University Research Foundation

URF applications are open.
The deadline is Oct 22 at 5pm.

The University Research Foundation (URF) is an internal funding program offering the following grant opportunities: Research Grants, Conference Support, Impact Seminar Grants, and Research Opportunity Development Grants (Planning and Phase 2).

Research Grant

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

Conference Support Grant

The conference support program will provide awards up to $3K for meetings to enhance existing and scholarly programs, particularly in disciplines where external funding is difficult to obtain.

Impact Seminar Grant

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.

Not available in Fall 2021.

Research Opportunity Development Grant (RODG)

Planning

Planning Grants: With an identified new research area in mind, planning grants provide up to $10,000 to enable a team to articulate a research focus, map Penn’s intellectual assets in the new area and coalesce the appropriate group of scholars.

Research Opportunity Development Grant (RODG)

Phase 2

Phase 2: Offers extensive support ($50,000- $200,000) over 2 years to enable specific outcomes in support of a multi-investigator proposal to an external funding organization in an emerging research topic.

The University Research Foundation is a campus program dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the Penn Compact.

The Penn Compact motivates community members to innovate, be radically inclusive, and positively impact their local, national, and global communities.

See the Frequently Asked Questions for more general information.

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.
  • For multidisciplinary research put the most relevant area first, followed by the other relevant area(s).
  • Reviews are conducted by established faculty members in the appropriate disciplines.

Eligibility:

  • Biomed: Research Grant eligibility is limited to Penn assistant and early-stage associate professors (first 3 years) who have not previously received a URF research grant.  Full professors may apply for Conference, RODG Planning and RODG2 grants.
  • Natural Sciences & Engineering, Humanities, and Social Sciences:  All Penn assistant, associate, and full professors are eligible to apply.
  • Instructors, Research Associates and Lecturers 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. (The letter must be included with the application materials as part of the appendix.)
  • Applicants who have received funding in the past three cycles will be less competitive
  • Adjunct and Emeritus Faculty are not eligible to apply.
  • Only one application per PI per cycle.
  • CHOP-based faculty are eligible to apply however awards must be expended on Penn facilities, equipment and/or associated University technical staff, postdocs and undergraduate students.

Evaluation criteria:
Reviewers will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Scholarly merit, creativity, impact, and innovation
  • Feasibility
  • Significance of the research
  • Prospects for future extramural funding
  • Matching support from other sources
  • Career development at early stages of career
  • Advancement of school or institutional objectives, such as interdisciplinary research
  • Overall impact to investigator’s research program
  • Undergraduate participation (see more details below)
  • A major consideration for the Opportunity Development Grants will be alignment with the specific goals of the grant program [refer to RODG Guidelines]

In addition, please note: Conferences that have been funded in the past will receive low priority.

Submissions:

  • Completed application must be received on or before 5:00 pm on due date.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Home departments must have a 26-digit budget code

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.

Note to Business Administrators:
Only PIs can submit proposals. For BAs who develop budgets on behalf of the PI, to the left are links to the budget forms for the five URF funding opportunities. BAs should download the budget form using the link provided within the instructions for the applicable funding opportunity. When the budget has been completed, please forward it to the PI for inclusion in the proposal submission (PI will need to upload the budget as PDF file).

URF Grant Guidelines

Research Grant
Impact Seminar Grant
RODG: Planning
RODG: Phase 2

Print/PDF

Research Grant

Revised for Fall 2021

The Research support program will provide awards up to $50K to help faculty secure external sources of funding.  URF aims to promote diversity, inclusion and equity in the research community.

