Office of the Vice Provost for Research

University Research Foundation

Application Deadline: October 28, 2016, 5:00pm

The University Research Foundation (URF), an internal funding program is now accepting applications for the Fall 2016 Cycle. Submissions will be accepted through Friday, October 28, 5:00pm. There are 3 categories of grants.

The reconfigured URF will offer the following grant opportunities: Research Grants, Conference Support, Impact Seminar Grants, and Research Opportunity Development Grants. There will be two solicitations for these grant applications each year with the same deadlines. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more general information.


Research & Conference Support Program

The research support program will provide awards up to $50K to help faculty secure external sources of funding.
Learn more »


The conference support program will provide awards up to $3K for meetings to enhance existing and scholarly programs.
Learn more »


Impact Seminar Grants

Impact Seminar Grants provide awards up to $20K for large scale, cross school, cross disciplinary events over one to two days and open to the entire University community and should garner interest beyond Penn.
Learn more »


Research Opportunity Development Grants

The Research Opportunity Grant program was designed to facilitate the intersection of the forward trajectory of Penn’s research frontiers with the trajectory of the national and global research priorities. RODG applications must include faculty from 2 or more schools and should explicitly consider emerging research areas with new opportunities for support.

Phase 1: With an identified new research area in mind, Phase I grants provide up to $10,000 to enable a team to articulate a research focus, map Penn’s intellectual assets in the new area, coalesce the appropriate group of scholars, identify Penn’s potential contributions in the area in the context of national and international research initiatives and identify a funding target.
Learn more »


Phase 2: Offers extensive support ($50,000-$200,000) over 2 years to enable specific outcomes in support of a center or group proposal to an external funding organization in an emerging research topic in the context of national or international research initiatives or grand challenges by private foundations. Activities include research workshops, preliminary studies with data, networking in the relevant research community, asset mapping, etc.
Learn more »
 

Grant Details and Applications

Research Grants

The objectives of the these programs are to: (a) Help junior faculty undertake pilot projects that will enable them to successfully apply for extramural sources of funding and aid in establishing their careers as independent investigators; (b) Help established faculty perform novel, pioneering research to determine project feasibility and develop preliminary data to support extramural grant applications; (c) Provide support in disciplines where extramural support is difficult to obtain and where significant research can be facilitated with internal funding; and (d) Provide limited institutional matching funds that are required as part of a successful external peer-reviewed application.

Budget: Applications up to $50,000 will be considered. Salary support for faculty is not allowable. Travel expenses are not allowable for applications being reviewed by the biomedical committee. Graduate tuition is not an allowable expense.

Grant Term, 1 year only: Unexpended funds must be returned. A no cost extension must be approved by the Vice Provost for Research. Requests for a no cost extension should be made prior to the expiration of an award. No cost extensions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances. Extensions will not be made for longer than 6 months. A progress-to-date report including a revised budget will be required.

Renewals: Applications for renewal of a previously funded project may be submitted but receive low priority.

Resubmissions: Applications not previously funded must be revised, changes should be clearly indicated.

The extension form is available for download on the right.

Conference Support Grants


The Conference Support Program is designed to provide funding for meetings to enhance existing research and scholarly programs, particularly in disciplines where external funding is difficult to obtain. Conferences that promote interdisciplinary and multi-school participation are given priority.

Budget: Applications can request up to $3K. Funds are to be used for speakers, travel and accommodations. Funds are not to be used for meals and entertainment.

Grant Term, 1 year only: Unexpended funds must be returned. A no cost extension must be approved by the Vice Provost for Research. Requests for a no cost extension should be made prior to the expiration of an award. No cost extensions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances. Extensions will not be made for longer than 6 months.

Impact Seminar Grants

Impact Seminar Grants provide up to $20,000 support for a cross-School, cross-disciplinary large scale event to be held on Penn’s campus within a year of the award. Proposals should be focused on a topic of research that draws on faculty expertise across disciplines. The event – which can be a symposium, forum, or conference – should occur over one to two days and be open to the entire University community and should garner broad interest beyond the Penn community. It should highlight the scholarship of Penn faculty and bring distinguished scholars to Penn’s campus, with a particular focus on the University’s distinguishing strength in integrating knowledge.

Budget: Applications can request up to $20K. The budget may be dedicated to facilities, honoraria, travel, marketing materials, and other directly associated expenses, including the support of graduate and undergraduate students. Note, staffing expense is not an allowable expense.

Grant Term, 1 year only: Unexpended funds must be returned. A no cost extension must be approved by the Vice Provost for Research. Requests for a no cost extension should be made prior to the expiration of an award. No cost extensions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances. Extensions will not be made for longer than 6 months.

Research Opportunity Development Grants: Phase 1

With an identified new research area in mind, Phase I grants provide up to $10,000 to enable a team to articulate a research focus, map Penn’s intellectual assets in the new area, coalesce the appropriate group of scholars, identify Penn’s potential contributions in the area in the context of national and international research initiatives and identify a funding target.

Budget: Applications up to $10,000 will be considered. Salary support for faculty is not allowable.

Grant Term, 1 year only: Unexpended funds must be returned. A no cost extension must be approved by the Vice Provost for Research. Requests for a no cost extension should be made prior to the expiration of an award. No cost extensions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances. Extensions will not be made for longer than 6 months. A progress-to-date report including a revised budget will be required.

Research Opportunity Development Grants: Phase 2

Phase II grants offer extensive support ($50,000-$200,000) over 2 years to enable specific outcomes in support of a center or group proposal to an external funding organization in an emerging research topic in the context of national or international research initiatives or grand challenges by private foundations. Activities include research workshops, preliminary studies with data, networking in the relevant research community, asset mapping, etc. Note that Phase II grants are not intended to support the development of proposals that respond to regular solicitations such as those for NIH RO1 grants or NSF Division programs.

Budget: Applications with requests between $50K to $200K will be considered. Allowable costs include supplies, non-faculty salaries, and travel expenses related to the project. Salary support for faculty is not allowable. Graduate tuition is not an allowable expense.

Grant Term, 2 years:Unexpended funds must be returned. A no cost extension must be approved by the Vice Provost for Research. Requests for a no cost extension should be made prior to the expiration of an award. No cost extensions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances. Extensions will not be made for longer than 6 months. The extension form is available on the website. A progress-to-date report including a budget will be required after one year.



Eligibility:
Eligibility is limited to Penn assistant, associate, and full professors in any track. Instructors and Research Associates must provide a letter from their Department Chair establishing that the applicant will receive an appointment as an Assistant Professor by the time of the award. Assistant Professors must submit a letter from their Department Chair describing their research independence. CHOP based Penn faculty are eligible to apply, however, awards must be expended on University of Pennsylvania facilities, equipment and/or on associated University technical staff, postdocs, and undergraduate students. Adjunct Faculty are not eligible to apply.

Disciplinary areas:
For all funding mechanisms, faculty members are invited to submit their research applications to one of four disciplinary areas: Biomedical Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Engineering, and Social Science and Management. Reviews are conducted by established faculty members in the appropriate disciplines.

Undergraduate Participation:
As part of the University’s commitment to providing research opportunities to scholars across our campus community, URF applicants are encouraged to include undergraduate student participants within the framework of their proposals. URF Review Panels will take undergraduate participation under strong consideration when evaluating and scoring proposals. Should applicants require assistance in identifying interested and qualified undergraduates, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) will be glad to provide support: curf@upenn.edu.

For more information, download the Frequently Asked Questions. For additional information please contact vprgrant@upenn.edu.


 

UPDATED: SEPETEMBER 26, 2016

Back to Top