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Open to US citizens and non US citizens
Deadline: 02/08/2025 (Tentative)

General Information

The Wharton Undergraduate Division provides holistic support and programming for Wharton undergraduates, including academic advising, cocurricular events and programs, research and scholars programs, global opportunities, and more. 

The Wharton Undergraduate Division will offer up to ten awards to support undergraduate research that promotes both economic and social value either domestically or abroad through the Wharton Social Impact Research Experience (SIRE). Projects will be designed and carried out by the students under the guidance of some of Wharton’s preeminent faculty members. Students’ projects will culminate in oral presentations and written research papers that will be posted on ScholarlyCommons@Penn.

Participants will receive a taxable award of up to $6,000 for approved travel and lodging expenses—to be paid in two installments, with the second installment to be disbursed in the fall after the final research paper is approved by the faculty advisor and properly submitted along with the blog, and other requirements to the Wharton Undergraduate Division.

Program Requirements

SIRE participants are expected to perform a research project during the summer under the guidance of a faculty advisor, remaining in frequent contact with the advisor as is consistent with making appropriate progress on the project. Participants are also expected to do the following:

  • Spend the equivalent of at least 20 hours per week over a two-month period engaged in research on the approved project and not accept alternative employment exceeding 20 hours per week or take more than one concurrent summer course.
  • Submit a rough draft of the research paper by mid-August and a final paper (approved by the faculty advisor) at the end of the research project.
  • Upload the final, approved paper to ScholarlyCommons.
  • Submit a blog post to communicate your research experience and/or findings to a broader audience (e.g., on this or other Wharton websites).
  • Present your research at a symposium in the fall or spring semester after your research summer.

In order to receive the second award installment, the final paper, blog, and other requirements must be submitted and the final paper must be uploaded to ScholarlyCommons. Non-compliance with program deadlines and expectations above could result in forfeiture of the award.

Eligibility Guidelines

All Wharton undergraduates in good standing are eligible. SIRE is only open to Wharton students. 

As long as the proposed project promotes economic and social value, there is considerable latitude regarding the specific focus of and methods for the research project. It may be a theoretical or applied project and may utilize quantitative or qualitative research methods. Applicants must have a faculty advisor signed on to provide advice on their project. Priority will be given to those working with a Wharton faculty member.  For information to assist in identifying a faculty advisor with expertise in your area of interest, please visit the Wharton faculty directory.

Application Details

Interested students can apply on the application portal. More details about application components can be found on the portal.

A successful proposal should generally include a compelling, well-designed research project including methodology, strong academic achievement by the applicant, and an outstanding essay regarding program participation.

Funding Type


Research Offering Type

Independent Research



Undergraduate School




Contact Information

For more information about the program, first review the SIRE FAQ. If you have additional questions, you may contact Dr. Utsav Schurmans, Director of Research and Scholars Programs (