• Twitter()
  • Facebook()
  • Print this Story
  • Email this Story
Text Size AAA

TGS and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Launch Franke Graduate Fellowships for 2016-2017

Modified: January 14, 2016

With generous funding from Richard and Barbara Franke, and in partnership with The Graduate School, the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities is launching a new program that will offer exclusive fellowships to the most promising graduate students in fields across the humanities. Following a rigorous selection process, Franke Graduate Fellows will enrich 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.

 “These new fellowships present an exciting opportunity for Northwestern because no other graduate fellowship brings together the very best doctoral students in the humanities to develop research in an interdisciplinary humanities setting,” says Wendy Wall, Director of the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. “The Franke Fellowship will provide students a chance to develop and teach their own course, along with an in-depth look at arts and humanities programming—experience that’s increasingly vital in academia as well as for positions in the public humanities."

Franke Graduate Fellowship highlights:

  • Time - The ability to devote two full quarters, full time, to shaping/writing your dissertation within an interdisciplinary cohort
  • Mentoring and teaching - The chance to receive interdisciplinary mentoring in shaping a course, and the experience of teaching that course in your home department
  • Dissertation working group – The opportunity to present chapters in progress to graduate fellows across different humanities fields
  • Public Humanities - The advantage of seeing public humanities programs in action

For the full academic year, Franke Graduate Fellows will participate in Kaplan Humanities Institute activities, including weekly lunch colloquia, a dissertation working group, and the annual Future Directions Forum, where they will present their projects to Institute members.

For fall and winter terms, Franke Graduate Fellows will be granted time to cultivate their dissertation research. They will also receive interdisciplinary pedagogical mentoring about how to shape a dynamic course for undergraduates, and experience in administering public humanities programming.

In spring quarter, each Fellow will offer—in their home department—the undergraduate course that they have developed during their residency. 


The application deadline is midnight, Tuesday, March 1, 2016 (for fellowships beginning in Fall 2016)


To be eligible for a Franke Graduate Fellowship, you must be:

  • A current, funded, graduate student in good academic standing in your fourth or fifth year of full-time study in 2016-2017
  • Pursuing an independent humanities research project in any Northwestern school or program

Students receiving graduate assistance must meet adhere to the regulations governing recipients of University assistance.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be judged on their scholarly merit: the originality, quality, clarity and importance of the proposed research project, as well as the applicant’s ability to contribute productively to an interdisciplinary group.


Franke Graduate Fellowships will include:

  • Two quarters of full paid tuition
  • Monthly stipend and fringe benefits
  • $2,000 in research funds
  • Possibility to extend your funding package (the option to “bank” your TGS funding for two quarters in your sixth year)

Application Instructions

Franke Graduate Fellowship applications are submitted via an Online Application Portal. Please review all application instructions prior to clicking through to the application portal; you will not be able to save an incomplete application. Note: All application documents must be submitted in PDF format only. 

In the Application Portal, please complete your Official Contact Information and Academic Information in the fields provided. Please also prepare and upload PDF files of the following Application Documents:

  • Personal Statement (maximum of 3 pages) answering the question, “Why do you wish to join the Kaplan Institute community?”
  • Please be specific about how your research would contribute to and benefit from interdisciplinary conversations in the humanities and how you might participate in the Institute’s wide-ranging programs (visit our website for details about our initiatives)
  • Research Statement: Dissertation abstract (2-3 pages)
  • Statement of teaching philosophy (1-page): You may include CTECs and/or faculty evaluations from previously taught courses
  • Unofficial graduate transcripts
  • Writing sample (up to 20 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae

Letter of Recommendation

We request a letter of recommendation from your dissertation chair or committee member. Please ask your recommender to comment on your ability to contribute to an interdisciplinary program. NOTE: Once your application has been submitted, your faculty recommender will receive a prompt directing them to submit their letter via the online portal. They will have one additional week beyond the deadline to submit their recommendation.


Questions? Please contact Jill Mannor.

About the Kaplan Humanities Institute

The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities is committed to disseminating humanities research and providing opportunities for faculty, students and the broader community to explore issues, examine beliefs and engage in interdisciplinary dialogue about human thought and culture. As a site for exchange and connection across the humanities, sciences and social sciences at Northwestern, we are dedicated to fostering critical, creative and scholarly discussions about what it means to be human, across time and space.

Additional graduate student opportunities within the Kaplan Institute include: