Application Instructions

Fall 2021

1 - Settle on a Project and Team.  In addition to the basic design of your project, you should consider the tax implications of receiving an Engagement Prize (see presentation by the Tax Office here)

2 - Once you have finalized your Proposal, you must submit the full Application materials by February 4, 2022.  

President's Engagement Prize Application Form

For joint projects, teams complete only one application form, fully describing the team’s proposed project, and each team member must provide one Letter of Recommendation.  Additional team members will request their own letters of recommendation once they have been added as collaborators by the primary applicant. Please complete this initial form as soon as you have your team, mentor, and recommenders finalized--this will provide everyone with the necessary time to complete their portions of the process.

  • Budget Form (to be submitted online in the .pdf of the Project Proposal; see Budget Planning Template.  PLEASE MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL SHEETS EXCEPT FOR INSTRUCTION PAGE).
  • Penn Project Mentor Commitment and Recommendation Form and Recommendation Letter (requested via the application process)

Only Penn faculty members or Penn administrators may serve as Project Mentors for President’s Engagement Prize projects. As a President’s Engagement Prize mentor, you are agreeing to mentor an applicant(s) for the President’s Engagement Prize during the preparation of their prize proposal. This includes advising the student(s) on the design of the project and preparation of the initial proposal during the Fall of their senior year. If the proposal is selected for the Prize, during the spring semester mentors and recipients will work together to develop a detailed plan for project implementation, finalize the project budget, obtain any necessary third-party commitments, make any necessary preparatory arrangements, and refer the student(s) to other individuals and resources as needed in developing their project. President’s Engagement Prize mentors may—but are not required to—continue to mentor recipient(s) of the President’s Engagement Prize during the project implementation year (i.e., the year immediately following their graduation from Penn).

Once the student applies, the Project Mentor will receive an email with a link at which s/he should upload a signed letter of recommendation on letterhead for this project and applicant(s).  Please include the last name of each applicant in the file name.

In your letter of recommendation, please comment on the following:

  1. Evaluate the project’s feasibility.
  2. Comment on the adequacy of the student’s preparation for this project.
  3. Discuss the project’s potential impact and level of engagement.
  4. Review and discuss the proposed budget and likelihood of any proposed external resources
  • One Letter of Recommendation for each team member (this cannot be your Mentor)--email and unique link will be generated by the webform process.

This Letter of Recommendation requires that your Recommender comment on the following:

  1. Explain in what capacity you know the applicant.
  2. Comment on the applicant’s abilities, commitment to engagement (locally, nationally, or globally), and the adequacy of the applicant’s preparation to undertake this project.
  3. Assess the applicant’s ability to see projects to completion, to follow through on commitments, and to take responsibility for complex or important tasks.
  4. If you are familiar with the applicant’s proposed project, please discuss the project’s feasibility, potential impact, and level of engagement.

1 - Project Proposal
Please answer the following questions in as much detail as possible.  Please also include a title page with your project title and your name(s), school(s), and expected graduation month(s). Maximum word counts are provided in parentheses following each question:

  • Describe your proposed project.  What is its overall purpose and how will you accomplish it? (400 words)
  • What experience (coursework, research, involvement in extracurricular activities, etc.) do you have that is relevant to your proposed project, as well as to local, national, or global engagement more generally? (250 words)
  • What will be accomplished if your project is implemented successfully?  How will you measure success? (200 words)
  • How will you work with your project mentor to achieve your stated goals? (100 words)

2 - Budget Planning
Please attach your completed budget planning form.  On a separate page, please describe in no more than 500 words how you will use your project budget to help you achieve your stated goals.  Be as specific as possible in describing how you would utilize your project funds.

3 - Other Materials
Please prepare the following for submission:

  • A one-page resume/CV for each member
  • an unofficial Penn transcript for each member
  • Signed letters of preliminary interest/commitment from each proposed partner organization and/or institution with whom you intend to work (if applicable)