Program Description: The objectives of these programs are to:

  1. Natural Sciences & Engineering, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Help assistant and associate professors undertake pilot projects that will enable them to successfully apply for extramural sources of funding and aid in establishing their careers as independent investigators. Help established faculty perform novel, pioneering research to determine project feasibility and develop preliminary data to support extramural grant applications.
  2. Biomed: Help assistant and early-stage associate professors (first 3 years) undertake pilot projects that will enable them to successfully apply for extramural sources of funding and aid in establishing their careers as independent investigators. Note: Full professors may not apply for Research grants. However, they are eligible for the other funding mechanisms within the URF.
  3. Provide support in disciplines where extramural support is difficult to obtain and where significant research can be facilitated with internal funding; and
  4. Provide limited institutional matching funds that are required as part of a successful external peer-reviewed application.
  5. Provide seed funding for large center grants in emerging research topics.

Additional Notes:

  • Biomed applications: Full professors are ineligible for research grants.
  • Proposals from new investigators in all disciplines with unspent start-up/research funds will be less competitive
  • Resubmissions: Applications not previously funded must be revised. Changes should be clearly indicated.

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.

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.
  • 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

Application Guidelines: For uploads, please use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins,  double-spaced.

  • Applicant Information: All fields and all certifications are required (complete online).  You must mark your “Applicant Info Form” (this first task) as COMPLETE to be able to work on the other tasks.  This is because tasks are dependent on your answers in the initial form.  You can then reopen and edit the form if additional changes are needed.
  • Abstract: 200 word limit, Complete online.Write in simple language a description of the proposed work that is suitable for a non-technical audience. State the objectives. The description should explain the compelling reason for the proposal. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  • Research Proposal: Upload
    • 3 page limit
    • Include background, hypothesis/purpose, methods used, work to be undertaken, and outlook for future (continued research and external funding). Please be mindful of the interdisciplinary backgrounds of the reviewers and make the proposals accessible to the readers.
    • 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.
  • PI Biosketch: Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages for the primary PI. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate.  Additional key personnel biosketches can be uploaded as appendices, but are not required.  Biomed Biosketches must use the new NIH format and can be up to 5 pages.  See the NIH instruction doc and a sample.
  • PI Research Support: Complete the online form. Include all current and pending support. Include any previous URF’s, start-up funds (remaining balance) and other support (such as named or endowed chair). Failure to provide an accurate description of other support available to the PI will disqualify this application from URF funding.
  • Undergraduate Research Mentorship Description: Optional and encouraged, 1 page limit, Upload
  • Budget: Download the budget template. Complete the information, save it as a single page PDF and upload.
  • Appendix: Additional documents. Do not use the appendices to circumvent page limits.
    • Co-PI biosketches (not CV’s) are required; key personnel and/or collaborator biosketches are optional.
    • Instructors, Research Associates and/or Lecturers must include letter from School Dean or Dept Chair confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.

Print/PDF

Impact Seminar

NOTE:  NOT AVAILABLE IN FALL 2021.

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.

Program Description: Impact Seminar Grants provide support for a cross-School, cross-disciplinary event to be held on Penn’s campus within a year of the award. The large scale 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. Proposals should be focused on a topic of research that draws on faculty expertise across disciplines. Proposals must include faculty from multiple departments and/or schools. Funding for this award can be used to augment an already scheduled University event. Priority will be given to new unscheduled events that are in the planning stage. Documented matching support from institutional and/or external sources is required. The event should include the participation of Penn graduate or undergraduate students in both organization and delivery. A final report must be submitted that outlines the accomplishments of the event, which could include new collaborative endeavors, outreach, publications, and grants.

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. Documented matching (dollar for dollar) support is required.

Grant Term:

  • 1 year only
  • 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
  • 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 or by emailing vprgrant@upenn.edu

Proposal Guidelines: Please use one inch margins and 12pt font, single spacing and Times New Roman. Please include the following in this order in your application

