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There are many opportunities for Penn undergraduates to conduct research in any discipline—regardless of their previous experience.  Research positions can be:

  • Volunteer
  • Arranged through work-study
  • Paid -- funded directly through a faculty member’s grant or via a program that provides a stipend
  • Conducted for academic credit, or
  • Supported via a grant for which you apply. 

Keep in mind that funding options are often specific to particular kinds of research, fields of study, grad year, etc.  In addition, most (but not all) CURF funding is reserved for research conducted under the mentorship of a Penn faculty member.

Use the list below to identify research programs, grants and opportunities at Penn, elsewhere in the US and abroad.  While CURF strives to maintain a thorough and up-to-date website, these listings are not comprehensive and students are encouraged to conduct their own funding searches.

What grants should I apply for?

The Penn Undergraduate Research Mentorship (PURM) program is ideal for first and second-year students who have little to no prior research experience.  For more advanced researchers, the College Alumni Society Research Grant, the Vagelos Undergraduate Research Grant, and the Class of 1971 Robert J. Holtz Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Research are good places to start.

Other options are often specific to particular populations or kinds of research (e.g. grants for international research, social-impact endeavors, or for juniors who have not done research before). 

Penn Undergraduate Urban Research Colloquium

Deadline: 12/31/2022 (Tentative)

Undergraduate Clinical Scholars Program (UCSP)

Deadline: 01/07/2023 (Tentative)

UROP International at RWTH Aachen University

Deadline: 01/12/2023 (Tentative)

UROP International is designed for students from North American universities who wish to gain research experience by conducting research projects at RWTH Aachen University.

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program

Deadline: 01/14/2023 (Tentative)

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program

SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience): Natural and Biomedical Sciences Program at Emory College

Deadline: 01/17/2023 (Tentative)

The SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience): Natural and Biomedical Sciences Program supports undergraduates who wish to explore, experience, and conduct full-time independent and mentored research for the summer.

Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program (PURM)

Deadline: 01/20/2023 (Tentative)

Each year Penn supports undergraduate involvement in faculty research through the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program (PURM), which provides students completing their first or second undergraduate year the opportunity to spend a summer conducting research with a standing Penn faculty member. Since its inception in 2007, PURM has funded over 800 Penn faculty members to provide more than 1000 undergraduates with cutting-edge research experiences.

Ralph Bunche Summer Institute

Deadline: 01/21/2023 (Tentative)

The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program (RBSI) is an annual, intensive five-week program held at Duke University. It is designed to introduce to the world of doctoral study in political science those undergraduate students from under-represented racial and ethnic groups or those interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting underrepresented groups or issues of tribal sovereignty and governance.