GfK Awards for Innovative Research in the Social Sciences

A small number of MAPSS students receive additional grants through the MAPSS Fund for Applied Research and a generous donation from GfK consulting. These grants are made for MA theses that demonstrate innovative approaches to social scientific problems.

Timeline for Application

Applications will open in the fall quarter.

  • GfK Site Visit and Information Session | Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 | GfK's downtown location (1 E. Wacker)
  • On-campus Presentation | Thursday, January 4th, 2018 | Location TBD
  • Applications Due | Friday, January 12th, 2018
  • Awards Made & Mentor Assigned | Monday, January 26th, 2018
  • Graduation Celebration / Presentations | August 2018


All applicants must submit a budget that accounts for the time and material costs of their proposed research project. A suite of resources and services are available with the award for projects where they are useful. These include use of GfK mentor time, facilities, and technical equipment and support. Applicants should include the monetary value of any services they expect to use in their complete budget. The services will be considered in-kind contributions to award recipients.  Applicants who seek additional funding for other project-related expenses are required to detail these expenses in their project budget, which, if awarded, will be met up to a maximum amount of $500.

It is important to remind all applicants that their thesis project is entirely theirs. It should be developed and managed in conjunction with the applicant’s faculty member and should meet their expectations. Any advice and support provided by the award or by Gfk mentors will strictly support the faculty-directed project. It is important for students to keep this in mind and to have the grant fit into their project rather than the other way around.

The grant guidelines describe the suite of services included in the awards, and provide examples and rough estimates of typical project expenses to assist applicants with additional budgeting.