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Faculty Fellowship Program


APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wed., February 3, 2021
*With two external (non-Northwestern) reference letters due no later than 2/5/21

The Kaplan Institute for the Humanities invites faculty members working in the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences; Bienen School of Music; Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing and Communications; School of Communication; and School of Education and Social Policy to apply to become Kaplan Institute Fellows. These fellowships enable Northwestern faculty to pursue independent projects of significance to the humanities while immersed in an interdisciplinary community of scholars.

Fellowship award

For Weinberg, Bienen, Medill, and School of Communication faculty:

Faculty may apply for a 50% teaching reduction (which doesn't count against the leave clock), or, funds permitting, a full year of supported leave.

For SESP faculty:

SESP faculty who earn a Kaplan Fellowship will be provided a research fund of $10,000. This fund is intended to provide resources to support the faculty member in advancing the project referenced in their proposal. Faculty will have discretion in deciding how to use these funds to advance their project, assuming compliance with University policy.

What are Humanities Fellows?

Fellows join a vibrant community of faculty, graduate and undergraduate Franke Fellows, Library Fellows, and visiting artists from across disciplines at Northwestern to discuss research in the humanities. Activities include:

How are the Fellowships awarded?

Three senior humanities scholars from outside Northwestern, completely unaffiliated with the university, evaluate applications for scholarly merit. Fellowships are judged on the originality, quality, clarity, and importance of the proposed project as well as the applicant’s ability to contribute productively to an interdisciplinary group. Final selections are based on the external reviewers’ rankings and the need to ensure distribution across rank and department. Two fellowships are reserved for junior faculty.

What are the guidelines for eligibility?

The following applies to ALL APPLICANTS:

Additional eligibility guidelines

For applicants from Weinberg College:

Applicants from Bienen, Medill, School of Communication, and SESP must also secure approval from their Dean in addition to their Department Chair.

How do I apply?

Please visit our Online Application Instructions and review all instructions on the page prior to clicking through to the Application Portal, as you will not be able to save an incomplete application. Submit your application electronically BY 11:59 PM ON WED., FEBRUARY 3, 2021. All uploaded files must be in Adobe PDF format. Two (2) letters of reference from external (outside of Northwestern) recommenders are due on 2/5/21; recommendations will not be accepted beyond this date.

To indicate approval/confirmation of eligibility for leave from your Department Chair (and Dean, when applicable), please forward your email correspondence signaling the approval—or request the Chair/Dean to email their approval directly—to Tom Burke at

All other application materials must be submitted via the online application portal.

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