curf - Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships



CURF helps Penn undergraduates pursue independent research through personal Research Consultations and administration of competitive research grants.

As one of the world’s leading research universities, Penn has a broad array of faculty conducting cutting-edge research in all disciplines. CURF helps Penn undergraduates become involved in research by helping you identify resources, narrow your search, and shape your initial inquiries so you can find appropriate faculty mentors and research funding.

The best place to start is CURF’s Research Directory, where Penn faculty and researchers have posted research projects in which undergraduates may participate. You may find a researcher who is conducting research that intrigues you. Even if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, reviewing the Directory will help you see how faculty describe their projects, which should help you as you begin the process of shaping your own research questions.

After you’ve reviewed the Research Directory, call the CURF office at (215) 746-6488 to make an appointment for a Research Consultation.


CURF is pleased to announce our 2013-2014 Research Peer Advisors (RPAs), Penn Juniors and Seniors from an array of academic disciplines who are available to assist students seeking to get started in research or apply for undergraduate research grants.

Featured Project

Improving robotic surgery

Dorsey Standish, 2009, Engineering

For my PURM project, my mentor, Dr. Katherine Kuchenbecker, set a goal of improving the quality of robotic surgery. Delving into this medical application of mechanical engineering allowed me to collaborate with PhD students Will McMahan and Joe Romano as well as Masters student Jamie Gewirtz. I even got the chance to mentor a high school student, Jared Katz, who spent six weeks working in the Haptics Lab this summer. In collaboration with these other students, I investigated ways to improve Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci System, a robot used for minimally invasive urological and cardiac surgery. We aimed to give the surgeon improved tactile feedback; our research’s tagline became “Feel what you see.”

Research Directory

Use our research directory to search for faculty offering research opportunities in the fields of:

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Business/Economics
  • Engineering/Computing
  • Humanities/Social Sciences
  • Physical/Theoretical Sciences

Launch Directory

© 2014 University of Pennsylvania

CURF, University of Pennsylvania
3601 Locust Walk, The ARCH, Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-746-6488 ·