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Deadline: 03/26/2024 (Tentative)

General Information

In June of 1877, Joseph Warner Yardley graduated as Valedictorian and Spoon Man. He died in August 1877. In 1878, the members of the Class of 1877 established the Joseph Warner Yardley Prize in his memory. The Yardley Prize is awarded to the best thesis on political economy written by a member of the senior class in any undergraduate school at Penn.


Completed applications and letters from advisors must be submitted by the grant deadline. Late applications will not be considered. Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee designated by CURF. All applicants will be notified of selection results by early May. Awards will be announced before Commencement and publicized in the appropriate campus media.

Eligibility Guidelines

The Yardley Award is administered by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and awards are determined each April on a competitive basis. Seniors graduating in the Spring semester from any undergraduate school are eligible. Applicants must be in good standing in the University of Pennsylvania community. There will be one awardee annually.

Student projects will evaluated by a faculty committee designated by CURF on the basis of the project’s quality, originality, independence, and contribution to the field. Projects need not have been funded by undergraduate research grants in order to qualify for the Yardley Award.

Application Details

To be considered for the Yardley Award, students should follow this application procedure:

Prepare an abstract in a word processing program, without any formatting. The Project Abstract should not exceed 500 words and should contain the following information:

  • Project Description intelligible to an educated non-specialist
  • Description of Methodology
  • Key Findings
  • Conclusions and Implications
  • List any grants received to support this project

Create a single .pdf containing:

  1. The completed project (ie your entire written thesis)
  2. Electronic copy of your Penn transcript. You must submit the project and your transcript together as a single file in .pdf format. No other format will be accepted.To create a copy of your Penn transcript, go to Penn InTouch and print your transcript to pdf. (If you don’t have Adobe installed on your computer, download the free installer or use a Penn computer that has Adobe installed.) Print and save each document as a pdf, then use Adobe to create a single pdf file as indicated above by navigating to Adobe’s “File -> Create -> Combine Files into a Single PDF” feature.

Go to the Common Research Award form with your document prepared, fill out all appropriate fields, and upload your document using the document upload task.

Faculty Nomination Letter

Research projects submitted for recognition must be supported by a letter from the Penn faculty member who supervised the research project. Projects may be in any discipline or may have an interdisciplinary scope. Applications from academic departments and individual faculty members are encouraged. Students may self-nominate, but applications will not be considered complete until all materials (including the Faculty Nomination Letter) are received. Students should submit the Project Abstract, the completed Project, and a digital copy of their Penn transcript through CURF’s Common Research Award form. The Faculty Nomination Letter from the faculty member who supervised the project should be requested through the same process.

In the letter, the faculty advisor should address four criteria:

  • the significance of the project within the discipline(s)
  • the project’s originality or creativity
  • the independence of the research project (particularly if the student’s project is part of a larger faculty research effort)
  • Please make clear the nature and extent of the student’s contribution in formulating and carrying out the project

This letter should be sent via the recommendation form interface no later than midnight on the application deadline.


Research Offering Type

Senior Thesis Award

Undergraduate School

College, Engineering, Wharton, Nursing



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