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TGS Co-Sponsorship Grant

The Graduate School considers formal requests from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff, and other units to co-sponsor events, programs, and/or initiatives that clearly benefit postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in The Graduate School.

Successful applications will articulate goals that are aligned with The Graduate School’s strategic priorities and will make a clear and compelling case for how graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows will directly benefit from the event or program. This grant streamlines The Graduate School funding request process for programs and events that fall into these broad categories:

  • Community building activities
  • Professional development programs
  • Academic lectures and conferences
  • Performances


Persons in any of these categories may apply for funding: 

  • Faculty or staff affiliated with any academic program that falls under the purview of The Graduate School
  • Graduate students in The Graduate School who will be active students in The Graduate School at the time of the event/program
  • Postdoctoral fellows

Student groups, postdoctoral fellow groups and other units that receive ongoing support (annual budgets) from The Graduate School are not eligible to apply. Contact with questions about eligibility. 

To be eligible for funding:

  • The program or event must have clearly articulated goals that are aligned with The Graduate School’s strategic priorities.
  • The program or event must directly benefit graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.
  • A similar program or event may not already exist.
  • The program or event should be a collaborative effort across programs, students, and/or postdocs from different disciplines/departments. (Applications that are a collaborative effort will be more favorably reviewed.)
  • Planning for the event must be underway and the planned date(s) of the event included in the application.
  • There is a clear plan (or proven track record) for attracting attendance/participation, including a strategy for publicizing the opportunity.
  • For programs/events being planned by students and/or postdocs, there is a staff or faculty adviser who works with the group on the proposal and event planning and submits a statement of support.
  • The group hosting the program/event has a department “home” that can assist with expense reports.
  • Applicants must agree to follow TGS Expense Guidelines.


Monday, April 1, 2024 (by 11:59 pm Central Time) for events taking place within the current fiscal year (prior to August 31, 2024)


Co-sponsorship awards are a maximum of $500 and may not exceed a total of 50% of the overall budget.  TGS cannot be the sole or majority source of funds. TGS co-sponsorship funds are intended to fund events/programs that have promised or anticipated commitments from other sources, such as programs/departments, schools, clusters, other grants/co-sponsorships, etc.

When determining award amount, TGS will consider:

  • Whether the eligibility criteria have been met.

  • Whether The Graduate School is an appropriate source of funding. Some funding requests will be rejected on the basis that The Graduate School is not an appropriate source of funds, expenses are not allowable, or the request is for a recurring event and better suited for an annual allocation.

  • The extent to which graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from across academic programs, departments, and disciplines will benefit.

  • Available budget resources.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee and applicants are typically notified of a decision within five weeks of the application deadline.


Awards are not granted for retroactive payments, or for events that have already taken place.

Funds will be available for use until August 15, 2024.  Funds may only be used within the fiscal year they are awarded and do not carry forward into future fiscal years.

Application instructions

Applicants must submit the Co-Sponsorship Grant application form by the published deadline.

The application will require:

  • Description of event/program. Include the date(s) of the event.

  • Description of anticipated/invited participants

  • Explanation of how graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows will DIRECTLY benefit.

  • Description of plan for publicizing event and evaluating its success

  • Detailed budget: Applicants must upload a completed budget form. Fundable expenses include:

    • Facilitator/trainer fees

    • Honoraria, speaker fees, and/or travel costs for guest speakers or alumni

    • Educational materials

    • Reasonable operational costs (non-alcoholic refreshments, food, recording costs, etc.)

    • Funds may not be used for:

      • any individual professional development or travel, or to fund conference attendance for individual students or postdoctoral fellows

      • alcoholic beverages

      • gift-cards or gifts

Applicants must follow all Northwestern University policies/procedures regarding expenses, purchases and reimbursements. 

Award administration

Awardees are required to include the credit line, “Supported in part by The Graduate School”, on all marketing materials and must notify the Graduate School of event dates and locations for publication in TGS Wire, if appropriate.

All TGS student organizations and TGS-funded events are expected to operate in accordance with Northwestern’s Policy on Discrimination and Harassment and Northwestern’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Dating and Domestic Violence. Student organizations may not exclude any individual from membership, events, or other matters related to the organization on the basis of the protected categories listed in the University’s Policy on Discrimination and Harassment.


Email with questions.