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Open to US citizens and non US citizens
Deadline: 03/15/2025 (Tentative)

General Information

The Paul and Kathleen Barthmaier Award has been established by Kathleen M. Barthmaier (Wharton ’03) to provide financial support to assist with travel expenses related to intellectually enriching undergraduate research or fellowship experiences. "Travel expenses" include both transportation and research-related activities in the off-site location. While priority will be given to internationally focused projects, proposals focused on domestic (based in the United States) issues will also be considered. Grants will be awarded up to $2,000 depending on the needs of the project.


Applications and all supporting materials, including a Faculty recommendation and a Statement of Willingness from a local affiliate, are due electronically to CURF March 15, 2024 (applicants notified by April 30). Applications will be evaluated by a committee designated by CURF.  Applications with late material risk not being considered.

Eligibility and Guidelines

Full-time, regularly enrolled 1st year, 2nd year, and 3rd year undergraduates in good standing at the University of Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. International students are welcome to apply but are strongly encouraged to consult with Penn’s ISSS to determine whether they are eligible to receive funding. Recipients are expected to share their experiences with the funder and the broader Penn community by (1) presenting a poster at a designated CURF event and (2) submitting a written summary and photograph(s).

Guidelines for the Paul and Kathleen Barthmaier Award are intentionally open-ended to permit students to dream and define their own projects. Prospective applicants are encouraged to seek out and develop mentor relationships with appropriate Penn faculty members in designing their projects and can schedule an appointment with members of CURF staff to discuss their ideas.

Each application must have a local project affiliate where the student will work and include a letter of willingness from that person/organization. Applicants, in defining their projects, will identify and seek out appropriate affiliations for themselves.

Each application must also have a letter of support from a member of Penn’s faculty. This letter should come from someone with experience conducting similar or related work in the same geographic area in order to speak to the general feasibility of the project.

Procedure for Application

In consultation with your advisor(s), prepare the following six components before proceeding to the Application Form. You must request a Letter of Recommendation through the application process. Your Statement of Willingness from a local affiliate must be sourced by you and uploaded by you during the application process.

  1. Short abstract (~100 words): Explain the overall goals of the project
  2. Statement of Grant Purpose (~500 words): Provide a brief description of research (highlighting any international focus, if appropriate) along with a rationale for related travel expenses.
  3. Personal Statement (~250 words): Describe how this project fits with your academic, personal, or career plans for the future, and with your current academic, personal, and career interests and activities
  4. Budget (Itemized and Total Overall): In one PDF, list and justify each budget item in order of priority, including the total amount needed to complete the project.
    1. Conference travel is NOT an acceptable expense.
    2. Types of expenses to which the funds may be applied include travel to libraries, museums, archives, and research sites; and room and board.
    3. Funds may NOT be used for programmatic fees or to enroll in courses.
    4. If funds are being sought from other sources, state the source and potential amount of such funding.
  5. Transcript: Create an electronic "unofficial" version of your transcript by going to Path@Penn —> Academic Records —> Transcript & GPA, and "print" your transcript as a .pdf.  If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer, download the free installer or use a Penn computer that has Adobe Acrobat installed. Do not request an official transcript from the registrar's office.  Do not upload a "locked" or official transcript.
  6. Letter of Recommendation and Statement of Willingness: Please follow all instructions for requesting letters from both (1) your faculty advisor and (2) your local project affiliate.
    1. As early as possible, request a letter from your faculty research advisor via the application form. Completing this form automatically generates an email to your recommender with instructions on how to upload their letter to the CURF site.  Please ask your advisor to anticipate the arrival of this email (which is sometimes sorted to junk or spam folders) and inform them whether you have chosen to keep their letter confidential and waive your right of access to it. It is your responsibility that this letter be submitted to CURF no later than midnight on the grant application deadline. The letter should:
      1. Discuss the project’s feasibility and the adequacy of the applicant’s preparation to complete it
      2. Review and comment on the student’s projected budget and justification for related travel.
      3. Advise the student on any applicable Institutional Review Board or related issues
      4. Outline the active ways in which the student will be mentored during the research process (both in summer and beyond)
    2. You must also request and upload a Statement of Willingness from an individual with whom you will be working on location. For example, this can be obtained from your supervisor at an external organization, a local affiliate contact, a staff member at an archive, a faculty member at a foreign institution, a governmental representative, etc. The statement of willingness is written acknowledgement that the student will have access to necessary materials and support while on location.

Fill out the Application Form. Uploaded materials must be submitted as .pdf files. No other format will be accepted.

Start Application

Procedures for Receiving Funding and Expectations for Grant Recipients

Funds will not be disbursed until students review CURF’s information on Ethics and Compliance and complete and submit all necessary forms. All CURF-funded student researchers must complete CURF’s Research Experience Checklist and Waiver of Liability, which will be displayed to recipients upon confirmation of their award status. Students conducting research outside the US are required to provide International Travel and Emergency Contact information on the Checklist and register their trip with Penn’s Global Activities Registry.

Once the award has been made and the Research Experience Checklist and Waiver of Liability has been submitted to CURF and approved, recipients will be given instructions on how to access these funds.

Appropriate Environmental Health & Radiation Safety training modules must be completed, and research involving animals must be approved by the relevant University oversight committees. Students should consult with their faculty research advisors to correctly submit any necessary forms.

Undergraduates receiving this funding are expected to (1) present a poster at a designated CURF event and (2) submit a research summary and photograph suitable for posting on CURF’s website. The summary should describe the project’s goals and content, what the student learned through the research experience and how participating in this research project contributed to their educational experience.

Funding Type


Research Offering Type



USA, United Kingdom, International (Not UK), Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East

Undergraduate School

College, Engineering, Nursing, Wharton



Contact Information

Dr. Kerry Milch, Associate Director for Undergraduate Research
Email Dr. Milch
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Milch

Dr. Ann Vernon-Grey, Senior Associate Director for Undergraduate Research
Email Dr. Vernon-Grey
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Vernon-Grey