From The College:
Undergraduate Research Grants

One of the great strengths of the University of Pennsylvania is its capacity to offer significant research experiences to its undergraduates. The College of Arts and Sciences each year makes available a number of Undergraduate Research Grants to support original research and scholarship by students in the College. With eight grants developed and funded in perpetuity by alumni and the College Alumni Society, this program has grown with the subsequent establishment of the Dean's Research Award by alumnus Dr. Harry E. Gruber.

These grants are intended to help pay the costs of research projects proposed by students and approved by a faculty panel.

The grants will be administered according to the following guidelines:

  1. The project shall represent original research or scholarship allowing the student to make a significant contribution to knowledge.

  2. The project shall be largely conceived and executed by the student and not simply represent faculty research in which the student assists.

  3. Grants will be made only for research that is conducted after the proposal has been approved. Decisions will be made by April of each academic year for projects that are to be carried out during the summer or the following academic year. In no case will projects already completed be funded.

  4. Each approved project shall have a faculty advisor who will normally be a member of the SAS standing faculty. In some cases, a qualified advisor from outside the SAS faculty may be assigned, subject to the approval of the student's undergraduate chair or program director.

  5. Students awarded these grants are expected to document their research in the form of a formal research paper and to present their papers orally at a meeting of faculty and peers in their fields. The meetings will be held prior to or during the subsequent Alumni Weekend. Copies of the papers shall be submitted to the alumni donors as well as the College Alumni Society or other funding organization as appropriate. Recipients are expected to complete their projects before graduation, and therefore students in their final semester are ineligible to apply.

  6. Funding provided should be used to help defray the student's research costs and should not be a substitute for financial aid for which he or she is otherwise eligible nor for the advisor's research funding.

Types of expense to which the funds may be applied include travel to libraries, museums, archives, and research sites; living expenses that would enable the student to remain at the University during the summer; research equipment and supplies, including books, films, and photocopying; computer or laboratory fees; and, specialized computer peripherals and software. Items costing $500 or more with a useful life of one year or more must be purchased with a University purchase requisition and will remain the property of the University.

Last year's awards ranged from $750 to $1,000; the maximum for each award this year is expected to be about $1,000.

Students will be expected to submit a final report of expenditures to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.

Application Procedures: Proposals Due by March 1

  1. Obtain an application form from:

    Dr. Robert A. Rescorla
    Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
    College of Arts and Sciences
    133 South 36th Street, Mezzanine/3246

  2. In consultation with a prospective faculty advisor and with the undergraduate chair in your major department or your major program director, prepare a prospectus describing the background to the proposed topic, the main thesis or hypothesis to be investigated, the method or methods to be used, and a budget.

  3. Request a letter of recommendation from your advisor in support of your project.

  4. Obtain signature of your project advisor and your undergraduate chair on the application form.

  5. Make 7 copies of the entire proposal (application form, prospectus, and budget). Give one copy to your undergraduate chair, one copy to your advisor, and the other 5 copies, plus the signed original, to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.

  6. Research involving animal or human subjects or hazardous materials must also be submitted at the same time for approval by the relevant University oversight committees. Students should consult with their advisors.

  7. Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee designated by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.

  8. Students whose projects are approved may want to register for Independent Study in their departments or programs. Credit may be given for one or two semesters, at the discretion of the undergraduate chair or program director.


February 20, 1996
Volume 42 Number 21

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