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Panofsky Award

Northwestern graduate students planning to do preliminary fieldwork or archival research in Africa during the summer may apply for Hans E. Panofsky Pre-dissertation Research Awards in honor of the Curator Emeritus of the Africana Library, Hans Panofsky. Upon return to campus, awardees are expected to continue progress toward attaining candidacy for the Ph.D., develop a full-length dissertation proposal for department approval, and prepare funding proposals for extended fieldwork.


Up to $2000 in funds will be awarded to help fund short-term visits to prospective field sites and research institutions in Africa, where students can evaluate research opportunities, consult with scholars, increase their competency in an African language, arrange for institutional affiliation, or undertake pre-dissertation research.

Eligible Applicants

Doctoral students who have completed their second year of course work and will seek PhD candidacy the following year are eligible to apply. Some students who have completed a Master's Degree prior to studying at Northwestern and who are ready for pre-dissertation fieldwork after the first year (and who are strongly supported by their faculty mentor) may also apply. Applicants must be enrolled at Northwestern both at the time of application and during the quarter immediately following their research trips.

Strong preference is given to graduate students who regularly participate in PAS events and activities, and to attending members of the graduate student seminar, AfriSem. Preference is also given to first-time applicants.

All applicants are expected to concurrently seek pre-dissertation research support from other sources. Panofsky Awards are normally granted for work during the summer, but exceptions will be made if warranted. Returning award recipients are expected to prepare written summaries of their trips (approximately 4 pages, single-spaced) and make presentations at AfriSem or at a PAS event.

Applicant Instructions

Application deadline is April 2. Applications must include the following for successful submission:

  1. one-page résumé;
  2. 1,000 to 1,200 word statement of the objectives of the research trip;
  3. budget including expected costs, as well as other possible or definite sources of funding;
  4. A letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with the applicant's research and academic standing.

Online application available through the Application Portal.

For more information contact the Program of African Studies at or 847-491-7323. The Program of African Studies Committee will review all applications and announce awards at the beginning of spring quarter.

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