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What opportunities are open to me?

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). 

H+U+D Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellows

Deadline: 05/31/2024 (Tentative)

The Humanities + Urbanism + Design Initiative bridges the humanities and design disciplines to promote the integrated investigation of 21st century urbanism and architecture through funding research in this space.

Penn IUR Fellows in Urban Leadership

Deadline: 05/31/2024 (Tentative)

The Penn IUR Fellows in Urban Leadership Program, open to Penn undergraduates, engages a small cohort of selected students with high-level local, regional, and national leaders drawn from government, business, and civil society to discuss decision-making in urban places.

Joy of Giving Something (JGS) Fellowship

Deadline: 06/05/2024

The goals of the JGS Fellows Program are to elevate photography and digital media as pathways for undergraduate students to pursue their careers and to make a difference in their communities.

Fund for Latino Scholarship

Deadline: 06/15/2024

The Fund for Latino Scholarship through the American Political Science Association (APSA) is designed to encourage and support the recruitment, retention, and promotion of political scientists students and scholars who study and research Latina/o politics (especially students and tenure track junior faculty).

NARA Voluntary Internship Program

Deadline: 07/19/2024

The NARA Voluntary Internship Program is an unpaid occupational experience through the National Archives designed to complement formal academic training in a wide range of disciplines.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Internship

Deadline: 09/15/2024

Opportunity to conduct three months of hands-on, collaborative research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama.

Vagelos Undergraduate Research Grant

Deadline: 10/22/2024 (Tentative)

The Vagelos Undergraduate Research Grant funds an independent scholarly project conducted by an undergraduate student during the academic year.

Wilson Center Research Assistance Internship

Deadline: 11/15/2024 (Tentative)

Research Assistant interns have the unique opportunity to work directly with experts at the Wilson Center, as they examine issues of contemporary public policy or explore topics that provide the historical context behind today’s pressing policy debates.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) RISE Program

Deadline: 11/30/2024

RISE (Research Internship in Science and Engineering) Germany offers undergraduate students from North American, British, and Irish universities with the opportunity to conduct summer research at a top German university or research institution.

The Water Center at Penn Student Research Support Program

Deadline: 12/08/2024 (Tentative)

The WCP Student Research Support Program provides support for undergraduate research in water science, policy, and sustainability.