Summer Language Grant

The Summer Language Grant (SLG) is intended to assist PhD students with expenses related to language training during the summer for their research.

Grants are made to help defray expenses incurred pursuing language instruction not available at Northwestern University during the summer session.  Applicants should exhaust efforts to address needs locally or through the Traveling Scholar Program or the Chicago Metropolitan Exchange Program. See also the policy on taking courses at other universities. Summer Language Grants may not be used for language study at Northwestern.


Friday, January 26, 2018.  Applicants are notified in early March 2018.


  • Must be a PhD student registered at Northwestern University for summer term.
  • Students are eligible for a maximum of two Summer Language Grants over the entire course of study in The Graduate School (TGS).
  • First-, second-, and third-year PhD students in Divisions II and III (social sciences and humanities) of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education and Social Policy, the School of Communication (humanities and social science projects), and the School of Music are eligible for the SLG.
  • Prior to the beginning of the award period, the student must have completed 3 quarters of full time, full tuition registration toward the PhD degree in TGS. Students beyond their third year of graduate study will receive funding only in exceptional cases. Students in this situation should include an explanation in the application. The letter of recommendation should support the request.
  • 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 making an application. 
  • Students who are beyond their degree deadline are not eligible for a Summer Language Grant.


The maximum award amount is $2,000. If awarded, funds are transferred to the student's home department. It is the student’s responsibility to work with the home department on payments/reimbursements.

Awards are for the summer term, will not be granted for retroactive payments and will not be deferred. At the end of the award period, any unspent funds must be returned to TGS.   Students may use an SLG concurrently with other awards.

Review Process and Criteria

Applications are reviewed based on:

  • The relevance of the proposed language to the applicant's academic program.
  • 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. Budget worksheet must be saved as a PDF in order to upload to the online grant/fellowship application tool.

  • Allowable Costs: Living expenses incurred while attending an institution outside the Chicago metropolitan area during the summer session; travel expenses; educational expenses.
  • Non-allowable Costs: Retroactive charges for expenditures incurred or committed prior to review and approval of the application.

2. Curriculum vitae (in the format specified by this template and saved and uploaded as a PDF)

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 NU 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.) 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 Summer Language Grant applications is January 26, 2018 (midnight), letters of recommendation can be submitted through January 31, 2018. 


Email Kate Veraldi for more information.