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Northwestern University

Weinberg College Research Innovation Grants (W Awards)

Weinberg College Research Innovation Grants (W Awards) 2018

Weinberg College announces the third year of its initiative to provide seed funding for catalyzing creative exploratory research.  This is a program to facilitate scholarly inquiry by Weinberg College faculty- including innovative new work, significant changes in research direction, and new collaborative ventures.  We invite applications from all the diverse disciplinary and interdisciplinary spaces embraced by Weinberg College.

Proposals may request a maximum of $30,000 dependent on the scope of the study.  Proposals may come from a single investigator or from a collaborative team.  We encourage applications that address the College’s thematic vectors- A Data Revolution; When Cultures Meet; and The Nature of Things — but proposals in any area of scholarly inquiry are welcome.  For more information on the thematic vectors and a list of past W awardees and projects, visit the Weinberg College website.

New for 2018, faculty with an annual teaching load of 3.5 courses or more may request a single course release to provide time to accomplish the research being proposed.  Such a request requires prior consultation with and endorsement by the departmental chair.

Application Information

Eligibility: Full-time tenure-track Weinberg College faculty are eligible.  The proposed work must not be otherwise funded.

Application:   Proposals are due by April 15, 2018.  The proposal should be written in a manner understandable to a general academic audience.  Funding may not be used for faculty summer salary, leaves of absence, or conferences.  If animal or human subjects are to be used, appropriate approval must be obtained before work may begin, should the project be funded.   

 Applications should be limited to 2 pages and include the following components:

  1. Title of the project- faculty name(s) and affiliations.
  2. Summary of the project- goals, proposed activities, importance of collaboration (if relevant), and engagement of students or other trainees.
  3. Outcomes- feasibility, anticipated findings or products, future directions, and opportunities for external funding or continuation of the work.
  4. Budget- amount requested for a 16-month period, with appropriate justification (if a course release is requested, this justification may exceed the 2-page limit).

Evaluation:    Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee, with funding available by May 1, 2018, and ending August 31, 2019.  Criteria for evaluation include:

  1. Quality, creativity, and potential impact of the proposed research.
  2. Prospects for success (establishing new areas of scholarship, collaboration, publication of findings, future grant applications, or other products as relevant).

Reporting:      At the end of the project period, investigators should submit a brief report (1 page) to Reid Wellensiek that describes results and impact of the work.

Please contact Associate Dean Kelly Mayo ( or Director of Research and Graduate Studies Reid Wellensiek ( with questions.  Proposals should be submitted as a single pdf file to Reid Wellensiek by April 15.

Download a printable version of this announcement.

2016 W Awards

2017 W Awards

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