curf - Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships



Prospective Students

Student applications should adhere to the following overarching guidelines:

  1. The application shall represent the applicant’s goal of original research or scholarship allowing the student to make a significant contribution to knowledge
  2. The research shall be largely conceived and executed by the student and not simply represent faculty research in which the student assists

Training Proposal

Prepare your training 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. 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. 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, as well as what you still need to learn
    2. State the objectives and relevance of the proposed work in terms intelligible to an educated non-specialist
  3. An electronic version of your Penn InTouch transcript (Create an electronic copy of your Penn transcript by copying and pasting your Penn InTouch transcript into a Word document and typing your name and Penn ID number at the top of the page and saving it as a .pdf)
  4. 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 was jsmith, you should name your file jsmith), fill out the application form and upload these materials here: University Scholars Application Form. Please note that you must meet with Dr. Joseph before applying to the University Scholars Program.

In addition, you must get three faculty members to separately submit a supporting letter of recommendation on your behalf. It is your responsibility that these letters be submitted to CURF in a timely fashion. In this letter, your faculty advisor should discuss the feasibility of the project and the adequacy of your preparation to undertake it. Please ask your faculty recommenders to submit the completed letter in .pdf or .doc format via the University Scholars Recommendation Form, and inform your recommenders whether you have chosen to keep their letter confidential and waive your right of access to it.

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CURF, University of Pennsylvania
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