Murphy Society Awards

The Murphy Society Awards provide funding for special faculty and student-initiated projects that benefit undergraduate engineering at McCormick.

Submissions are not currently being accepted and will reopen for the 2024-25 cycle in April of 2024.

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The Valuable Role of Murphy Society Members

As a Murphy Society member, you have a unique opportunity to assist the dean in making decisions about funding for special projects that help shape the future of engineering education and research at Northwestern.

The Murphy Society Selection Process emphasizes the idea that innovation occurs through the shared ideas of many individuals, which can lead to additional findings and successes in the different engineering fields.

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How the Award Selection Process Works

In the fall each year, Murphy Society members and the Dean of the McCormick School, Christopher Schuh, consider projects submitted for funding that will be initiated in the upcoming academic year and implemented over the next one to three years. To be supported by the Murphy Society, a new project must:

  • be innovative
  • bring a benefit to a significant number of McCormick undergraduate students
  • support McCormick’s strategic plan
  • be self-sustaining

Multi-year Murphy projects for faculty are also reviewed for renewal at this time.

Murphy Society funds are not used for ongoing program support.

Evaluation Process

  1. Murphy Society members review project proposals online or in person and recommend projects to the dean of the McCormick School.
  2. The dean makes the funding decision and announces grant awards to McCormick faculty and student organizations during the fall quarter.

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Become a Murphy Society Member

As an alumn or friend of Northwestern engineering, you have the opportunity to give back to McCormick by providing an unrestricted gift to the McCormick Annual Fund. Donors who give $1,000 or more to McCormick are recognized as members of the Walter P. Murphy Society, which provides evaluation and funding for Murphy Society Award projects.

The society also extends membership to more recent alumni who contribute at lower gift levels. Undergraduate McCormick School of Engineering alumni who graduated within the last nine years can take advantage of special giving rates to join the Walter P. Murphy Society. Recent alumni receive benefits at the Member level.

  • One year since graduation — $120/year
  • Two to four years since graduation — $240/year
  • Five to nine years since graduation — $600/year