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Cognitive Science Graduate Fellowships for Interdisciplinary Research Projects

DEADLINE: Late March / Early April

The Northwestern Cognitive Science Program offers fellowship support for graduate students engaged in interdisciplinary research in cognitive science. These one-year fellowships are awarded competitively, based on the quality of research proposed, on the candidates' qualifications, and on the interdisciplinarity of the research. Please note that this funding is not allowed for students entering their sixth year or beyond. These fellowships are intended to encourage interdisciplinary research by graduate students and to encourage faculty to engage in interdisciplinary projects that grow their Northwestern collaboration network.

An application consists of:
  1. A proposal of a maximum of 3-5 pages in length (including references), outlining the project and its relation to cognitive science. Figures are encouraged.
  2. Letters from two faculty sponsors in different disciplines endorsing the project and agreeing to be actively involved in it. The sponsor from the home discipline should include a brief description of the student's progress to date in graduate school. 
  3. Grad student's vita.
  4. The student must fill out this form, and each advisor must fill out this form, before the deadline.

Guidelines for advanced fellowship proposals

  • Proposals must bridge two disciplines and must be sponsored by one faculty member in the student's home discipline and one faculty member in the related discipline (for example, a linguistics student who proposes work on computational approaches to parsing could have one sponsor from Linguistics and one from Computer Science). Generally, the faculty should be from two different departments, but there are exceptions--e.g., cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. Petitions for exceptions will be considered in cases where two distinct disciplines occur in the same department. It is also advantageous (though not required) to choose an advising team that bridges otherwise separate fields, and who have not already collaborated on research. 
    • Such petitions must be submitted three weeks prior to the deadline for fellowship applications for review by the Program Committee.
  • Faculty letters should (1) establish a strong understanding of the project and commitment to the collaboration on the part of both sponsors and (2) make clear the interdisciplinary contributions of the project.
  • Faculty members should sponsor, at most, two proposals in a given year.
  • These fellowships are not for dissertation support, but for new interdisciplinary research. Because we hope that these fellowships will seed long-term projects, strong preference will be given to rising second, and third-year students. Rising fourth-years are slightly deprioritized, and rising fifth-year students more substantially deprioritized.

    • Funding is not available for students rising to their sixth year or beyond.

  • The expectation is that Advanced Fellows will be excused from normal TA duties, e.g. a one-course reduction in a two-course TA load.

  • At the end of the Fellowship period, the students agree to give a presentation describing their projects and progress and to submit a brief report on their research. Both advisors agree to visit the cognitive science undergraduate proseminar (approximately a 1-hour commitment) to discuss their laboratory’s research.
  • Awardees are also eligible for reimbursement for traveling to a conference (up to $500). The student need not be presenting at the conference to have his/her expenses reimbursed.
  • Proposals and supporting letters to the fellowship committee should be sent to the Cognitive Science Program at cogsci@northwestern.edu

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