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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). 

Sigma Xi Grant

Deadline: 10/01/2023

The Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR) program provides undergraduate and graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines with financial support for scientific research.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) RISE Program

Deadline: 10/15/2023

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.

Vagelos Undergraduate Research Grant

Deadline: 10/22/2023

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

College Alumni Society Undergraduate Research Grant

Deadline: 10/22/2023

Undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences can apply for a number of grants supported by Penn’s College Alumni Society to fund a research or scholarly project.

Pincus-Magaziner Family Undergraduate Research Fund

Deadline: 10/22/2023

2nd or 3rd year students majoring in Art History, English, Literature, Biology, Mathematics, or Neuroscience are eligible to apply for research and travel support from Pincus-Magaziner funding each Fall and Spring semester through the College Alumni Society Research Grant program.

The Water Center at Penn Student Research Support Program

Deadline: 11/18/2023 (Tentative)

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

Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies Student Research Fellowship

Deadline: 11/21/2023 (Tentative)

The Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies (PORES) is an undergraduate research program committed to conducting high-quality social research in the public interest on issues of national and international importance.

Sachs Program for Arts Innovation

Deadline: 12/01/2023 (Tentative)

The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation provides numerous grants for Penn students and faculty in support of support teaching art, making art, and presenting art, as well as to provide Penn students with increased access to the arts and humanities.

Penn Undergraduate Urban Research Colloquium

Deadline: 01/05/2024 (Tentative)

The Undergraduate Urban Research Colloquium facilitates faculty- and doctoral student-mentored, urban-focused research through funding support and a semester-long, credit-bearing seminar (CPLN 528/URBS 428).

Undergraduate Clinical Scholars Program (UCSP)

Deadline: 01/07/2024 (Tentative)