faculty research funding

This funding cycle is now closed. The next call for proposals will go out in Winter 2018.

Below are last cycle’s application instructions.


Call for Proposals – Due February 24, 2017

The Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN) invites applications from Northwestern faculty members for funding to conduct research on sexuality from a social science perspective (broadly construed) in academic year 2017-18.

SPAN will be allocating up to $150,000 for faculty research projects in 2017-18. Proposals will be funded according to evaluations by external reviewers who are senior scholars in sexuality studies. We anticipate funding both small and large projects, and the requested funding may be of any size up to a maximum of $50,000 per proposal. In recent years, awards have ranged from $3,000 to $40,000.

Awards will be announced in Spring Quarter, and funding will be available as of September 1, 2017. Projects must be conducted in academic year 2017-18.

Please read the following instructions and additional information carefully:

To apply: By February 24, 2017, please submit the following in PDF format to sexualities@northwestern.edu:

1) A cover sheet indicating the title of the proposal; the name, department, and contact information for the principal investigator; and names, departments, and contact information for NU faculty co-PIs, if any.

2) Short CV’s (4 pages maximum, each) for the PI and each NU faculty co-PI. The CV’s should emphasize expertise relevant to the proposal and ability to conduct the proposed research.

3) A one-paragraph abstract of your research project.

4) A project proposal, double-spaced and not to exceed five pages. If other funding has been requested or obtained for this project, please provide details.

5) An itemized budget that breaks down expenses by category, such as research assistant salary, research assistant benefits, interview transcription, travel, equipment, supplies, mailing costs, etc. (Please obtain and provide precise figures where possible.)

6) A budget justification (1-2 pages) that explains each item in the budget.

You will receive an email the following Monday (Feb 27) confirming your application has been received. If you do not receive an email by 5pm (CST), please inquire at sexualities@northwestern.edu. 

Technical questions about applications should be directed to Eliot Colin at sexualities@northwestern.edu. Substantive questions may be addressed to the Interim Director of SPAN, Prof. Gregory Ward (gw@northwestern.edu).

Additional information

Any NU faculty member with a continuing or renewable appointment is eligible to apply, including professors of instruction. Co-PIs must also be affiliated with Northwestern. Non-NU personnel may be named on the proposal but cannot serve as Co-PIs.

Although submitters may be from any field, department, or program at NU, proposals must demonstrate an engagement with social science theories or methods. Research topics may address any domain of sexuality studies, but SPAN has a special interest in critical and interdisciplinary perspectives on sexuality and sexual orientation in social context, as well as their implications for health. Proposals will be judged according to the fit with the program, the significance and innovativeness of the proposed research, the clarity of the proposal, the feasibility of the work plan, and the appropriateness of the budget.

Each submitted proposal will be sent to three senior scholars from outside NU who are experts in sexuality studies and who represent different academic fields. The external reviewers will rate each proposal, and the Interim Director of SPAN will make recommendations according to these ratings to the Provost. The Provost will make the final decisions regarding the issuing of awards.

Funding may be used for any NU-approved research expense that is directly related to the proposed research, including travel, equipment, interview transcription, and hiring research assistants or research staff. However, please note that NU does not permit the use of internal university funds of this sort for course buyout or summer salary. Faculty members who raise their own salary are limited to requesting 10% of their salary from this source. If a percentage of a staff salary is requested, please indicate the percent of effort that the staff person will devote to the research project.

This funding is intended for faculty-driven research. It is not intended to support doctoral student projects for which the faculty member is the PI in name only. (Please note that SPAN has several funding mechanisms for graduate students, including summer funding, dissertation fellowships, and funding to present work at conferences.)

Unexpended funds can be carried forward with permission. Recipients of funding must agree to reporting requirements that will be outlined in the award letters.

For information on past funding recipients, click here.

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