Catalyst Grant

The Graduate School provides resources to help support programming and events that will enrich the education and experience of TGS students and postdoctoral fellows. The Catalyst Grant is intended to provide event co-sponsorship to help fund a Northwestern academic program, department, center, or student group hosting a new or one-time event. The award provides financial support for an event or program that benefits graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.


  • Faculty or staff affiliated with any academic program that falls under the purview of The Graduate School
  • Graduate students in The Graduate School and/or postdoctoral fellows
    • Student and postdoctoral groups are required to work with faculty and/or staff to develop and administer events supported by a Catalyst Grant.
  • Ongoing, long running, or continuous events are not eligible for Catalyst Grant funding.


  • Monday, September 11, 2017
  • Monday, March 19, 2018


  • The maximum amount of funding available is $3,000 per project/event.
  • Note that the Catalyst Grant does not sponsor social events or professional development programs. To ensure the most appropriate funding source is being sought, applicants should review eligibility criteria for The Graduate School's other grants including the Professional Development Grant and Community Building Grant.
  • 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, which can be found at

Review Process and Criteria

A successful application will demonstrate the following:

  • A proposed event/program that will benefit a significant number of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows
  • Clearly articulated program goals and learning objectives
  • A plan for measuring the success of the proposed event/program
  • Collaboration across programs, schools, disciplines, offices, etc.
  • A plan for making the event/program accessible to the widest possible range of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (including across campuses, programs, disciplines, labs, abilities, familial status, etc.)
  • Sufficient level or commitment of support from other sources (departments, schools, centers, etc.). Applicants must have commitments or have sought commitments from other funding sources such as departments, schools, centers, student groups, etc.

Application Instructions

The completed application form and the Budget Form  should be sent via email, by the deadline, to Kate Veraldi.

The committee will notify applicants approximately four weeks following the deadline. Groups that are awarded funds are expected to supply a chart string into which funds can be transferred. Funds must be administered by the department/program hosting the project/event.


Email Kate Veraldi for more information.