Funding and Research Opportunities

The Sociology Department welcomes the new initiatives throughout the University to involve undergraduates in first-hand scholarship and primary research.

Undergraduate Research at Northwestern | Work Experience Opportunities | Other Research and Grant Resources

Undergraduate Research at Northwestern

Weinberg Academic Year Grant awards are offered up to $1,000 to assist Weinberg undergraduates in pursuing original research or creative work under the close supervision of a faculty member during the academic year. Grants can be used to cover the costs of consumable supplies (but not lab equipment or facilities costs), data collection, travel, and other expenses directly related to the research or creative project.

NOTE: Applicants typically must apply first for an Undergraduate Research Grant (URG) before applying for a Weinberg Academic Year grant.

Research Opportunities and Work Experiences

The Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) offers students the opportunity to assist faculty members with their actual research and/or creative projects.  This program allows students to learn about research practices and realities from faculty mentors without the burden of having to come up with an independent project.  However, the goal of the program to provide more than just a person to work the copy machine or clean test tubes.  Projects for this program should offer substantial experiences for the undergraduate with mentoring and inclusion in the research process seen as key elements.

Institute for Policy Research (IPR) Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants Program is committed to involving Northwestern undergraduates in its research enterprise. To this end, IPR has run its Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants (SURA) Program since 1998. The program gives students first-hand experience in the conceptualization and conduct of policy-relevant social science research.
The SURA program starts off with a course in statistical computing, and students spend the rest of the time working on real-time research projects with IPR faculty.
It is hoped that some RAs will continue to work for faculty during the following academic year and/or write honors theses that incorporate policy-relevant topics and research.

The Chicago Field Studies Program provides students with hands-on experience where they learn much about an organization, about a profession, and about a career. By matching top-ranked students with a firm or agency (governmental, profit, or non-profit), the Program expects the student to serve in an internship that offers both collaborative and independent work. During the eight weeks of the quarter, participants sustain advanced research while in the field, and meet weekly with other students for intensive seminar discussions. Thirty-two hours per week are spent in the workplace, experiences and observations are documented daily in field journals, and finally, an original paper is produced based on the internship. At the end of the quarter, the student will have learned "to use the modern city as a way to study their world."

The Summer Research Fellowship Program (SROP) is for undergraduates who would want to work with faculty. One of these fellowships specifically targets minority students from both Northwestern and other universities.

The Northwestern University Externship (NEXT) is a one-day job shadowing program that offers current NU students the opportunity to accompany alumni at their place of employment in order to learn about a specific field. The alumni serve as mentors in their respective professions, familiarize students with daily responsibilities, and recommend related courses and majors. Depending on the career field, the extern may participate actively or observe. The student and mentor work together to outline goals and expectations. Though the program is short it is a valuable opportunity to explore various career options.

Work-Study Jobs are hourly-wage positions in which a student works for an employer or as a research assistant according to a mutually agreed-upon schedule and is paid on a bi-weekly basis for the hours worked. Work-study awards are not grants automatically applied towards one's tuition bill, nor is the amount of the award guaranteed. An award simply authorizes a student to participate in the Program and sets a limit as to the amount of income a student can earn during the academic year. It is the responsibility of the student to work enough hours to reach the earnings limit and to budget the money wisely throughout the year to meet necessary college costs.

There are many different jobs available through the Work-Study Program ranging from clerical to musical, from laboratory to day care. There are over 50 work-study categories from which to choose, varying in the areas of interest, degree of difficulty, and wage rate. With a variety of positions available, it is hoped that students will find jobs which are both interesting and related to their career goals.

Other Research and Grant Resources

Research and Policy Institutes

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Federation of American Scientists
Institute of International Economics
RAND Corporation
Chatham House
Stockholm Int'l Peace Institute
Brookings Institution
Center for Security Policy
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Henry Stimson Center
US Institute of Peace

Government and International Government Agencies

European Union
Library of Congress
World Bank
US State Department
United Nations
US Trade Representative
World Intellectual Property Organization
US Dept of Defense

Grants and Foundations

Mellon Foundation
Asia Foundation
Carnegie Corporation
Ford Foundation
Arca Foundation
Tinker Foundation
IREX (Central and E. Europe/ Former USSR)
MacArthur Foundation
National Science Foundation
Soros Foundations Network
Social Science Research Council
Pew Charitable Trusts
Rockefeller Foundation
Eurasia Foundation
The Foundation Center


American Sociological Association
US National Archives
Network Digital Library: Theses and Dissertations
Reuters (wire service) home page
Washington Post (and AP Newswire)

Political Science/Sociology joint Assistant Professor of Instruction Search

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY'S Departments of Political Science and Sociology invite applications for a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure eligible faculty appointment as Assistant Professor of Instruction, beginning September 1, 2016. Further details about the position are available online at 



Our faculty advisers can help you select Sociology courses, even if Sociology isn't your major or minor.

Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching provides a variety of programs and workshops for graduate students and faculty interested in developing their teaching practices. In addition, the Searle Center offers a variety of programs for graduate students seeking to develop their skills as Teaching Assistant (TA) and instructor , such as, a yearly conference for new TA's, a teaching certificate program and fellowship opportunities.


Upcoming Events

Sociology Colloquium - Professor Tamara Kay, The University of New Mexico
October 8, 201512:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Sociology Colloquium - Professor Kelly Moore, Loyola University
October 15, 201512:30 PM - 2:00 PM

February 14, 2013