Fellowships & Grants

Fellowships allow students to pursue a number of opportunities, including laboratory research, travel, research assistantship, independent research, specialized and/or professional study, and graduate education.  Below you’ll find a menu of fellowship and scholarship options at sponsored by Northwestern and other renowned educational organizations.

Please note that most of these programs entail application processes that must be initiated far in advance from the application deadlines.  Many of the external fellowships have an internal selection process by which Northwestern chooses nominees to compete with students from colleges and universities across the country.  Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you research fellowship options and their eligibility requirements and applications thoroughly on the Office of Fellowships website, consult with the staff of the Office of Fellowships, and plan how and when you will complete the application.

Fellowship Opportunities for Undergraduate Study

The EPA, National Center for Environmental Research is inviting applications for the Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships for undergraduate environmentally-related study for bachelor’s level students. The Agency plans to award approximately 40 new fellowships in the summer of 2013.The fellowship provides up to $20,700 per year of academic support and $8,600 for internship support for a combined total of up to $50,000 over the life of the fellowship.  The GRO program enhances and supports quality environmental education for undergraduates, and thereby encourages them to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate level, and pursue careers in environmentally-related fields, such as biology, health, the social sciences, and engineering. The actual amount awarded per year will vary depending on the amount of tuition and fees and the number of months the stipend is required. 

The Undergraduate Research Grant (URG) fund owned by the Office of the Provost sponsors independent academic and creative work in all fields of study.  Under faculty supervision, URG winners immerse themselves in novel scholarly projects in the laboratory, the library, or the studio, on campus and around the world.  There are Academic Year URGs, which cover research expenses up to $1000 during the school year, and Summer URGs, which provide an unrestricted $3000 to cover research living expenses for full time summer projects. 

The Circumnavigators Travel-Study Grant, jointly funded by NU and the Circumnavigators Club Foundation, offers a $9,000 award to travel to at least five countries (excepting U.S. and Canada) on at least three continents.  During the trip, the winner will study a topic of his or her choosing.  The 2009 winner Sam McAleese studied conservation efforts in national parks around the world. 

The Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) is a pilot program that provides students with opportunities to assist faculty members with their research.  This program allows students to learn about research practices and realities from faculty mentors without the burden of planning an full-fledged research project.

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences also offers summer and academic year undergraduate research funding in all fields for students whose proposals are not accepted for URGs.   These grants are funded by Weinberg College alumni.  Please note that only Weinberg students (not students at other NU schools who also have a Weinberg major) are eligible.

Fellowship Opportunities for Graduate Study

The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 towards a graduate degree in public service fields.  There are many eligible programs of study, including conservation and environmental protection. 

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship offers up to $7,500 annual to cover tuition and expenses for sophomores and juniors studying mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. 

The Fulbright Scholarship sponsored by the U.S. State Department awards substantial grants for students to study a wide variety of topics for a year in more than 100 countries.

The Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship awards $2,000 upon completion of undergraduate studies and $15,000 annually for two years of graduate study in the arts, humanities, or social sciences.  Candidates must have a history of need-based financial aid, and preference is given to those for whom the awarding of a scholarship would increase the likelihood of being able to attend graduate school.

The Boren Scholarship, supported by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), provides up to $2,000 to U.S. undergraduates to study abroad in areas of the world critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.

There are an array of British fellowships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, the Marshall Scholarship, the Churchill Foundation Scholarship, and the Gates Cambridge Scholarship,  that provide second bachelors/graduate study at prestigious British universities.  In order to receive these fellowships, you will need to get started early on what are usually long and complex application processes.

The National Science Foundation Fellowship Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) provides a $30,000 stipend and a tuition allowance of $10,500 towards an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or social sciences.  The NSF prioritizes energy-related programs of study, and in general, the ‘hard’ sciences are favored.

The Northwestern University Public Interest Program is a one-year fellowship experience that introduces graduates to organizations whose missions are to create sustainable social change. For 10-12 months, NUPIP fellows work in Chicago non-profit organizations that address issues such as education, the environment, healthcare, community development, and economic development.

The National Physical Sciences Consortium Graduate Fellowship distributes $16,000 of stipend and summer research support for graduate study in the physical sciences, including Chemistry, Geology, and Environmental Engineering among others.  The program emphasizes the recruitment of minority and female physical science students to offset the historic underrepresentation of these groups within the research community.

The ARCS Foundation Scholarship offers six $7,500 awards and one $6,000 award to Northwestern students to pursue Master’s and Doctoral degrees in a wide range of subjects that involve cutting-edge technologies in science and engineering.  Students are recommended by Northwestern deans and department chairs.

Environment-Specific Fellowships

The Morris K. Udall Scholarship is a $5,000 award for sophomores and juniors who have a demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment. 

The Hollings Scholarship provides up to $8,000 towards undergraduate tuition for one year (renewable for a second) for sophomores majoring in fields relevant to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  It also includes a 10-week internship at a NOAA facility after junior year and conference travel.

The NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (REU) supports research participation by undergraduates in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation, including Atmospheric Sciences, Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences, Engineering, and Ocean Sciences.  REU projects involve students in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program.  They usually include 8-10 weeks of full-time research, a $3,500 stipend, and coverage of housing and travel.  Students are responsible for identifying suitable REUs (structure, dates, eligibility) through the NSF REU website.

The Lane Environmental Studies Grant is a special research grant sponsored by Weinberg that provides funding for research on environmental issues.  A prior application for a URG is NOT required.  

The Woods Hole Summer Student Fellowship is a 10-week research internship for juniors and seniors at $450/week at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.  Competitive applicants will have an interest in ocean sciences, oceanographic engineering, math, or marine policy.  There are also Woods Hole Minority Fellowships.

The Eckenfelder Scholarship sponsored by Brown and Caldwell provides $5,000 for junior year or graduate students with a declared major in Civil, Chemical, or Environmental Engineering or one of the Environmental Sciences who hope to pursue education and/or a career within the environmental industry. 

The Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program sponsored by the National Center for Environmental Research provides research grants and graduate fellowships in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines. 

The Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship through the EPA provides undergraduate students in environmental fields of study with up to $19,700 per year for their junior and senior years and up to $9,500 for an internship at an EPA facility between their junior and senior years.

The Illinois Indiana Sea Grant offers fellowships for entering or continuing graduate students in Illinois and Indiana for research focusing on Coastal Processes, Water Quality, Aquatic Ecology, and other topics.

National Geographic Young Explorers Grants are $2000-5000 awards for individuals ages 18 to 25 to pursue research, conservation, and exploration-related projects.

Online Resources

Undergraduate Research at Northwestern (UR@NU)

Office of Fellowships

Weinberg Opportunities

Plant Biology and Conservation Grant Directory