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Hans E. Panofsky Research Awards

Northwestern graduate students planning to do preliminary fieldwork or archival research in Africa during the summer may apply for a Hans E. Panofsky research award  in honor of the Curator Emeritus of the Herskovits Library of African Studies, Hans Panofsky. Upon return to campus, awardees are expected to continue progress toward completing their degree.


Up to $3000 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. 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, 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 given to graduate students who regularly participate in PAS events and activities, and to attending members of the graduate student seminar, AfriSem. Applicants for second or third awards will be at a competitive disadvantage.

All applicants must 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 must present their research at AfriSem or at a PAS event during the following academic year.

Applicant Instructions

Application deadline is  April 1. Applications must include the following for successful submission:

  1. All applications should be submitted as a PDF with an application cover sheet;
  2. One to two page CV
  3. A statement of the objectives of the research trip that includes the research question, the methods to employed, the analytical framework, and how the research ­facilitates the completion of  their degree (1000 words);
  4. A line item budget that clarifies how funds will be spent as well as other possible or definite sources of funding;
  5. One letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with the applicant's research and academic standing


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.