  • Applicant Information- All fields and all certifications are required. Complete online. Based on the disciplinary review committee you select, the appropriate Sponsored Support upload task will be added to your application task list for you to complete.
  • Abstract: Event Summary – 200 word limit. Complete online. Description should include the title, event topic, purpose of event, why it qualifies as high impact, intellectual area and expected outcome. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  • Event Details – Complete online
  • Project proposal (up to 3 pages). Upload. Include:
    • Purpose of event
    • Organizing committee
    • How event qualifies as “high impact”,
    • Target audience, proposed timeline, topic timeliness
    • Intellectual area, emphasis on integrating knowledge, development of new scholarly linkages, how meeting will advance knowledge
    • Expected outcomes
    • Conference benefit to scholarly or research programs at Penn.
    • References are not included in the page limit and should be included in this section.
  • PI Biosketch(es) – Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages per PI. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate.  Additional PI biosketches can be uploaded as appendices.
  • PI Research support – Complete the online form. Include all current and pending support. Include any previous URF’s, start-up funds (past 3 years) and other support (such as Chairmanship). Failure to provide an accurate description of other support available to the PI will disqualify this application from URF funding. * Please note, the Research Support task will not be visible until you indicate which disciplinary committee should review your application (e.g. Biomed, Social Sciences, etc.) in the Applicant Info form. Based on this information, the appropriate Sponsored Support upload task will be added to your application task list for you to complete. *
  • Undergraduate research mentorship description- Optional and encouraged, 2 page limit, upload.
  • Total budget- Download the budget template. Complete the information, save it as a single page PDF and upload.
  • Appendix: Uploads
    • Event Agenda
    • Letters of matching financial support (dollar for dollar) are required and must be included
    • Faculty Participant and Invited Speaker Bios
    • Instructors and or lecturers must include letter from School Dean or Dept chairman confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.

Submission:

  • Application must be received on or before 5:00 pm on due date.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Home departments must have a 26-digit budget code

Print/PDF

Research Opportunity Development Grant: Planning

Revised for Fall 2021

With an identified new research area in mind, planning grants provide up to $10,000 to enable a team to articulate a research focus, map Penn’s intellectual assets in the new area and coalesce the appropriate group of scholars.

Program Description: The Research Opportunity Development Grant (RODG) 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.

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

Re-submissions: Applications not previously funded must be revised. Changes should be clearly indicated.

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.
  • 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

RODG Planning Application Guidelines: For uploads, please use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, double spaced

  • Applicant Info: All fields and all certifications are required. All fields and all certifications are required (complete online). You must mark your “Applicant Info Form” (this first task) as COMPLETE to be able to work on the other tasks. This is because tasks are dependent on your answers in the initial form. You can then reopen and edit the form if additional changes are needed.
  • Funding Target of Opportunity: Identify sponsor (eg NSF, NIH) and program name
  • Abstract: 200 word limit. Complete online. Write in simple language a description of the proposed work that is suitable for a non-technical audience. State the objectives. The description should explain the compelling reason for the proposal. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  • Research Proposal: 3-page limit- Upload
    • Include: proposal title, how this is an emerging topic and how it maps onto emerging national and global research trends,
    • Potential team members and how their combined strengths can catalyze a new approach to the research
    • The work/studies to be undertaken,
    • The structured planning activities e.g. workshops, task force meetings, asset mapping, benchmarking studies, travel)
    • Expected outcomes
    • Potential funding opportunity targets
    • 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.
  • PI Biosketch:  Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages for the primary PI. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate.  Additional key personnel biosketches can be uploaded as appendices, but are not required.
  • PI Research Support:  Complete the online form. Include all current and pending support. Include any previous URF’s, start-up funds (past 3 years) and other support (such as named or endowed Chair). Failure to provide an accurate description of other support available to the PI will disqualify this application from URF funding.
  • Undergraduate Research Mentorship Description: Optional and encouraged, 1page limit, upload
  • Budget: Download the budget template. Complete the information, save it as a single page PDF and upload.
  • Appendix: Upload
    • Additional materials such as key personnel biosketches (not CV’s) can be added as appendices, if desired but are not required
    • Instructors, Research Associates and or Lecturers must include letter from School Dean or Dept chairman confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.

