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Proposal Guidelines

The following guidelines need to be met in order to receive support from our program.

Who we support

Except for awards intended for non-Northwestern guests or associates, our resources are intended as direct support to tenure-line faculty and Northwestern students.

Outsourcing and co-researchers

Most of the resources we provide should be used for research or academic activities conducted directly by the Northwestern applicant. A small portion of the funds can be used for assistance from outside organizations or services. If there are principal investigators from other institutions, we expect to see evidence that they are also contributing proportional resources to the project.

Research assistants

We allow one quarter of funding for research assistants in faculty research grant proposals. However, the role of the research assistant must be substantive and analytical.

Salaries, honoraria and fees

Budgets should consist mainly of reimbursable direct costs for research, conferences or symposia. We do not provide regular salary, summer salary, course buyouts or supplement sabbatical support. Honoraria should not exceed $200 and are limited to Northwestern campus visitors giving public lectures or participating in book conferences. Participants in symposia and conferences are not paid honoraria. We do not pay fees to research participants, subjects or sources.

Other support

Support from other sources is a favorable indicator. However, it is not required. We are often the lead, sole or initial funder.


Most of our funding is provided on a reimbursement basis following Northwestern policies on documentation and records. If there are major outlays (such as for international flights), arrangements can be made for our program to pay these directly.

Prior engagement with our program

Applicants are not required to demonstrate a prior engagement with our programs and activities. However, proposals from those who are actively involved with our program are viewed favorably.

Other guidelines

Read the descriptions under each funding category on the opportunities page, for additional guidelines or requirements.

Statement from the Rajawali Foundation

We are funded by a generous gift from the Rajawali Foundation in Jakarta, Indonesia. The statement below offers insights into the kinds of research and academic activities the foundation seeks to support. We are an independent academic program, and thus not narrowly constrained by its donors. But we work closely with the foundation because it shares many of its goals and motivations, which are also reflected in our program’s core themes.

From the Rajawali Foundation

While the world is becoming a more equal place if we take countries as the unit of analysis, most developing countries are becoming less equal in terms of income and most other key indicators. This trend has accelerated during the most recent period of globalization dating from the early 1980s. The Rajawali Foundation is concerned that in a globalized world, people who have the right skills, assets and connections will join global and national elites that have access to quality essential services, enjoy civil and political rights and (increasingly) pay for their own physical security.

Meanwhile, people who depend on government for access to health and education services, physical security and protection of their rights will fall into a less favored category. They will depend on their own resources, on family and on voluntary organizations. In a word, we are witnessing the end of equality as a motivating concept of nationalism and development.

Mobility between these two worlds has become more rather than less difficult. These trends concern us. We are very interested in research that helps understand these trends and can assist in reorienting government policies in the developing and industrialized worlds. As long as it helps us understand these issues, this research need not be in Indonesia or Southeast Asia.

We hope that the research will raise awareness about the links between globalization and inequalities in the developing world. Official donor agencies have not paid sufficient attention to these matters. For the most part they have a different view that is broadly informed by the interests of donor and recipient governments. They are often wary of the pubic provision of essential services and are more concerned about “doing business” and “competitiveness” indicators than economic equality and human rights. We hope that organizations funded by the Rajawali Foundation will not feel constrained by these approaches and donor-inspired programs.

We strongly encourage pathbreaking work on the impact of globalization and development on inequalities in the developing world, and prospects for promoting a notion of citizenship based on economic, social, political and civil rights.