Project in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design

The Project in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D), invites graduate students to submit research proposals for Academic Year 2020-21. Small grants will be awarded to support projects that align with the mission of the H+U+D project.

H+U+D is a joint effort among the Schools of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and Design (PennDesign), and the Penn Institute of Urban Research (Penn IUR) whose objective is to promote synergies among the humanities and design disciplines. Beginning in 2018, the initiative takes “The Inclusive City” as its theme, focusing on issues of inclusivity and diversity. For more information on the initiative see:


Graduate Research

Small research grants will be awarded to support interdisciplinary design/humanities projects undertaken by graduate students in humanities and design disciplines that focus on the built environment. Eligible research must draw from both humanities and design disciplines. Examples of eligible work include master’s thesis projects, independent study projects, and doctoral dissertation research. Preference will be given to projects related to the “Inclusive City” theme. The maximum award is $2,000 per proposal. Allowable research expenses include travel, archival charges, and photography. Previously funded student projects are available to review here:

Application Instructions

All applications are due by 4:00 PM on May 15, 2020, including letters of recommendation (see next section).

The application should include, in one PDF:

  • Research project proposal (maximum: 500 words)
  • Short itemized budget
  • Unofficial Penn transcript

Submit your proposal no later than 4:00 PM on May 15, 2020, to the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) via the student application. A special awards sub-committee will review proposals, and funds will be transferred to successful applicants’ departments for disbursement. Questions? Contact Andrea Goulet ( or Daniel A. Barber (

Letter of Recommendation

Please follow all instructions for requesting letters from your faculty advisor:

As early as possible, request a letter from your faculty research advisor via the Recommendation Request Form.  Completing this form automatically generates an email to your recommender with instructions on how to upload their letter to the CURF site.  Please ask your advisor to anticipate the arrival of this email (which is sometimes sorted to junk or spam folders), and inform them whether you have chosen to keep their letter confidential and waive your right of access to it.  It is your responsibility that this letter be submitted to CURF no later than 4:00 PM on May 15, 2020.

The letter should:

  • Discuss the project’s feasibility and the adequacy of the applicant’s preparation to complete it
  • Review and comment on the student’s projected budget
  • Make clear the nature and extent of the student’s contribution in formulating and carrying out the project
  • Advise the student on any applicable Institutional Review Board or related issues
  • Detail what supplies and/or support they are able to provide to ensure project completion
  • Outline the active ways in which the student will be mentored during the research process (both in summer and beyond)

Contact Information

Contact Andrea Goulet ( or Daniel A. Barber (

Fellowship Availability

Fellowship Location: 

Fellowship Type


Fellowship Eligibility

Graduate Student