Announcing Three Futures Initiative Grant Competitions for GC Students! Apply Today!

Deadline: March 15, 2023

The Futures Initiative is pleased to offer three separate grant competitions. Please see the details below for the 6th Annual Dr. Louise Lennihan Arts and Sciences Grant Competition (for projects at the intersections of the humanities, arts, science, and technology) and the 2nd Annual Paul C. Notari Research Grants in Environmental Studies. This year, the Futures Initiative is also offering the Equity and Social Justice Grant, a new competition that is open to MA or MS students. 

Projects will be evaluated on the quality and significance of their research, creativity, public value, potential usefulness, relevance, and contribution to equity and social justice. For the Notari and Lennihan grants, preference will be given to late-stage candidates of their PhD programs who are making satisfactory and timely progress towards completing their degrees, and who have not received an award in years past. Students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the academy are warmly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility: Applicants for the Notari and Lennihan grants must be PhD students in good standing, at any stage of their career, and in any field. The Equity & Social Justice Grant is open to MA and MS students. All applicants must be enrolled for the Fall 2024 and Fall 2023 semesters. Award recipients will be asked to participate in a presentation in Fall 2023. Please contact Adashima Oyo at with questions. 


6th Annual Dr. Louise Lennihan Arts & Sciences Grant 

Grants in the amount of $500 will be awarded to doctoral students at the Graduate Center to support interdisciplinary research related to the intersections of the humanities, arts, science, and technology.   The competition honors Dr. Lennihan for her extraordinary service on behalf of students and faculty at the Graduate Center. Louise Lennihan served as Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Graduate Center from 2013 to 2016. In this role, Dr. Lennihan served as the principal academic officer of the Graduate Center, ensuring the quality and performance of all the degree-granting programs. Prior to becoming Interim Provost, she served as Associate Provost and Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Lennihan joined the department of Anthropology at Hunter College in 1982 and has been a member of the Graduate Center doctoral faculty since 1987, serving as the Executive Officer of the Ph.D. Program in Anthropology from 1997-2008. Trained as a cultural anthropologist at Columbia University with a focus on West Africa, Dr. Lennihan has published widely on topics related to her archival and field research in northern Nigeria.

These awards are made possible by a generous gift from Curtis Wong as well as several anonymous donations. Curtis Wong (Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, Graduate Center, CUNY, awarded 2016), former principal researcher at Microsoft Research, is an inventor and creator devoted to the future of digital media and interactive media for learning. He hopes that the Louise Lennihan Arts & Sciences Grants can help students to further their interdisciplinary research. In 2022, Dr. Curtis Wong has generously supported additional microgrants in honor of his father, Wayne Wong. To learn more about Wayne Wong, click here.

2nd Annual Paul C. Notari Environmental Studies Grant

Grants in the amount of $500 will be awarded to doctoral students at the Graduate Center who are working in any area relevant to scientific, social, cultural, legal, or policy issues in relation to environmental studies, climate change, renewable energy, pollution control, and allied areas. This Paul C. Notari Environmental Studies Grant, established by Mr. Notari’s family and other anonymous donors on the occasion of his 95th birthday, honors his lifelong advocacy of access to higher education, sustainable science for the benefit of humankind, and the protection of nature and natural resources. Paul C. Notari was born in Chicago on September 8, 1926 to immigrant parents. A veteran of World War II, he was educated on the GI Bill and earned a B.S. in Physics from DePaul University, and later, a Master’s degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He began his career in the microwave division of Motorola and went on to work for the Business Equipment Manufacturer’s Association as well as the American Water Works Association. He then became the Director of the Technical Information Branch at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (formerly, Solar Energy Research Institute), established under President Carter. He lives in Denver, Colorado. To learn more about Paul C. Notari, click here

1st Annual Equity & Social Justice Grant

Grants in the amount of $500 will be awarded to master’s students at the Graduate Center to support interdisciplinary research related to equity, health, and learning for CUNY students. In particular, we are looking for research projects that explore the challenges and opportunities that students face outside of the classroom that impact their success inside of the classroom, including but not limited to access to transportation, health care (including mental health), housing, food, and internet/digital devices.



The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
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New York, NY 10016-4309