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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). 

Summer Humanities Internship Program (SHIP)

Deadline: 02/25/2024

Ten-week summer program for students in the College to have an opportunity to work in a cultural, historical, or archival setting. Students receive $5,000 award.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Native American Scholars Initiative Undergraduate Internship

Deadline: 02/28/2024

The Native American Scholars Initiative Undergraduate Summer Internship provides students interested in Native American and Indigenous Studies with hands-on opportunities to conduct research and explore career possibilities in archives and special collections.

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Summer Scholars Program

Deadline: 02/28/2024

The Summer Scholars Program is aimed at providing research opportunities in all aspects of Biological, Biomedical, and Health Research to undergraduates who may be considering applying to graduate (PhD) programs.

The Melvin M. Goldberg Undergraduate Fellowship of $5000 for Research in Israel

Deadline: 03/01/2024

The Goldberg Fellowship supports summer travel to perform supervised technical research at one of Israel's universities or research centers.

Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law Summer Internship Program

Deadline: 03/01/2024

Summer internship opportunity for law, graduate, and undergraduate students interested in national security, ethics, and rule of law to participate in research, writing, and conference planning at the Center for Ethics and Rule of Law at Penn.

South Asia Center Research Internships

Deadline: 03/01/2024

The South Asia Center (SAC) at Penn offers summer research internship placements in South Asia for a variety of different projects.

Sigma Xi Grant

Deadline: 03/01/2024

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.

Wharton Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)

Deadline: 03/14/2024

SPUR provides Wharton undergraduates with a funded opportunity to develop, design, and complete an independent research project with a faculty advisor.

Gelfman International Summer Fund

Deadline: 03/15/2024

The Gelfman International Summer Fund has been established by Robert W. Gelfman (Wharton ’53) to create opportunities for personally enriching international research and/or service for students in the summer between their junior and senior year. The Fund is expected to cover two or three students each summer. Penn juniors from any of Penn’s undergraduate schools and in any discipline are eligible.

College Alumni Society Undergraduate Research Grant

Deadline: 03/15/2024

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.