There are many opportunities for Penn undergraduates to conduct research in any discipline—regardless of their previous experience. Research positions can be:
- 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).
Rose AwardDeadline: 03/26/2023
The Rose Foundation generously funds the Rose Undergraduate Research Award recognizing outstanding undergraduate research projects completed by graduating seniors under the supervision of a Penn faculty member. The Rose Fund 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. Ten student research projects will be recognized each year with individual awards of $1000.
Bodek Prize for Research on Interracial and Interfaith RelationsDeadline: 03/26/2023
The Urban Studies Program, through funding from “The Gordon Bodek Program in Urban Studies for Enhancing Dialogue, Inquiry, and Public Sensitivity about Interracial and Interfaith Relations” seeks to encourage outstanding undergraduate research on issues related to this topic. The Gordon Bodek Prize will be awarded annually to a student in any of the undergraduate departments and schools at Penn for the best paper addressing issues of interracial and interfaith relations.
Joseph Warner Yardley PrizeDeadline: 03/26/2023
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. 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.
The Urban Studies Program Gordon FellowshipDeadline: 03/27/2023
From the inception of the Urban Studies Program at Penn, connecting theory and practice has been one of our guiding principles. In this spirit, we offer the Gordon Fellowship, sponsored by alumnus Jacques Gordon (URBS1978) and his family. Winners of the Gordon Fellowship will receive a $5,000 stipend to explore careers that would lead to improving the quality of life in cities, whether in the public, non-profit, or private sectors and will benefit from career mentoring through alumni activities during the school year.
Millennium Oceans PrizeDeadline: 03/31/2023
The Millennium Oceans Prize supports students passionate about conserving, protecting, and sustainably using oceans, seas, and marine water and life. The winner receives a $5,000 grant.
Mongolia Field School ProgramDeadline: 03/31/2023
The field school highlights three potential concentration topics, including public archaeology, migration studies and renewable energy, and all participants will have the opportunity to learn field research techniques and conduct self-selected research projects.
José Miguel Oviedo Undergraduate Student Paper AwardDeadline: 03/31/2023
The José Miguel Oviedo Undergraduate Student Paper Award is given annually to the best paper in Latin American and Latino Studies written by an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.
South Asia Studies Holden Furber PrizeDeadline: 04/01/2023
Awarded annually for the best undergraduate essay on any topic related to South Asia.