Franke Graduate Application

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 (midnight)

Graduate Franke Fellowship for 2018-2019

In partnership with The Graduate School, the Kaplan Institute will offer Franke Graduate Fellowships to the most accomplished fourth and fifth year doctoral students in the humanities. Franke Graduate Fellows pursue independent research within a vibrant interdisciplinary collective, which includes multilayered structured conversations among faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, internationally renowned visiting scholars, and distinguished visiting artists.  

For the full academic year, Franke Graduate Fellows participate in Institute activities, including weekly lunch seminars, a dissertation working group, and the annual Future Directions Forum where they present their projects to Institute members. For fall and winter terms, Franke Graduate Fellows are granted time to cultivate their dissertation research. They also receive interdisciplinary pedagogical mentoring about how to shape a dynamic course for undergraduates. In spring quarter, each Fellow offers—in their home department—the course that they have developed during their residency.

Franke Graduate Fellowships include two quarters of full paid tuition, monthly stipend and fringe benefits, and $2,000 in research funds. Recipients of the fellowship have the possibility to extend their funding package (the option to "bank" their TGS funding for two quarters in their sixth year).


To be eligible for a Franke Graduate Fellowship, you must:

  • Be a current, funded, doctoral graduate student in good academic standing in your fourth or fifth year of full-time study in 2018-2019
  • Be pursuing an independent humanities research project in any Northwestern school or program
  • Have completed all coursework, have a prospectus approved, and have achieved candidacy

Students receiving graduate assistance must meet adhere to the regulations governing recipients of University assistance.

Applications will be judged on their scholarly merit: the originality, quality, clarity and importance of the proposed research project, as well as the applicant’s ability to contribute productively to an interdisciplinary group.     

Application Instructions and Materials

Franke Graduate Fellow applications will be accepted via an online portal (see link below). Documents should be double-spaced.

Application materials consist of:

  • Personal Statement (maximum of 3 pages) answering the question, “Why do you wish to join the Kaplan Institute community?”
    • Please be specific about how your research would contribute to and benefit from interdisciplinary conversations in the humanities and how you might participate in the Institute’s wide-ranging programs (please explore our website for details about our initiatives)
  • Research Statement: Dissertation abstract (2-3 pages)
  • Statement of teaching philosophy (1-page): You may include CTECs and/or faculty evaluations from previously taught courses (additional to the 1-page statement)
  • Unofficial graduate transcripts
  • Writing sample (up to 20 pages). End notes or bibliography do not count toward the 20-page limit, but these may not exceed a total of two additional pages.
  • Curriculum Vitae

Letter of recommendation

Your application must include a letter of recommendation from your dissertation chair or committee member that comments on your ability to contribute to an interdisciplinary program. There is a field in the application portal where you will submit your faculty reference's name and email; the system will send them an email prompt and link for uploading their letter. IMPORTANT: Recommendations are due on March 1, 2018 — this is one day after the application submission date. We suggest that you give your recommender advance notice so they can prepare to submit their letter by this date.

Application Portal

Please prepare PDFs of your application materials and submit them via the online portal:

(The portal will be opened in early 2018.)

Please contact Jill Mannor at