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Northwestern University

External Funding Sources

Graduate students must to work with their department's research administrator to put together proposal submissions. Be sure to contact your research administrator at least 6 weeks before the proposal deadline. The following are some of the more common sources of graduate student research funds.

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (NSF DDRI)

These grants are intended to defray the research costs for doctoral dissertation projects designed and carried out by doctoral students.  This program is distinct from NSF's Graduate Research Fellowships in that DDRI grants are submitted through the university and only support research-related costs. These costs include (but are not limited to) the following:

NSF has a number of discipline-specific DDRI programs. Be sure to review the solicitation for your specific field of research for specific submission guidelines and budgetary information. DDRI grants are generally for 1 - 2 years, and can provide from $10K - $18K in research funds, depending on the program.

All NSF DDRI grants are submitted by the Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) via NSF's Fastlane system.

National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NIH NRSA)

Individual Predoctoral (F31) Fellow

The predoctoral NRSA typically provides tuition and stipends to students working on their dissertation for the last 2-3 years of graduate training. Your research proposal needs to be sponsored by at least one research mentor at your institution, and should align with a mission of at least one of the branches of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36)

AHRQ dissertation grants are for projects focused on making health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable and affordable. Graduate students can request funds for a stipend, tuition and research costs. Please see solicitation for further budget details.

NIH proposals are submitted by OSR using Northwestern's internal InfoEd system. Your research administrator will create the proposal record and upload the necessary documents.

US Department of Justice Graduate Research Fellowship (NIJ GRF)

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has a Graduate Research Fellowship program that funds projects in two tracks: 1) Social and Behavioral Sciences and 2) STEM. The goal of the GRF program is to increase the pool of scholars engaged in research that addresses the challenges of crime and justice in the United States, particularly at the state and local levels.

NIJ GRF proposals are submitted via InfoEd by OSR.

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