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University Research Foundation: Conference Grant

General Information

Program Description

The University Research Foundation (URF) Conference Support program is designed for scholarly meetings that will be convened on Penn’s campus, thereby providing enrichment opportunities to interested faculty, students, and staff, most frequently in the format of a 1–2-day colloquium. The intent is to support meetings that are designed to enhance existing research and scholarly programs, particularly in disciplines where external funding is difficult to obtain. It should highlight the scholarship of Penn faculty and bring distinguished scholars to Penn’s campus.




  • Open to faculty at all levels.
  • Open to faculty of all disciplines.
  • Applications are required to have documented additional financial support when appropriate.
  • Previously funded conferences will receive low priority.
  • 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

  • Grant duration is for one year.
  • Grant requests cannot exceed $3,000.
  • Funds are to be used for speakers, travel, and accommodation. Funds are not to be used for meals and entertainment.
  • 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.
  • Publications etc. that result from the project should acknowledge that the project was funded, in part, by the Vice Provost for Research University Research Foundation Selection: The Office of the Vice Provost for Research will conduct an internal competition to identify the finalists for the University.


Review Process

Selection Criteria

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research will conduct an internal competition to identify the finalists for the University.

OVPR Internal Review Process

Applications must include the following:

  1. Online Application
  2. Abstract/Event Summary (200 word limit):
    • The description should include event topic, scholarly discipline, purpose of event and expected outcome. Please indicate if the conference is an annual event. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  3. Project Proposal (maximum 2 pages):
    • Purpose of event, intellectual area, benefits of scholarly research, expected outcomes, student involvement, proposed timeline, target audience, topic timeliness, and the relationship of the meeting to department, institute or center programs.
    • Describe what you expect to accomplish with this conference/workshop for the relevant field of study.
    • Describe what you expect to accomplish with this conference/workshop for the relevant field of study.
    • If this is an annual event and if the URF has previously funded the conference, please include that information in the proposal. References are not included in the page limit and should be included in this section. Include your name and proposal title on the first page.
  4. Event Details: To the extent possible, provide the anticipated: title, date, location, number of attendees, Penn Faculty participant information, and non-Penn faculty participant information.
  5. Event Agenda: To the extent possible, provide a proposed agenda/schedule. Indicate if speakers will be on-site or will participate remotely.
  6. Event Support:
    • Provide letter(s) of financial support from other sources. Letter(s) can be in the form of an email or a formal letter and must detail the amount of support. No-cost facilities and AV support are not considered part of financial support.
  7. Undergraduate Research Mentorship Description (maximum 1 page): Optional but encouraged.
  8. Total Budget: Download the budget template. Complete the information, save it as a single-page PDF and upload. Include and identify support from other sources.
  9. A CV or Biosketch (maximum 3 pages): Please use a CV or Biosketch that is discipline appropriate. Additional key personnel CV/biosketches can be uploaded as appendices but are not required.
  10. Appendix:
    • Letter(s) of support for event: Note that documented and confirmed external support for your event is required and must be included with the application.
    • Instructors, Research Associates, and/or Lecturers must include a letter from School Dean or Dept Chair confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.
  11. All materials must be submitted in a single pdf document in the above order to
  12. Subject line of the email should be, URF__Conf_School_applicant LAST name_ applicant FIRST name.