Research Funding

Research Accounts

The Law School is committed to ensuring that faculty are able to conduct a diverse array of research and scholarship activities as well as engage in professional development opportunities at the highest level. Many expenses that directly support these efforts may be paid for or reimbursed using research account funds.

Allowable Expenses

  • Professional membership dues
  • Research and conference-related expenses
  • Research Assistant (RA) wages
  • Books and media relevant to research
  • Article printing and submission costs
  • Special or larger-scale postage and shipping
  • Software and data sets
  • Secondary equipment

Travel Expenses

Expenses related to business travel may be paid or reimbursed using research account funds. Please visit the COVID Travel page for up to date information regarding university travel policies.

In general, travel should be limited or delayed wherever possible to promote the safety of our community and to contain costs. Domestic travel is permitted for essential purposes only (e.g., research, teaching, fundraising). Domestic travel is not permitted for non-essential purposes (e.g., conference attendance, seminars, meetings and voluntary speaking experiences).

Computing Equipment

Computing equipment (e.g., laptops, tablets, monitors, etc.) may be paid for using research account funds. Equipment must be purchased through the Law IT team. Members of the Law IT team are equipped to help guide faculty and provide recommendations that will best meet research and instruction needs. The law school will not reimburse for equipment purchased outside of Law IT. Please contact lit@law.northwestern.edu for additional information.

Office-Related Furniture

Allowable items to furnish a law school office may be purchased or reimbursed using research account funds. These items should be procured via Facilities or using preferred vendors when possible. Taxes paid on items purchased independently will not be reimbursed. Please contact adservices@law.northwestern.edu for additional information.

Meals

In-person meals where social distancing and wearing a mask are not possible with colleagues and/or students are not allowable at this time and will not be reimbursed. Please visit the Return to Campus: Expectations for Meetings and Events page for up to date information regarding the university meal and event policies.

Prior approval is required for any meal reimbursement requests related to virtual meetings and activities.

Unallowable Expenses

  • Home internet or in-home installation of equipment
  • Local meals, parking, or transportation during regular working hours
  • Meals or refreshments for class
  • Taxes on retail purchases
  • Expenses identified as unallowable or not reimbursable per the Travel, Entertainment, and Courtesy guidelines, including personal, decorative, and entertainment-related items


Research account funds are allocated at the beginning of each fiscal year. Unspent research funds or research account overages may not carry between fiscal years.

Reminder: please submit receipts for reimbursement to your faculty assistant in a timely manner (i.e., within 30 days of purchase).


Grant Support

Faculty are encouraged to seek external grant funding to support their research needs.  Please contact Derek Gundersen if you are interested in pursuing grant funding.