Lillian ("Pauline") Cobb Faculty Travel Fellowships for International Teaching and Service

Academic year 2016-2017   

This program is funded through an endowment that was established from the estate of Lillian ("Pauline") Cobb, who served as the first Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures from 1930 to 1966. It is a competitive grant program designed to promote the active involvement of regular NIU faculty members in international travel that will enhance their on-campus programs.


The aim of this grant program is to support the strategic priorities of the Division of International Affairs for campus internationalization within the overall strategic plan of Northern Illinois University.  Within that plan, the mission of the Division of International Affairs is "to lead Northern Illinois University toward comprehensive internationalization by increasing the flow of faculty, students, staff, and ideas across national boundaries.”

Invitational Priorities

Each year the specific invitational priorities of the Cobb Faculty Travel Fellowship program may be adjusted to support particular aspects of the strategic plan and mission.  For the 2016 competition we have identified two invitational priorities:

International Research Collaboration

We seek to facilitate the initiation or development of international research collaborations by providing funds to faculty to engage with collaborators in foreign countries.  Within this priority, we are particularly interested in facilitating meetings that lead directly either to scholarly products or to proposals for external research funding.  We are also very interested in funding cases where face to face meetings are essential to the collaborative activity and/or where it is germane to the project that the meeting take place in the collaborator’s country or in a third country.

New Study Abroad Program Development

We seek to facilitate creation of new faculty-led study abroad programs by providing travel funds for faculty to visit potential new venues for such offerings.  We are particularly interested in proposals for programs that will serve students or academic departments that are currently underrepresented in study abroad at NIU.   Cobb Fellows will be expected to explore logistic needs and requirements and develop student learning outcomes, as well as to firm up any arrangements with local providers, colleagues and/or institutions.


All tenured or tenure-track faculty members at NIU are eligible to apply, including faculty members who have no more than a 50% administrative appointment outside their academic department. Faculty who have received a Cobb Fellowship in the past are eligible again, although preference may be given to those who have never received a Cobb Fellowship.

The International Affairs Advisory Council (IAAC) will make the final determination about which proposals for the 2016-2017 cycle of competition will receive grant support and how much.

Amount of grant support

A total of $16,000 is available to be awarded in this cycle.  We anticipate eight awards of $2,000.  A financial commitment by the faculty member's department chair and/or college dean is encouraged.  Demonstrated support for the faculty member’s project by the department chair and/or college dean is required.


Proposals for the March 1 – September 1, 2016 awards are due in the Division of International Affairs by February 1, 2016. Proposals can be turned in to Sarah Lindell, Applicants will be notified whether they have received an award by March 1, 2016.   

Proposal format

  • A description of the project (not to exceed 2 pages) including the following information:
    • A description of the nature of the research collaboration (existing, new) or the study abroad program and its purpose
    • A description of the research/study abroad partner(s) 
    • Venue of proposed project, and reasons for choosing that venue
    • Potential to result in outcomes specified in the appropriate invitational priority, including impact on NIU students
    • Proposed project time lines
    • A description of the ways in which your research or study abroad program will bring global perspectives to your classroom
  • Brief budget proposal for the research/study abroad project (not to exceed one page)
  • Brief CV with a summary of international experiences, if any, and qualifications of the applicant (not to exceed 2 pages)
  • Letter outlining the support (financial or otherwise) of the faculty member’s department chair and/or college dean

Grant recipient obligations

    • Complete the proposed project within the planned time line
    • Expend grant funds within allocated budget limits and according to agreed upon categories and purposes prior to September 1, 2016
    • Evaluate the impact of the project
    • Submit a request for reimbursement within two weeks of the end of the project
    • Submit a report on project outcomes and contacts made within two months of the end of the project.  The report should include an evaluation of the potential for greater collaboration with the cooperating institution and directions for future cooperation.  The report will be shared with the Office of the Provost, the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships, and with the NIU Foundation.