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Career Development Grant Program for Humanists and Social Scientists

2/20/2024 Update All available Career Development Grant funds for fiscal year 2024 have been awarded.  The application is now closed.  The application will reopen after September 1, 2024 for 2024/2025 requests.


The Career Development Grant Program for Humanists and Social Scientists is intended to facilitate the next professional steps for TGS students after graduate school, whether they are on the conventional academic path or otherwise. The award may be used to cover costs directly related to a job search, such as production costs for job market materials or travel to an interview.


Grants are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the academic year, September 1 – July 31, or until all available funds have been awarded. Students should apply at least two weeks in advance of when expenses will be incurred as it takes 1-2 weeks to process awards.


  • Students must be registered and in good academic standing in PhD or MFA programs administered by The Graduate School (TGS).
  • Students must be in humanities and social science disciplines. Specifically, students who are in  TGS PhD and MFA programs housed in divisions II and III (social sciences and humanities) of the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Education and Social Policy, the School of Communication (those whose research involves humanities or social science projects), School of Music, and Clinical Psychology (those whose research involves social science projects) are eligible for the Career Development Grant.
  • Students must be graduating with the PhD or MFA within two years.
  • Doctoral student applicants must have, at the time of application, both passed the qualifying exam and have an approved prospectus. MFA students must have completed at least three quarters of full-time registration.


  • Students can be granted up to $400 over the course of their graduate career (either in a single award or in multiple awards that total $400).
  • The award may be used to cover costs directly related to a job search, including:
    • Allowable travel expenses related to travel to an interview
    • Production costs for job market materials (e.g., copying, binding, postage for mailing application materials, etc.)
    • Interfolio or other credential services,
    • Subscriptions to paid (fee-based) professional job listings
    • Business cards
  • Ineligible costs include:
    • Clothing, luggage, books, haircuts/personal grooming, laundry, entertainment, etc.
    • Equipment (e.g., computers, cameras, recording devices, etc.)
    • Payroll expenses through Northwestern such as salary, additional pay, temp pay, or special pay (i.e., payments to employees, faculty, or students on Northwestern's payroll)
    • Anything not specifically related to a job search
  • Each student will receive an email notification when the grant is approved, including instructions for how to access the award. A student's department is expected to handle all reimbursements following the submission of an expense report. It is up to the student to work with the appropriate program contact to request an expense reimbursement according to the University's and department's policies and procedures. 

Application Instructions 

To apply for the grant, students must complete the online Career Development Grant application.

Review process

Students will receive an email with the decision within 1-2 weeks after receipt of their application.


Email with any questions.