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As an institution dedicated to addressing the world's most intractable problems, Penn has established a fund intended to encourage students, staff, and faculty to design and implement pilot projects based on innovative research that will advance our aim of a more inclusive society.  We seek to seed impactful projects, grounded in outstanding Penn research, that will offer new ideas to enhance the quality of life for members of our Philadelphia community now and in the future. Project proposals from diverse teams—broadly conceived—will receive priority consideration.

Each winning team will receive up to $100,000 to implement their proposed initiative. Project proposals should be focused on making progress towards one or more of the following goals:  

  •  Eradicating systemic racism
  •  Achieving educational equity
  •  Advancing environmental justice & sustainability
  •  Eliminating health disparities based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and/or social determinants of health

The Office of Social Equity & Community will present Selection Committee recommendations to the President based on their judgment of a project’s potential to make an immediate and sustainable impact.

Refer to our FAQ at for details on eligibility and the application process.

Deadline: January 28, 2024. (Application goes live on January 19, 2024.)