Print/PDF

Research Opportunity Development Grant: Phase 2

Revised for Fall 2021

Program Description:
The Research Opportunity Development Grant Phase 2 (RODG2) offers extensive support ($50,000- $200,000) over 2 years. The program was designed to help investigators gather data and prepare a multi-investigator proposal in an emerging research topic in the context of national or international research initiatives or grand challenges from external sponsors including federal and private foundations in which Penn can stake out a leadership position.

RODG applications must include faculty from at least two schools and should explicitly consider emerging research areas with new opportunities for support.  In addition, applications must identify their future funding opportunity targets. Future funding opportunities should have estimated budgets of no less than $1million for STEM fields and no less than $250,000 for social science and humanities.  Some examples are NIH P30, NSF ERC, MacArthur $100m&Change, 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. Such applications will not be reviewed.

In addition, applications should identify their future funding opportunity targets in both the abstract and research proposal.

Activities include research workshops, preliminary studies with data, networking in the relevant research community, asset mapping, etc. Specific outcomes are expected. Funding for the 2nd year of the award is dependent on meeting the goals described in the original proposal. A progress report describing activities and accomplishments is due at the end of the first year of the award. An expenditure report at the end of year 1 is also required. Funding for the second year is dependent on meeting the goals of the first year.

Re-submissions: Applications not previously funded must be revised. Changes should be clearly indicated.

RODG 2 Application Guidelines: For uploads, please use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, double-spaced.

  • Applicant Info:  All fields and all certifications are required. All fields and all certifications are required (complete online). You must mark your “Applicant Info Form” (this first task) as COMPLETE to be able to work on the other tasks. This is because tasks are dependent on your answers in the initial form. You can then reopen and edit the form if additional changes are needed.
  • Funding Target of Opportunity: Identify sponsor (eg NSF, NIH) and program name
  • Abstract: 200-word limit. Complete online. Write in simple language a description of the proposed work that is suitable for a non-technical audience. State the objectives. The description should explain the compelling reason for the proposal. Additionally, identify your funding target of opportunity. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  • Research Proposal: Upload
    • 5 page limit (excluding references), 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins-
    • Goal: To enable specific outcomes in support of a multi-investigator, in an emerging research topic in the context of national or international research initiatives or grand challenges from external sponsors in which Penn can stake out a leadership position. To evaluate your proposal in pursuit of this goal, please provide all of the following: (Please be mindful that reviewers of this proposal will come from diverse backgrounds):
      • Describe the research topic to be pursued, include placing it in the context of the fields of science to be linked; also indicate the multiple disciplinary perspective that will focus on the problem;
      • Identify the targeted funding opportunity that will be pursued;
      • Indicate how the topic and research maps onto the current and projected goals of potential funding organizations;
      • Outline the specific research goals to be accomplished with the preliminary funding requested (including any cost sharing departmental or school funds)
      • Describe deliverables such as joint publications, conference presentations, preliminary data justifying further work, documented outreach achievements, etc. Should include both a description of how these results would support a coherent initiative for new broad-based funding as well as a timeline for the proposed work; (no more than 3 pages for this section);
      • Identify the members of the team that would perform the research emphasizing the connection to Penn’s mission and strengths; for proposals involving multiple institutions, identify leadership roles for Penn faculty.
    • 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.
  • PI Biosketch: Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate. Key personnel biosketches should be uploaded as appendices. See appendix section.
  • PI Research Support: Complete the online research support form. Include all current and pending support. Include any previous URF’s, start-up funds (past 3 years) and other support (such as named or endowed chairs). Failure to provide an accurate description of other support available to the PI will disqualify this application from URF funding.
  • Undergraduate Research Mentorship Description: Optional and encouraged, 1page limit, upload
  • Budget: Provide budget for year 1 and year 2. Download the budget template.
    • If there is support from other sources, please include. Complete the information and upload.
  • Appendix: Uploads
    •  Letters of support describing amount of cost sharing commitments, if any. Note, cost sharing is not required but is considered favorably in the review.
    • One-page biosketches are required for all co-PI’s and key personnel.
    • PI of application should include copies of abstracts for all current awards and pending proposals
    • Instructors, Research Associates and Lecturers must include letter from school dean or department chair confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.
Conference Grant
Impact Seminar Grant
RODG: Planning
RODG: Phase 2

Print/PDF

Conference Support

Revised for Fall 2021

The conference support program will provide awards up to $3K for meetings to enhance existing and scholarly programs, particularly in disciplines where external funding is difficult to obtain.

