Deering Library on the NU campus.

Responding to what it calls “extraordinary challenges during the pandemic,” Northwestern University is offering grants of up to $1,500 to faculty and staff for child or dependent adult care in the current academic year.

In a statement released Friday, Manuel Cuevas-Trisan, NU’s vice-president for human resources, and Luke Figora, NU’s chief risk and compliance officer, say the COVID-19 Caregiving Grant program was created to “help alleviate the unprecedented burdens COVID-19 has imposed on caregivers.”

The taxable grants are available to qualifying full-time faculty and staff to help offset the costs of caring for dependent children, adults or senior citizens. Availability is income-tiered, “to ensure that funds go to those who need them most with few administrative hurdles.”

Northwestern is also adding more work-study positions for students, to “help faculty manage the challenge of teaching in a new modality and to enable ongoing research.” Positions include student Zoom assistants, research assistants and other instructional support options.

Most Northwestern classes are being taught remotely this quarter, although the number of in-person courses, either hybrid or total, has increased somewhat from the fall quarter.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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