD 8,000 depending on size and duration of the project
  • Funding period: January 1, 2025 - December, 31 2025
  • Duration of funding: up to 12 months
  • Report of activity: within three months after conclusion of the project/end of the funding period

How to Apply

Scope and activities eligible for funding

Research-related activities, including collaborative projects, feasibility studies, shared-lab work, preparation of large funding proposals or other activities.

  • Workshop/meeting costs, including items such as room rentals or meals.
  • Travel expenses between NU and UHH, following each university’s internal travel policies.
  • Accommodation during project activities.
  • Employment of students and project assistants. (Funds may not be used to cover or supplement the salaries of existing positions for faculty or staff involved in the project. Likewise, approved funds cannot be transferred to other universities or research organizations, should employment of the PI or student/staff employees change.)

Key criteria for assessment

Proposals will be assessed on the quality of the application and preference will be given to activities leading to tangible outcomes that enhance research or teaching. Key criteria for assessment include:

  • Alignment with NU’s and UHH’s strategy in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Scientific merit and innovation
  • Impact, e.g. third-party funding, co-authored publications, tangible scientific transfer activities, other educational impact, contribution for the development of the region (including the sister city partnership)
  • Implementation (work plan, funding, combination of project team)

Allocation of funding

  • The total expenses for activities and travel cannot exceed 4000 USD for NU and 4.000 EUR for UHH.
  • The funding period is limited to a maximum of 12 consecutive months, starting January 1, 2025.
  • Ideally, NU and UHH will respectively administer the funding of their applicants. For example, NU will provide funding for NU researchers/staff visiting UHH (travel costs and accommodation) as well as funding of activities in Evanston/Chicago/U.S. And vice versa, UHH will provide funding for UHH researchers/staff visiting NU (travel costs and accommodation) as well as funding of activities in Hamburg/Germany/Europe.
  • If participation contributes to the overall quality and impact of the project, researchers/staff from third parties are eligible to participate in the project using their own funding.

Guidelines for proposals

A single proposal should be submitted for each project, with at least one faculty member from each university listed as co-PI. When possible, proposals should involve several NU and UHH scholars (both junior and senior) as well as postdoctoral researchers. The proposal must be submitted in one PDF document, including all attachments, and named Surname investigator NU, Surname investigator UHH.

Proposal components

All text should be in Arial 11pt, 1-inch margins, single spaced. The final application should contain two parts: a cover sheet and a 6-page (max) proposal. Please use the cover sheet and proposal templates provided.

  1. Narrative (3 pages)
    1. Project Description
    2. Justification and goals of the project
    3. Projected outcomes
    4. Timeline for the project, including proposed program
  2. Detailed budget (1 page) Please note the following:
    1. Travel, accommodation, meals and incidentals must be budgeted according to each university’s travel regulations.
    2. Funding may only be used for economy class fares (higher classes can be booked, but difference must be covered by personal or research funds)
    3. Per diem, salary costs and computer hardware are not eligible.
    4. Funds may not be used to provide scholarships to students.
  3. Short biographies of the project leaders (1 page)
  4. A tentative list of the NU and UHH participants (1 page) 

Submission process

All applications should be sent by email to both university representatives listed below, with cc: to the co-PI.

The selection committee includes representation from NU and UHH.

Download: Guidelines and ProposalThis document includes the guidelines outlined above as well as the proposal template. All applications should be sent by email to both university representatives listed in the document. Proposal submissions are due November 3, 2024.

Northwestern Contact

Kim Rapp
Assistant Vice President for International Relations