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Summer Language Grant

The Summer Language Grant (SLG) assists PhD students with expenses related to language training necessary for their dissertation research.

Grants are made to help defray expenses incurred pursuing language instruction not available at Northwestern  or via the traveling scholar programs.  

Applicants must exhaust efforts to address needs locally or through Northwestern course offerings, the Traveling Scholar Program or the Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program. See also the policy on taking courses at other universities.

More applications are received than can be funded.

Note:  Students traveling outside of the United States must adhere to all graduate student travel policies.  Failure to do so could result in revocation of the award.



Monday, February 5, 2024, by 11:59 pm. Letters of recommendation are due by Friday, February 9, 11:59 pm.

Applicants are notified in March.


  • Must be an active, enrolled PhD student in good academic standing.
  • Students are eligible for a maximum of $2,000 in Summer Language Grant funds over the entire course of study in The Graduate School.
  • First-, second-, and third-year PhD students in social sciences and humanities programs in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education and Social Policy, the School of Communication or the Bienen School of Music are eligible to apply for the Summer Language Grant.
  • Prior to the beginning of the award period, the student must have completed at least three quarters of full time, full tuition registration toward the PhD degree in The Graduate School. 
  • Although formal coursework in the target language is not a prerequisite, students are expected to have made all reasonable efforts to exhaust opportunities for study in the Chicago region before applying for a Summer Language Grant. 


The maximum award amount is $2,000 and is paid as a stipend supplement.

Review process

Applications are reviewed based on:

  • The relevance of the proposed language to the applicant's academic program
  • The applicability of the proposed language to the student's research or proposed research
  • The non-availability of formal study in the proposed language at Northwestern and/or in the Chicago area
  • Prior study, if any, of the proposed language or related languages
  • The quality and breadth of the applicant's preparation and the potential or demonstrated productivity of the applicant

Application instructions

The application form must be submitted along with the following materials via The Graduate School online grant/fellowship application tool.

  1. Budget: Itemize the estimated expenses using the budget worksheet. The budget worksheet must be saved as a PDF in order to upload to the online grant/fellowship application tool.
    • Allowable Costs:  Educational expenses (tuition, fees, books, etc), living expenses incurred while attending an institution outside the Chicagoland area during the summer session; travel expenses to and from the educational institution outside of the Chicagoland area.
    • Non-allowable Costs: Retroactive charges for expenditures incurred or committed prior to review and approval of the application. 
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Unofficial Northwestern transcript (PDF)
  4. Letter of recommendation from your advisor: Letter should explain why language instruction is necessary and why it must be undertaken outside of Northwestern or the Chicagoland area.  

    When submitting the application via the online application tool, applicants will invite a faculty member to submit a letter of recommendation. (Note: Faculty member must be invited using their primary Northwestern University email address and will only receive the letter request once the application is fully submitted.) Applicants should notify the intended letter-writer in advance of entering their name in the online application tool.  Applicants can check the status of the recommendation letter or change the recommender via the online application tool.  Although the deadline for SLG applications is on Monday, letters of recommendation can be submitted through Friday.


Email for additional information.