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TGS Co-Sponsorship Grant

2020/2021 UPDATE :  Due to COVID-19 related changes in expectations for meetings and events, and in light of cost containment measures implemented across the University, the Co-Sponsorship Grant is temporarily suspended.  


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

Student groups and other units that receive ongoing support (annual budgets) from The Graduate School are typically 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 trainees.
  • 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 exact 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 advisor 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.
  • There is a plan for evaluation of the program’s success in meeting its goals.


The Graduate School Co-Sponsorship Grant is temporarily suspended.  Should circumstances allow grants to be awarded this fiscal year, new deadlines will be posted.


Co-sponsorship awards are a maximum of $1000 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, or the request is for a recurring event and better suited for an annual allocation.

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

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 in the fiscal year in which the event takes place.  Funds may only be used during the same fiscal year as the event/program, 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 trainees 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 trainees.

    • Funds may not be used for alcoholic beverages.

    • Funds may not be used for gift-cards or gifts.
    • Applicants must have additional sources of funding. Additional co-sponsorship opportunities are available via:

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.