Program Description: The 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. Please describe what you expect to accomplish with this conference/workshop for the relevant field of study.

Proposals must include faculty from applicant’s department and/or school. Funding for this award can be used to augment an already scheduled University event. The event should include the participation of Penn graduate or undergraduate students in both organization and delivery. A final report must be submitted that outlines the accomplishments of the event, which could include new collaborative endeavors, the outreach, publications, and grants.

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. Applications are required to have documented additional financial support.

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.
  • 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

Additional Note on Eligibility:

  • Previously funded conferences will receive low priority.

Conference Application Guidelines:  For uploads, please use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, double-spaced.

  • Applicant Information: Complete online. All fields and all certifications are required.  You must mark your “Applicant Info Form” (this first task) as COMPLETE to be able to work on the other tasks. This is because tasks are dependent on your answers in the initial form. You can then reopen and edit the form if additional changes are needed.
  • Abstract/Event Summary: 200 word limit. Complete online. 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.
  • Project Proposal: (up to 2 pages) Upload
    • 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.
    • If this is an annual event and if the conference has been previously funded by the URF 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.
  • 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
  • Event Agenda: Upload. To the extent possible, provide a proposed agenda/schedule. Indicate if speakers will be on site or will participate remotely.
  • Event Support: Upload 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.
  • Undergraduate Research Mentorship Description: Optional but encouraged, 1 page limit, upload
  • 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.
  • PI Biosketch: Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages for the primary PI. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate.  Additional key personnel biosketches can be uploaded as appendices, but are not required.
  • Appendix: Uploads
    • Letters of support for event
    • Instructors, Research Associates and/or Lecturers must include letter from School Dean or Dept Chair confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.

Print/PDF

Impact Seminar

NOTE AVAILABLE IN FALL 2021.

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.

Program Description: Impact Seminar Grants provide support for a cross-School, cross-disciplinary event to be held on Penn’s campus within a year of the award. The large scale 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. Proposals should be focused on a topic of research that draws on faculty expertise across disciplines. Proposals must include faculty from multiple departments and/or schools. Funding for this award can be used to augment an already scheduled University event. Priority will be given to new unscheduled events that are in the planning stage. Documented matching support from institutional and/or external sources is required. The event should include the participation of Penn graduate or undergraduate students in both organization and delivery. A final report must be submitted that outlines the accomplishments of the event, which could include new collaborative endeavors, outreach, publications, and grants.

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. Documented matching (dollar for dollar) support is required.

Grant Term:

  • 1 year only
  • 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
  • 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 or by emailing vprgrant@upenn.edu

Proposal Guidelines: For uploads, please use Times New Roman, 12pt font, one-inch margins and double -spaced.

