Current Students

Norman Design Fund

The Norman Design Fund provides small, rapid allocations of funds to support student activities in human-centered design (HCD). The goal of the fund is to enhance and encourage human-centered design work by Northwestern students.

Applications are open to ALL students at Northwestern, with priority given to students as follows:

  1. Undergraduates taking Segal design classes or certificate programs
  2. Graduate students without access to any funded project support
  3. All others

The funds may be used for human-centered design projects or for attendance at relevant design conferences. Conferences must have a reasonable focus on human-centered design to be considered. Funds may be used for travel, conference registration fees, and project costs.

Most grants are relatively small ($100 to $1,000).

How to Apply

Download the Norman Design Fund Application Form.

E-mail a completed copy of the application to

Requests must be submitted at least one week prior to any expected expenditure. The Design Fund Committee typically responds within 1-2 weeks of submission.

All proposals must contain a brief description of the procedures used for human-centered design, including observational studies and iterative prototype-test methods. Straight engineering or art-based (styling) design projects will not be funded.

Fund recipients must:

  1. Submit an expense report within 30 days of making the purchase, along with original receipts. Learn about the University’s travel expense policies and tax exemption information.
    Please note: Each individual who makes purchases must submit a separate expense report. The University will not reimburse one person for expenses incurred by several different team members or classmates.
  2. Submit a short report (less than one page) about the project and the value received before reimbursement will be given.
  3. Attribute a credit to the Norman Design Fund and the Segal Design Institute on any project presentations or reports created.
  4. Spend the funds and submit an expense report by the end of the Northwestern fiscal year (August 31). Any funds not spent by August 31 will be forfeited. The recipient may re-apply for funds during the following fiscal year.