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.

Eligibility: These grants are only awarded to UChicago PhD students.

Read reports from past research grant recipients (look for "Graduate Student Reflection" on the News page.) 


The application deadline is April, 2, 2023 at 11:59pm CT.

Apply here

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 Assistant Director of Programs and Events Cliff Chan (

Direct Upload Link

2023 PhD Research Grantees

Sabena Allen (Anthropology)
“The Importance of Haa Kuusteeyí – “Our Way of Life”: Tlingit Survivance Through Ongoing Apocalypse”

Nahomi Linda Esquivel (History)
“Administrating Legality: Non-Resident Immigrants and the Making of Agriculture’s Labor and Legal Regimes”

Emma Gilheany (Anthropology)
“Project to Repatriate Images to Hopedale, Nunatsiavut”

Zachary Klamann (Political Science)
“Power Crisis: The Roots of South Africa's Crises of Electricity and Democracy”

Emily Mulford (Anthropology)
“'Truth’ and Reconciliation? Enforced Disappearance, Material Evidence, and Conspiracy Theorists in Argentina”

Sebastian Ortega (Sociology)
“The Settler Colonial Policing of Chicano/Indigenous Street and Prison Gangs”

Hera Shakil (Comparative Human Development)
“The Politics of “Providing” Rights:  How Democratic Rights are Being Curbed for Welfare Provision in India”

Sheila Shankar (The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice )
“Surviving Supervised Visitation, Seeking Safety: Court-mandated Mothers Navigating Domestic Violence and Post-separation Parenting”


2022 PhD Research Grantees

Andrew Atwell (Anthropology)     “Settling the Good: Ethical Imagination, Temporal Paradox, and the Settlement of Israel's Urban Interior”

Celina Doria (Crown Family School of Social Work)     “Cartographies of Reproduction: Mapping the Dynamics of Cross-border Abortion Care Between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez”

Anna Fox (Sociology)    

Myungji Lee (Anthropology)     “Between Authority and Authoritarianism: How Majoritarian Sensibilities Inform the Bureaucratic Governance of Religion in Turkey”

Sinja Leonelli (Booth School of Business)     “Heterogeneity in Whistleblowing Concerns: Evidence from the Queer Community ”

Reed McConnell (Anthropology).    “Imperial Abandonment: Contamination, the State, and Environmental Rights in Late Industrial California”

Helena Ratte (Anthropology)     “Securing Women in War and Peace: Technocracy and the Politics of Gender after the Cold War”

Ellen Richmond (Anthropology)     “Ecologies of Care: Landscape, Poetry, and Health in a Somali Border Town”

Madeleine Stevens (Political Science)     “Habeas (Non) Corpus: Enforced Disappearance and Repertoires of Repression”

Matthew Zipf (Committee on Social Thought)     “Photographing Civil Rights: A Legal Eye”     



Please email any questions to Adam Avrushin