Hayden Scholars

Application Deadline

March 22, 2020


The Hayden Scholars aims to be a community of undergraduate researchers in the geosciences at Penn through extra-curricular, independent research experiences affiliated with the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. The program will train students for success as future geoscientists through mentoring and in doing so, encourage students to go on to pursue advanced degrees in Earth science; develop collegial relationships and interactions amongst students and faculty as well as other professionals; and cultivate scientific, data analysis, presentation, networking and other workforce skills, while strengthening the Earth and Environmental Sciences undergraduate programs.

Stipend and Benefits of the Program to the Student:

Hayden Scholars will receive a $4,500 stipend for a minimum of 10-week summer internship. Scholars can also apply separately for additional funds for research materials and expenses, research travel and/or travel to present research results at national or international conferences (e.g., AGU, GSA, etc.).


Preference is given to declared or prospective Earth Science (EASC) and Environmental Studies (ENVS) majors intending to do research with faculty associated with the Department of Earth and Environmental Science (EES). Non-majors working with EES faculty, or EASC and ENVS majors working with non-EES faculty will also be considered. Emphasis will be placed on independent research that is to be initiated, designed and executed by the student rather than the placement of students into existing faculty research programs. A committee consisting of the Undergraduate Chair and a faculty member of EES will review applications and select students each year.


Students must apply to the Hayden Scholars Program through the CURF portal. Students must submit the materials below in a single .pdf formatted file. To create a copy of your Penn transcript, go to Penn InTouch and print your transcript to pdf. Print and save each document as a pdf, then create a single pdf file as indicated above by navigating to Acrobat’s “File -> Create -> Combine Files into a Single PDF” feature.

  • Research Proposal: Describe the project you intend to undertake. With whom will you work? What is exciting, new, or valuable about your project? What scientific contribution will it make? What do you plan to do? How do you plan to do it? What are the project’s goals, and why is it important? How is it similar to different from your mentor’s ongoing research program? (max 500 words, excluding a list of references)
  • Copy of your PennInTouch Transcript
  • Statement from mentor: An email from the intended mentor sent directly to earth@sas.upenn.edu acknowledging their support and the relationship (if any) between the proposed work and the mentor’s ongoing research program.

Components of the Program:

Research mentorship. This will involve working for an EES (or other) faculty member, sometimes under the direct supervision of a graduate student or postdoc to execute the proposed independent research project.

The Hayden Summer Fellowship. Hayden Scholars will meet regularly with a rotation of EES faculty and the other undergraduate research fellows to discuss their research, provide peer review and support, learn best practices, and grow as scientists. At the end of the summer, a small symposium will take place with students and mentors. Examples of summer informational sessions during weekly meetings could include:

  • Getting started with… (Excel/R/SPSS/Python/Matlab, …)
  • Best practices in… (data management, record keeping, …)
  • Making a research poster
  • Designing a research talk
  • Publishing research in the scientific literature

The Summer Fellowship meetings will emphasize “soft skills” such as data/statistical analysis, GIS/remote sensing, computer programming, scientific writing, presentation skills, networking and other workforce skills.

Expected outcomes. Upon completion of the Fellowship, students are expected to present the results of their research at the Penn Undergraduate Research Symposium. Presentation of the research at a conference (e.g., GSA, AGU) or publication of the research in the peer-review literature is a goal, but not a requirement.

Eligible fields of research:

The Hayden Scholars Program will aim to train undergraduates in a wide range of geoscience fields, including Dynamics and Structure of Earth Materials; Ocean, Atmosphere and Climate Sciences; Biogeochemistry and Global Environmental Change; Paleobiology/Geobiology. Students are encouraged to consult with the EES departmental research webpage  and faculty profile pages. Students may also propose projects that are not immediately within the scope of faculty research but induce sufficient interest to generate mentorship.


Research Offering Type

Independent Research

Research Offering Location

Research Eligibility: 

Undergraduate School

College Engineering

Research Offering Source


Contact Information