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Franke Fellowship Program


Originally launched in 2016 with generous funding from Richard and Barbara Franke, the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities awards Franke Fellowships to the most promising undergraduate seniors and graduate students in fields across the humanities. Following a rigorous selection process, Franke Fellows enrich their independent humanities projects by taking part in the interdisciplinary exchanges sponsored by the Institute throughout a full academic year.

Franke Graduate Fellowship

In partnership with The Graduate School, the Kaplan Institute offers Franke Graduate Fellowships for the most accomplished doctoral students pursuing an independent humanities research project in any Northwestern school or program during their fourth or fifth year (NOTE: In order to address Covid disruptions, sixth years will also be eligible for 2024-2025). Franke Graduate Fellows pursue their independent research within a vibrant interdisciplinary collective, which includes multilayered structured conversations among faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, internationally renowned visiting scholars, and distinguished visiting artists.  

For the full academic year, Franke Graduate Fellows participate in Institute activities, including weekly lunch seminars, a dissertation working group, and the annual Future Directions Forum where they present their projects to Institute members. For fall and winter terms, Franke Graduate Fellows are granted time to cultivate their dissertation research. They also receive interdisciplinary pedagogical mentoring about how to shape a dynamic course for undergraduates. In spring quarter, each Fellow offers—in their home department—the course that they have developed during their residency.   

Franke Graduate Fellowships include two quarters of full paid tuition, a monthly stipend, and $2,000 in research funds. Recipients of the fellowship have the possibility to extend their funding package (the option to "bank" their TGS funding for two quarters to be used in spring and summer of their sixth year).

To apply for a Franke Graduate Fellowship, please visit our Graduate Application Instructions page for details.

Franke Undergraduate Fellowship for Innovative Humanities Scholarship

The Kaplan Institute offers Franke Undergraduate Fellowships for seniors who have devised innovative and promising humanities projects. For this highly selective capstone experience, Franke Undergraduate Fellows have the opportunity to enhance their projects by playing a significant role in the interdisciplinary community of the Humanities Institute. They discuss vital issues and ideas with faculty and graduate students at weekly lunch colloquia; meet renowned scholars and artists; and present their work at the annual Future Directions Forum.

Franke Undergraduate Fellows are expected to work on their project with a faculty supervisor from their home department who will advise their year-long senior project. The Fellowship also includes the Senior Humanities Seminar (HUM 398) in fall and winter quarters (.5 credit per quarter) with faculty mentoring on research design, critical analysis, and constructive critique as well as training in how to create a public talk for audiences outside their discipline. Franke Undergraduate Fellows receive $3,000 in funding.

To apply for a Franke Undergraduate Fellowship, please visit our Undergraduate Application Instructions page for details.