Skip to main content

Alex Owen Research Prize

Image: Professor Alex Owen receiving the E. Leroy Hall award in 2013 with Weinberg Dean Sarah C. Mangelsdorf and Professor Mary Weismantel

 The Gender & Sexuality Studies Program is pleased to announce the launch of its first round of applications for the newly created research award, named after Professor Emerita Alexandra Owen (History/Gender Studies) to honor all her work in building the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Northwestern. A faculty committee will then select the successful recipient, who will receive an award of $750, meant to cover expenses related to research (within the guidelines outlined below). This award will be granted once per year (in Summer). Projects of all sizes are welcome.

This award honors Professor Emerita Alexandra Owen. As one of the first faculty appointments in the Program (1991), Prof. Owen designed the first iteration of GNDR_ST 230 "Traditions in Feminist Thought" around which the undergraduate major was built (1993); spearheaded the transition from Women's Studies to Gender Studies during her tenure as Director of the Program (2000-2002); and mentored and trained numerous graduate students pursuing the GSS Certificate and through her core graduate course on "Women's & Gender History." Her book publications include: The Darkened Room: Women, Power and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England, published by Virago in 1989 and reissued by University of Chicago Press in 2004, and The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern published by the University of Chicago Press in 2004; paperback edition, 2007.

Deadline: May 10, 2022


Northwestern University doctoral students – at any stage – who have a research project that relates to the fields of gender and sexuality studies in any department and school are welcome to apply. Preference will be given to students actively pursuing a GSS certificate. Please note that post-docs will not be eligible.

Selection Process:

Applications will be judged according to the merits of the projects, but also in relation to the degree of closeness to GSS’ mission. The selection committee will include the GSS director and DGS, ex officio, and one member of the GSS advisory board.

The winner of the competition will be expected to present the results of their research at the end of the Spring quarter to the GSS faculty and graduate community. Details will be communicated accordingly.

The awardee will also be required to submit a short progress report (including a summary of expenses) within one quarter from the completion of their research project.

Please note: Students who apply for but do not receive the award are welcome to reapply in a subsequent year.

Application Documents:

  1. Proposal – No more than 3 pages, double-spaced, with standard fonts and margins. This summary should be explicit about your research questions, research methods, and the connections to gender and sexuality studies (including, if relevant, connections to sexual orientation and health in social context). Please provide details about the data you will be collecting or analyzing (for example, how many interviews, which databases or archives, which ethnographic sites, etc.). Please also indicate how this project fits within your broader program of research (including whether it is related to your dissertation or other required research for your program).
  2. Budget & Justification – Please list your research expenses in order of priority to you and provide a dollar amount for each research expense. Possible research expenses include travel to conduct research, necessary equipment to conduct research or analyze data (such as digital recorders and analytical software not available through the University), research supplies, and incentives paid to research participants. Funds may not be used for basic living expenses (except when traveling to conduct research) or for travel to conferences. NOTE: Though this award will be paid out as a taxable stipend, it is important to the committee that it be used to further student research.
  3. Letter of Recommendation – Please request a letter of recommendation from your advisor or dissertation chair. They will receive an automated message of the request when this form is submitted, to which they can attach their letter.

Direct any questions to Paola Zamperini (GSS Director of Graduate Studies) and/or Eliot Colin (GSS Program Assistant).


Back to top