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Research Grants

Penn Undergraduate Climate Action Grants (P-UCAG)

SPRING 2014 Deadline: March 18, 2014, 4:00pm
Winners will be notified by May 8, 2014.

Penn’s Climate Action Plan aims to keep Penn at the forefront of addressing global climate change by supporting undergraduate research in any academic field related to sustainability. Projects that lead to environmentally sustainable programs and policies, contribute to scientific innovations related to sustainability, or deepen our understanding of the social, cultural, artistic, and humanistic aspects of sustainability are encouraged, provided the research is conducted under the direction of a Penn faculty member. Projects in other related fields that support the goals outlined in Penn’s Climate Action Plan are also welcome.

These grants will support students during the summer to conduct independent research under the guidance of a Penn faculty member. Students may be engaged in this work at Penn or elsewhere, and grants will typically range from $2,500 or $5,000, depending on the needs of the project.

Applicants will define and describe the project they will carry out, and an itemized budget of the project costs must be included in the application.

In addition, your faculty research advisor must separately submit a supporting letter of recommendation on your behalf. 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 advisor to send us the completed letter in .pdf format via the Advisor’s Recommendation Form, and inform them whether you have chosen to keep their letter confidential and waive your right of access to it.

Guidelines for the P-UCAG grant are intentionally open-ended to permit students to define their projects in innovative ways that support twenty-first century solutions to the challenges facing the planet. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to speak with potential faculty mentors as early as possible, and applicants are invited to discuss their ideas with Dr. Wallace Genser, Associate Director for Research at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF).

P-UCAG grant recipients will be expected to keep a journal, take photos, and/or prepare academic results from their experience, as appropriate. At the conclusion of the project, students will be asked to provide a public presentation of their findings, and may also be asked to provide materials suitable for posting on CURF’s website.

Before proceeding to the Application Form, please prepare the following, in one .pdf document, named your pennkey. 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.

  • Proposal Essay: In no more than 500 words describe the project you intend to undertake. With whom will you work? What is exciting, new, or valuable about your project? What contribution will it make? How will you carry out your project? What are the project’s goals, and why is it important?
  • Personal Statement: In no more than 500 words, describe how this project fits with your academic, personal, or career plans for the future, and with your current academic, personal, and career interests and activities.
  • 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.
  • Budget: No more than one page, double-spaced, 12 pt type. Itemize the funds you’re requesting and their purpose. These funds should be used to support you in your project, including travel and living expenses.
  • Copy of your PennInTouch Transcript

Applications are due to CURF no later than March 18, 2014, 4:00pm

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