URF supports research in all disciplines, including international
research. For purposes of review, applications are
assigned to four broad disciplinary areas: humanities,
social and behavioral sciences, natural and engineering
sciences, and biomedical sciences.
are given for a single year only. Applications for a second
year of funding may be submitted but usually receive low
priority. Funds must be spent within 12 months of the beginning
of the grant, and may not be "banked" for future use. Unexpended
funds must be returned to the Foundation.
up to $50,000 will be entertained, but most grants are
for no more than $25,000. Because the total cost of meritorious
requests exceed available funds by several fold, applicants
are encouraged to request only absolutely essential resources.
is limited to University faculty, in any track, at any
professorial level. Instructors and Research Associates
may apply but need to establish (by letter from the Department
chair) that they will receive appointment as assistant
professors by the following July 1st.
Process: Deadline March 15
are accepted twice each year, for November 1 and March
15 deadlines. If the date falls on a weekend or holiday,
the deadline is the next working day. Every effort will
be made to process applications and notify applicants of
the outcome within 10 weeks after the deadlines.
Application--Brevity and clarity will enhance the
likelihood of success. All applications should be limited
to 10 pages (applications for >$25,000 can be up to
15 pages) and should include:
Research Foundation Proposal Cover Sheet, which can be
downloaded from the Website for the URF.
abstract, no more than 200 words, written for the educated
non-specialist. The application should also be classified under
one of the five priorities listed above.
description of the research proposal, which should be no
more than 5 single spaced pages for grants up to $25,000
and no more than 10 pages for grants >$25,000. Proposals
should provide background, hypothesis or purpose of the
research, significance of the research, methods used, work
to be undertaken, and outlook for future extension of the
research and its potential for external funding (see also
criteria for evaluating proposals, below).
application formatted for another sponsoring agency or
failing to conform to the guidelines will not be reviewed.
single page biographical sketch.
budget, with justification for each item requested. Items
that can be requested include research travel expenses,
supplies, minor equipment specifically designed for the
proposed research. Items that are usually excluded include
renovations of the physical facilities, major equipment,
and extension of projects that are already well funded.
Faculty summer salaries or release time are usually not
funded, since priority is given to the actual costs of
the research project itself. Because it may not be possible
to fully fund meritorious proposals, the budget should prioritize
items in order of their importance to the project.
research support, including current funding with
a list of titles, amounts, sources, and grant periods,
expired funding for the prior three years, plus pending
applications. Applicants with "start up packages" should
provide detailed dated budgets. If applicable, prior grants
from the University Research Foundation should be itemized,
with dates, title, and amount of funding, plus a statement
whether external funding was received as a result of the
Professors in all tracks (including tenure track,
CE track, and research track) are required to include
a letter from their department chair indicating
their career plans within the department, and listing
all department funding, including startup packages and
the like. In addition, the letter should establish that
the applicant will be working as an independent investigator
or scholar. Instructors and Research Associates are
eligible only if it is planned to appoint them as assistant
professors by the following July 1st, as certified in a
letter from their department chair. This letter should
also document the department plans for their career,
future commitments of independent space and of department
or school resources, and convincing evidence of their
independent status as investigators or scholars. Additional
documentation can be provided as an appendix and
will not be included within the page count.
issues. If research involves human subjects, animals,
biohazards, or other regulatory issues, the application
should identify those concerns and provide documentation
that they will be addressed. Please note that IRB
approval may be required for human subject research in
all disciplines, including the sociobehavioral sciences
and humanities as well as in the biomedical disciplines. If
IRB or IACUC or Environmental Safety review and approval
is required, it may be obtained after the application
has been approved, but before funds are expended or research
has been initiated. It should be emphasized that Research
Foundation grants must meet the same standards applied
to larger extramural applications. Regulatory documentation
can be provided as an appendix to the body of the application
and will not be included in the page count. For advice
please consult the Office of Regulatory Affairs.
of interest. The applicant should explicitly make
a statement whether or not the application involves
any potential conflict of interest, and any such conflicts
should be described. For instance, if the research
forward the interests of a company in which the applicant
has a pecuniary interest, this should be disclosed.
Conflict of interest documentation (if required) can
as an appendix to the body of the application and will
not be included in the page count.
original and ten copies of the complete proposal
with the cover sheet should be submitted to the Office
of the Vice Provost for Research, 118 College Hall/6303.
are reviewed by one of four faculty committees, in the
four disciplinary areas mentioned above. Every attempt
is made to spread funding equitably across the major disciplines.
Each application is reviewed for a variety of attributes,
frequently found weaknesses should be avoided, such as
meritorious requests exceed available funds, reviewers
often reduce budgets to extend the number of applications
that can be supported. The review committees make their
recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research, who makes
the final decisions about funding, based on year-to-year
availability of resources. Decisions will be made shortly
after review committees have met and should be distributed
by e-mail within 10 weeks of the date of submission.
of applications are not provided for successful or failed
applications, since this would place an excessive burden
on the faculty who volunteer their time as peer reviewers.
Applicants are welcome to consult the chair of the review
committee for any informal information that may be available.
should be directed to: Lanese Rogers, Office of the Vice
Provost for Research, 118 College Hall/6303. (215) 898-7236 email@example.com.
for Approved URF Grants
of funds. Within one month following notice of award,
recipients are required to arrange a transfer of award
funds from the Provost's Administrative Office to their
home department. This transfer should be arranged by
the Business Administrator for the home department. The
process is initiated by submitting the financial form,
which accompanies the award letter to: Stacy Fletcher,
Office of the Vice Provost for Research, 118 College
Hall/6303, FAX (215) 573 2108 firstname.lastname@example.org.
approvals--If regulatory approvals (IRB, IACUC, and
the like) are required and have not been obtained at
the time of the award, they must be obtained prior to
the utilization of funds or initiation of the research.
Failure to comply would be considered a serious transgression
of the policies of the University of Pennsylvania.
2. Report. A
brief (1-2 pages) report is required to be submitted to
the Office of the Vice Provost for Research one year after
the date of the award. This should describe the work accomplished,
the planned date of completion, and whether there are residual
unused funds in the budget. In general, it is expected
that the scope of research would be completed within one
year of the date of award. Also, if alternative funding
has been obtained, recipients are expected to return unexpended