researchers looking at a petri dish


The Graduate School (TGS) Professional Development Grant is intended to support meaningful graduate student professional development programming at the department and program level. The Professional Development Grants are awarded annually (in the fall) to fund departmental, program and cluster efforts to offer graduate student professional development programming. This includes any activity that provides professional development relevant to the preparation of graduate students for their future career endeavors, whether inside or outside of academia.  

Requests for proposals are solicited in late Spring/early Summer. Contact Kate Veraldi or visit the Funding section of our website for more information.

TGS sponsors a number of other fellowship and grant competitions that enable students to pursue their specific research interests at each stage of their doctoral experience. Funding opportunities are available to assist with conference travel costs or to support research. TGS also offers advanced students the opportunity to apply for a Dissertation Year Fellowship, a fund established to assist our students to complete their dissertation writing without the responsibility of teaching. Furthermore, TGS offers the Presidential Fellowship, the University's most prestigious doctoral fellowship competition. Six to eight Presidential Fellows are awarded each year. 

Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Fellowships, which has staff dedicated to working with graduate students on their preparation for fellowship and grant competitions. 

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows may also take advantage of the writing resources offered by TGS—many of which center around improving proposal writing.

Presidential Fellows

The Presidential Fellowship is funded by the President of the University and awarded by TGS. This highly competitive award is the most prestigious fellowship awarded by Northwestern. Presidential Fellows:

  • Receive support for their own research.
  • Become members of the Northwestern Society of Fellows (which includes former members and distinguished faculty members).
  • Attend quarterly Society dinners and lunches.
  • Plan and present a speaker series.
  • Attend an annual fall retreat.
  • Lead discussions or seminars during gatherings of the Society.
  • Serve as affiliates of the Undergraduate Cross-Honors Colloquium.
  • Participate in community outreach activities.
  • Coordinate annual speaker series.
  • May become a graduate associate of an undergraduate residential college.

Learn more about becoming a Presidential Fellow in our Funding section.

Professional Development Planning

Please contact Kate Veraldi to discuss developing or planning professional development programs in your department.