Please include the following in this order in your application

  • Applicant Information- All fields and all certifications are required. Complete online. Based on the disciplinary review committee you select, the appropriate Sponsored Support upload task will be added to your application task list for you to complete.
  • Abstract: Event Summary – 200 word limit. Complete online. Description should include the title, event topic, purpose of event, why it qualifies as high impact, intellectual area and expected outcome. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  • Event Details – Complete online
  • Project proposal (up to 3 pages). Upload. Include:
    • Purpose of event
    • Organizing committee
    • How event qualifies as “high impact”,
    • Target audience, proposed timeline, topic timeliness
    • Intellectual area, emphasis on integrating knowledge, development of new scholarly linkages, how meeting will advance knowledge
    • Expected outcomes
    • Conference benefit to scholarly or research programs at Penn.
    • References are not included in the page limit and should be included in this section.
  • PI Biosketch(es) – Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages per PI. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate.  Additional PI biosketches can be uploaded as appendices.
  • PI Research support – Complete the online form. Include all current and pending support. Include any previous URF’s, start-up funds (past 3 years) and other support (such as Chairmanship). Failure to provide an accurate description of other support available to the PI will disqualify this application from URF funding. * Please note, the Research Support task will not be visible until you indicate which disciplinary committee should review your application (e.g. Biomed, Social Sciences, etc.) in the Applicant Info form. Based on this information, the appropriate Sponsored Support upload task will be added to your application task list for you to complete. *
  • Undergraduate research mentorship description- Optional and encouraged, 2 page limit, upload.
  • Total budget- Download the budget template. Complete the information, save it as a single page PDF and upload.
  • Appendix: Uploads
    • Event Agenda
    • Letters of matching financial support (dollar for dollar) are required and must be included
    • Faculty Participant and Invited Speaker Bios
    • Instructors and or lecturers must include letter from School Dean or Dept chairman confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.

Submission:

  • Application must be received on or before 5:00 pm on due date.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Home departments must have a 26-digit budget code

Print/PDF

Research Opportunity Development Grant: Planning

Revised for Fall 2021

With an identified new research area in mind, planning grants provide up to $10,000 to enable a team to articulate a research focus, map Penn’s intellectual assets in the new area and coalesce the appropriate group of scholars.

Program Description: The Research Opportunity Development Grant (RODG) 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.

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

Re-submissions: Applications not previously funded must be revised. Changes should be clearly indicated.

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.
  • 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

RODG Planning Application Guidelines: For uploads, please use 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, double spaced

  • Applicant Info: All fields and all certifications are required. All fields and all certifications are required (complete online). You must mark your “Applicant Info Form” (this first task) as COMPLETE to be able to work on the other tasks. This is because tasks are dependent on your answers in the initial form. You can then reopen and edit the form if additional changes are needed.
  • Funding Target of Opportunity: Identify sponsor (eg NSF, NIH) and program name
  • Abstract: 200 word limit. Complete online. Write in simple language a description of the proposed work that is suitable for a non-technical audience. State the objectives. The description should explain the compelling reason for the proposal. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  • Research Proposal: 3-page limit- Upload
    • Include: proposal title, how this is an emerging topic and how it maps onto emerging national and global research trends,
    • Potential team members and how their combined strengths can catalyze a new approach to the research
    • The work/studies to be undertaken,
    • The structured planning activities e.g. workshops, task force meetings, asset mapping, benchmarking studies, travel)
    • Expected outcomes
    • Potential funding opportunity targets
    • 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.
  • PI Biosketch:  Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages for the primary PI. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate.  Additional key personnel biosketches can be uploaded as appendices, but are not required.
  • PI Research Support:  Complete the online form. Include all current and pending support. Include any previous URF’s, start-up funds (past 3 years) and other support (such as named or endowed Chair). Failure to provide an accurate description of other support available to the PI will disqualify this application from URF funding.
  • Undergraduate Research Mentorship Description: Optional and encouraged, 1page limit, upload
  • Budget: Download the budget template. Complete the information, save it as a single page PDF and upload.
  • Appendix: Upload
    • Additional materials such as key personnel biosketches (not CV’s) can be added as appendices, if desired but are not required
    • Instructors, Research Associates and or Lecturers must include letter from School Dean or Dept chairman confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.

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Research Opportunity Development Grant: Phase 2

Revised for Fall 2021

Program Description:
The Research Opportunity Development Grant Phase 2 (RODG2) offers extensive support ($50,000- $200,000) over 2 years. The program was designed to help investigators gather data and prepare a multi-investigator proposal in an emerging research topic in the context of national or international research initiatives or grand challenges from external sponsors including federal and private foundations in which Penn can stake out a leadership position.

