curf - Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships



Research Grants

Class of 1971 Robert J. Holtz Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Research

DEADLINE: March 18, 4:00pm

The Class of 1971 established this fund in honor of its 25th reunion and in memory of their classmate Robert J. Holtz to help pay the costs of research projects proposed by students. The Holtz Fund provides funds for students pursuing an independent scholarly project during the academic year or summer. Funds can be used for costs of materials and supplies, toward travel costs, or for costs of the project. The Holtz Award is open to all undergraduates at Penn, and research in any field is eligible for support. Examples of funded projects can be found here. Students in the College should apply for the College Alumni Society Undergraduate Research Grant. Students in the College will also be considered for the Holtz Award as funds are available.

Applications and all supporting materials including Faculty Recommendation due electronically to CURF by 4:00pm on March 18.

The Holtz grant 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. While students inherently must investigate their projects before applying for funding, grants will be made only for projects to be carried out after the proposal has been approved. Decisions will be made in April of each academic year for projects that are to be conducted during the summer or the following academic year. In no case will projects already completed be funded.
  4. Each project shall have a faculty advisor who will normally be a member of Penn’s standing faculty. In some cases, a qualified adviser from outside Penn’s standing faculty may be appropriate, subject to the approval of the student’s undergraduate chair or program director.
  5. 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 nor for the adviser’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. (Reimbursement of living expenses may be taxable.) Items that cost $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. The maximum award is $1,000 and students will be expected to submit a final report of expenditures to CURF.
  7. All applicants must be members in good standing of the University of Pennsylvania community.
  8. If several students are applying to work on aspects of the same project, each student must apply individually and describe clearly their independent research project, approach, methods, and evidence. Each student should also note in their individual application that their work is part of a larger project, and identify the other students working on aspects of the project.

Deadlines and Procedure for Application

Applications will be evaluated by a faculty committee designated by CURF. Applications with late material risk being not considered.


Prepare your proposal in consultation with your faculty research advisor. You may also wish to consult with the undergraduate chair in your major department or your major program director. In order to be considered for funding, you must identify and provide the contact information (first and last name, department, email, and phone number) of the business administrator for your primary major. Prepare the following five components in this order before proceeding to the Application Form:

  1. Short abstract (on a separate page; explain the overall goals of the project in less than 100 words)
  2. Objectives and Methodology (500 words maximum)
    1. State the objectives and relevance of the proposed work in terms intelligible to an educated non-specialist
    2. Briefly evaluate existing knowledge and work in the area and provide a brief background summary justifying the proposed project’s potential contribution to the field
    3. Describe the design and procedures to be employed and provide a timetable and implementation plan for completion of the project
  3. Itemized Budget, plus total (on a separate page). List each budget item in order of priority and justify it in terms of the work proposed. Include the total amount needed to complete the project (even if this is more than the grant limit of $1,000). If funds are being sought from other sources, state the source and potential amount of such funding. Depending on availability of funds, the amount awarded may be less than the total amount requested
  4. Create an electronic version of your Penn InTouch transcript by going to Academic Records —> Transcript & GPA, and print your transcript as a .pdf
  5. Bibliography (no more than one page – limit of 12 items) of key scholarly works (listed in the citation format used in your discipline) providing background for your project. These may be books or articles, and they may be a mix of theoretical and empirical works that inform the project. If desired, a one-sentence annotation may be used to explain a specific item’s relevance to the project, but annotations are not required

Once you have all these materials combined into a single .pdf file named your pennkey (if your Penn email were , you should name your file genser), fill out the application form and upload these materials via the Common Research Grant application. Please submit one .pdf file. Docx, doc, png, jpg, htm, html, or any other non-.pdf format will be grounds for non-consideration of your application. Name your file with your PennKey name only (the alpha characters, not your PennID Number). Transcripts must be non-secured versions; secured versions prevent us from reading your application and thus will cause your application to be refused.

In addition, your faculty research advisor must separately submit a supporting letter of recommendation on your behalf. It is your responsibility that this letter be submitted to CURF no later than 4:00pm on March 18, 2014. In this letter, your faculty advisor should discuss the feasibility of the project and the adequacy of your preparation to undertake it. The letter should make clear the nature and extent of your contribution in formulating and carrying out the project. Please ask your faculty research advisor to submit the completed letter in .pdf format via the Advisor’s Recommendation Form, and inform your faculty research advisor whether you have chosen to keep their letter confidential and waive your right of access to it.

Requirements and Procedures for Receiving Funding

Funds will not be disbursed until students review CURF’s information on Ethics and Compliance and complete and submit all necessary forms. All CURF-funded student researchers must complete CURF’s Research Experience Checklist and Waiver of Liability. Students conducting research outside the US are required to provide International Travel and Emergency Contact information on the Checklist and register their trip with Penn’s Global Activities Registry.

Once the award has been made and the Research Experience Checklist and Waiver of Liability has been submitted to CURF and approved, research funds and a copy of your budget will be sent to the Business Administrator (BA) of your Primary major department listed on your application. Recipients must work with their Primary major department’s BA to determine how to access these funds.

Research involving animals or hazardous materialsmust also be submitted at the same time for approval by the relevant University oversight committees. Students should consult with their faculty research advisors to correctly submit any necessary forms.


Dr. Wallace Genser

Phone: 215-746-6488
Fax: 215-573-4869

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