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David & Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships for Science & Engineering  

General Information

Program Description

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering program invests in future leaders who have the freedom to take risks, explore new frontiers in their fields of study, and follow uncharted paths that may lead to groundbreaking discoveries. The Fellowship Program provides support for highly creative researchers early in their careers; faculty members who are well established and well-funded are less likely to receive the award. Packard Fellows are inquisitive, passionate scientists and engineers who take a creative approach to their research, dare to think big, and follow new ideas wherever they lead. The Foundation emphasizes support for innovative individual research that involves the Fellows, their students, and junior colleagues, rather than extensions or components of large scale, ongoing research programs.


Schools may submit two (2) applications for Penn’s internal competition.


  • Candidates must be faculty members in the first three years of their faculty careers, that is, whose initial faculty appointments began no earlier than May 31, 2021, and no later than May 31, 2024.
  • Candidates must be faculty members who are eligible to serve as principal investigators engaged in research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering. Disciplines that will be considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering.   
  • The award does not support social science research, clinical research, or research associated with the design and construction of large national facilities such as accelerators and space stations and applied research of direct relevance to national security.  
  • For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project, unless otherwise noted in the LSO. Please see Penn’s PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible. 

Award Information

The Packard Fellowship grant begins in mid-October of the year the grant is awarded. The Fellowship is a five‐year grant. The total award amount is $875,000. 

The grant provides $175,000 per year for five years, subject to reasonable progress in the research work of the Fellow. Of this amount, $17,500 can be for administrative costs.   

Review Process

Selection Criteria

The University has been invited to nominate two faculty members for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships for Science and Engineering Program.  A committee, established by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR), will determine the final nominees to represent the University. 

OVPR Internal Review Process 

Applications must include the following:

  1. Cover Page which includes:
    1. Project title
    2. Candidate’s name, academic rank, department, email address, phone number and campus address. Clearly identify the month and year of appointment to Penn faculty.  
    3. In addition, include the names, titles, and academic institutions of the 3 people from outside of Penn who will write the letters of recommendations.  
  2. A Nomination Letter (maximum 2 pages) from the candidate’s Chair/Division Chief which should provide information about the nominee’s ability to do creative research.
  3. Research statement:
    1. Describe why the research is important and outline the general goals for the next five years.  
    2. Indicate, in general, how funds will be used. This does not need to be a detailed budget and will not be binding on the actual use of funds.  
    3. 1,400 words limit (maximum two pages of text, prepared in 12-point font with 1-inch margins). If there are relevant figures, images or references, please include these separately on a third page. 
  4. A CV (maximum 4 pages), which includes educational background, professional appointments, awards and honors, publications and current and pending funding with award amounts and start/end dates. If there is potential overlap with the Packard project, briefly describe the nature of the overlap.
  5. All materials must be submitted in a single pdf document in the above order to by February 12th, 2024.
  6. Subject line of the email should be, PACKARD_applicant LAST name_ applicant FIRST name.