Research Grants for PhD Students


The Pozen Center supports doctoral student research that makes a significant contribution to the study and field of human rights. We grant awards of up to $5,000 to University of Chicago doctoral students in any year of their program.

The faculty selection committee looks for research projects that engage human rights concepts and discourse. Students may apply for pre-dissertation research support that will be critical when writing applications for external dissertation research fellowships, as well as for dissertation research when external or other internal funds are not sufficient. First-time applicants are given priority. 

Funds can be used to support travel or other expenses related to research projects such as books, software, copying, temporary lodging, and recording devices or cameras. Funds will be available in late June of the application year, and projects should be completed within one year. Awardees submit narrative and budget reports upon completion of the project.

Read reports from past research grant recipients. 

2021 PhD Research Grantees

Evgenia Olimpieva (Political Science)
“Putin’s Prosecutors: How Law Enforcement Helps Build Authoritarian States”

Xiaogao Zhou (Sociology)
“Mobilizing Medicine: Politics of Health on Gender Affirming Care in China”

Margaret Brower (Political Science)
“How She Reconfigures the State: Intersectional Advocacy & Movement Against Violence”

Hadeel Badarni (Anthropology)
“The Making of ‘High-Tech’ Ecologies: Environmental unfreedom in Israel/Palestine”

Nisarg Mehta (Sociology)
“‘The World’s Largest Democracy’: Hindu Nationalism, Indian Statecraft and the Indian-American Diaspora”

Erin Atwell (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations/Anthropology)
“Preaching Taqwā: Textuality, Intimacy and Humanitarian Reason in Contemporary Cairo”

Matthew Borus (Sociology and Social Work)
“Reasonable Accommodation, Rehabilitation, and Incarceration: Theorizing Disabled Citizenship”

Ashima Mittal (Anthroplogy)
“Making Air Breathable: Human Rights and Experimental Ecologies of ‘Clean’ Technoscientific Capital in India”


The 2021 application period is now closed.

Applications include a statement of purpose, budget, CV, and a letter of support from your major faculty advisor. A faculty committee of Pozen Center Faculty Board members reviews all applications. 

Letter of Support

A letter of support from your major faculty advisor must be uploaded directly by the recommender or sent via email to Deputy Director Ashley Pierce.

Direct Upload Link


Please email any questions to Faculty Director Mark Bradley.