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Undergraduate Funding

A new online application system is coming soon!

PAS offers awards to support undergraduate research and the study of African languages:

In addition to these awards, students can contact the Office of Fellowships regarding internal and external fellowships, grants, and scholarships, or visit the Application Portal to search for awards offered through the Buffett Institute.

African Research Leadership Award

Grants are awarded for students to develop and lead a research project or program related to African Studies. Students develop, manage, and complete a project examining an issue in African Studies related to the student's academic interests and program(s) of study. The project can be an extension of the research/immersion experience requirement of the African Studies adjunct major or of research completed in a past course.

Open to all Northwestern University undergraduates in their freshman, sophomore, and junior years in any department or school. Preference given to African Studies adjunct majors, minors, and undergraduate Africa seminar (Afrilogue) participants. Grants of varying amounts up to $4,000 are awarded.

Applications are submitted through the Application Portal. To apply, please provide the following:

Deadline: April 15

The Wilks Prize in African History

A prize of $100 is awarded for an outstanding undergraduate essay submitted as a course requirement in African History. Professors nominate essays that were written for their classes. The closing date for submission is the beginning of the exam week for the quarter. Contact the History Department for application materials.

For questions about PAS awards, please contact or call 847-491-7323. 


The study of an African language is important in preparation for national dissertation research grants and for field research. These awards, in honor of Linguistics Professor Emeritus Morris Goodman, provide up to $3,000 for students in their second year of study or beyond to study an African language taught outside of Northwestern University.

Many students find a qualified African tutor in the Chicago area, but others have taken these grants to Africa for individual study; on one of the Fulbright-Hays Language Group Projects Abroad (GPAs); to the Summer Cooperative African Language Institute (SCALI); on one of the Title VI NRC campuses; or even to Europe (e.g. study of African Portuguese in an institution in Lisbon for fieldwork in Cape Verde). In the Chicago area, the grant normally supports 20 weeks of language study, three hours a week ($25/hour).

Application instructions:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications must include the following for successful submission:

  1. letter that states their research plans, justifies the need for language training, and describes how the training will be completed;
  2. if tutoring is proposed, the application must include information about the tutor, including a curriculum vitae and documentation of visa status for remuneration purposes. 

Online application available through the Application Portal.

For other types of language study, students must provide information about the strengths of the program, the syllabus, evaluations, etc. Send inquiries to the Program of African Studies at or 847-491-7323.

Event co-sponsorship

This award provides a co-sponsorship of an event such as a guest speaker, conference, symposium, etc. on subjects related to Africa for up to $500. The event must be organized by Northwestern departments, programs, centers, or student groups.

Online application available through the Application Portal.

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