RODG applications must include faculty from at least two schools and should explicitly consider emerging research areas with new opportunities for support.  In addition, applications must identify their future funding opportunity targets. Future funding opportunities should have estimated budgets of no less than $1million for STEM fields and no less than $250,000 for social science and humanities.  Some examples are NIH P30, NSF ERC, MacArthur $100m&Change, 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. Such applications will not be reviewed.

In addition, applications should identify their future funding opportunity targets in both the abstract and research proposal.

Activities include research workshops, preliminary studies with data, networking in the relevant research community, asset mapping, etc. Specific outcomes are expected. Funding for the 2nd year of the award is dependent on meeting the goals described in the original proposal. A progress report describing activities and accomplishments is due at the end of the first year of the award. An expenditure report at the end of year 1 is also required. Funding for the second year is dependent on meeting the goals of the first year.

Re-submissions: Applications not previously funded must be revised. Changes should be clearly indicated.

RODG 2 Application Guidelines:  For uploads, please use Times New Roman, 12pt font, one-inch margins and double -spaced. 

  • Applicant Info:  All fields and all certifications are required. All fields and all certifications are required (complete online). You must mark your “Applicant Info Form” (this first task) as COMPLETE to be able to work on the other tasks. This is because tasks are dependent on your answers in the initial form. You can then reopen and edit the form if additional changes are needed.
  • Funding Target of Opportunity: Identify sponsor (eg NSF, NIH) and program name
  • Abstract: 200-word limit. Complete online. Write in simple language a description of the proposed work that is suitable for a non-technical audience. State the objectives. The description should explain the compelling reason for the proposal. Additionally, identify your funding target of opportunity. Do not include your PI name or proposal title.
  • Research Proposal: Upload
    • 5 page limit (excluding references), 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins-
    • Goal: To enable specific outcomes in support of a multi-investigator, in an emerging research topic in the context of national or international research initiatives or grand challenges from external sponsors in which Penn can stake out a leadership position. To evaluate your proposal in pursuit of this goal, please provide all of the following: (Please be mindful that reviewers of this proposal will come from diverse backgrounds):
      • Describe the research topic to be pursued, include placing it in the context of the fields of science to be linked; also indicate the multiple disciplinary perspective that will focus on the problem;
      • Identify the targeted funding opportunity that will be pursued;
      • Indicate how the topic and research maps onto the current and projected goals of potential funding organizations;
      • Outline the specific research goals to be accomplished with the preliminary funding requested (including any cost sharing departmental or school funds)
      • Describe deliverables such as joint publications, conference presentations, preliminary data justifying further work, documented outreach achievements, etc. Should include both a description of how these results would support a coherent initiative for new broad-based funding as well as a timeline for the proposed work; (no more than 3 pages for this section);
      • Identify the members of the team that would perform the research emphasizing the connection to Penn’s mission and strengths; for proposals involving multiple institutions, identify leadership roles for Penn faculty.
    • 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.
  • PI Biosketch: Upload a single PDF document that is no longer than 3 pages. Please use a biosketch (not CV) that is discipline appropriate. Key personnel biosketches should be uploaded as appendices. See appendix section.
  • PI Research Support: Complete the online research support form. Include all current and pending support. Include any previous URF’s, start-up funds (past 3 years) and other support (such as named or endowed chairs). Failure to provide an accurate description of other support available to the PI will disqualify this application from URF funding.
  • Undergraduate Research Mentorship Description: Optional and encouraged, 1page limit, upload
  • Budget: Provide budget for year 1 and year 2. Download the budget template.
    • If there is support from other sources, please include. Complete the information and upload.
  • Appendix: Uploads
    •  Letters of support describing amount of cost sharing commitments, if any. Note, cost sharing is not required but is considered favorably in the review.
    • One-page biosketches are required for all co-PI’s and key personnel.
    • PI of application should include copies of abstracts for all current awards and pending proposals
    • Instructors, Research Associates and Lecturers must include letter from school dean or department chair confirming that they will be appointed to the faculty by the time the award is made.