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Transportation Library Research Grant

The Northwestern University Transportation Library holds one of the largest transportation research collections in the world, covering all modes of transportation including aviation, rail, highway, water, and transit. In addition to our technical collections which support research in current transportation issues, the library maintains special and archival collections such as timetables, passenger ephemera, and rare books and journals. It also maintains a substantial collection of mid-19th to early 21st century U.S. and international transportation annual reports, and one of the most complete U.S. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) collections in the United States.

The Transportation Library research grant was established in 2021 to facilitate and support research projects that significantly benefit from substantial onsite use of the Transportation Library’s unique technical, special, and archival collections. The grant is available to researchers whose projects advance scholarship in fields of study that will contribute to the deeper understanding of any transportation related field. Proposals must emphasize the need for extensive onsite use of the library’s collections.



How to apply

To apply, please submit the following:

  1. A brief description of the research project (3-5 pages) that:
    • Presents the topic being researched
    • Outlines scope and specific research questions being explored
    • Explains how the Transportation Library collections would be used
    • Proposes specific outcomes (e.g., dissertations, article, book) that could result from this research
  2. A curriculum vitae
  3. A detailed budget indicating total amount requested with itemized list of projected expenses for transportation, accommodations, meals, and other related/qualified expenses. Applicants should indicate any other sources of funding that will be applied to the project, if applicable. For additional information on planning a budget, see allowable expenses and Out-of-Town Visitor Resources.
  4. Applicants should arrange for one (1) letter of recommendation from someone qualified to judge the quality, feasibility, and significance of the proposal and the qualifications of the applicant to successfully complete the project to be sent in support of their proposed project. Those writing recommendations should submit their letters directly to

Applicants should submit the research description, curriculum vitae, and budget by e-mail attachment (PDF format) to

Please note: The selection committee is unable to provide feedback with regard to unsuccessful applications.