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Northwestern University-SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Program

Northwestern was chosen by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) as one of five universities to bring together humanities and social science scholars in pre-doctoral research summer institutes. Faculty from across clusters, certificates, and disciplines actively guide 24 humanities and social science PhD students, who are in their second and third years, in designing effective research questions, methodologies, contexts, and interventions. Participants gain practical, theoretical, and writing insights from experienced faculty and other students outside their disciplines. Throughout this program, students build their professional networks and audiences, benefit from interdisciplinary mentorship, and engage in conversations that lead to innovative dissertation projects. 

Learn from past DPD participants.


Applicants must be second- or third-year Humanities and qualitative Social Science doctoral students who are prepared to research and write their dissertation prospectus or research funding proposal/fellowship application in summer 2019.


  • Up to $5,000 funding for 6-10 week summer research trip
  • Interdisciplinary faculty-led workshops: June 17-19, 2019; September 3, 2019; and September 12-15, 2019
  • Professional network-building opportunities and guidance in designing effective, interdisciplinary research questions, methodologies, contexts, and interventions


For more information, contact Stephanie Brehm, PhD, at