Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Check out this step-by-step guide to the Fulbright process for potential applicants!

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Fulbright Grants fund 8-12 months of international experience in over 140 countries. With a long-standing mission of promoting mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchange, Fulbright opportunities can be categorized into two main grant types:

  • Study/Research grants offer the opportunity to carry out your own international research project in any discipline (or in some countries, to pursue a graduate degree)
  • English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) grants place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to teach English and share American culture


Penn Campus Deadline: August 31, 2020

National Deadline: October 13, 2020 (5pm EST)



Penn’s Application Process

  • Interested candidates should submit this brief webform to request access to CURF's Canvas site for Fulbright applicants. 
  • Applicants must submit complete applications through Fulbright’s online application system by August 31, 2020 in order to meet Penn’s Internal Deadline. Penn undergraduate and graduate students should apply through Penn, and utilize CURF advising and Penn’s Fulbright Faculty Committee (FFC).  Alumni are strongly encouraged to apply through Penn to access to CURF and FFC support, but have the option to apply At-Large. 
  • In September, applicants are matched with members of Penn’s Fulbright Faculty Committee, who provide feedback about application materials, conduct an interview, and draft a campus committee evaluation to be appended to the final application. This process is designed to be supportive and educational, and applicants will have an opportunity to revise some elements of their application before final submission. Additional details are available here
  • If an applicant is unable to submit a complete application by August but still wants to apply through Penn, they may do so by meeting Fulbright's National Deadline (October 13, 2020 at 5pm EST). While an applicant who does not meet Penn’s Internal Deadline cannot participate in the campus process outlined above, qualified candidates who submit complete applications through Penn by the National Deadline will still be forwarded to Fulbright’s National Screening Committee with the rest of Penn’s applicants.
  • By the end of January, the Institute for International Education (IIE) will notify candidates of their status after a preliminary national screening.  Candidates recommended by the national screening panels have their applications forwarded abroad for further review. Ultimately, Fulbright recipients will be selected jointly by the US State Department and National Commissions, and are notified on a rolling basis by country, typically in March and April. 


Regeneron Prize

Deadline: February 3 2021

The University of Pennsylvania has been invited to nominate two PhD students for the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation in biomedicine, broadly defined.  See the flyer for details. 

Penn coordinates an internal competition.  The deadline for the internal competition is 12 noon Eastern Time, February 3rd, 2021.   If you have a PhD student who would be competitive, please encourage them to apply.

To be considered for Penn nomination, applicants must complete the Penn Regeneron Prize application (http://apply.interfolio.com/81904), consisting of :

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 2-page single-spaced description of the applicant’s “dream research idea” in the field of Biomedical Science
  • A letter of recommendation from your Penn faculty advisor, requested through the above process

Applicants should not submit the application directly to Regeneron. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Aaron Olson at CURF, aolson@upenn.edu.

Note: The University can also nominate two Postdoctoral Fellows. Contact Josie Rook at rookj@upenn.edu in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research for details on the postdoc competition.

Hassenfeld Foundation Social Impact Grant

Deadline: March 14 2021

Hassenfeld Foundation Social Impact Grant

The Hassenfeld Foundation Social Impact Grant has been established to provide support to students who are undertaking innovative social impact projects with potential for real-world outcomes. While priority will be given to projects addressing domestic social challenges (based in the United States), projects focused on international issues will also be considered. Grants will be awarded up to $5,000 depending on the needs of the project.

Full-time, regularly enrolled 1st year, 2nd year, and junior undergraduates in good standing at the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts & Sciences are eligible to apply. International students are welcome to apply but must be eligible to work in the US to receive funding. Recipients are expected to return to Penn to share their experiences with other students and to contribute to an entrepreneurial culture of service at Penn and in the larger world.

Penn Deadline: March 14, 2021 (anticipated)

Application Process

To apply for the Hassenfeld Foundation Social Impact Grant, a student (or team of students) must complete the following steps by Penn’s (anticipated) Deadline of March 14, 2021.

The following documents must be submitted as a single PDF via Penn’s Request for Nomination application form (save each document as a pdf, then create a single pdf by navigating to Acrobat’s “File -> Create -> Combine Files into a Single PDF” feature). If you do not receive an email confirming your submission within 4 hours, please IMMEDIATELY email aolson@upenn.edu to make sure CURF has received your submission.

  • Short abstract (~100 words): On a separate page, explain the overall goals of the project
  • Proposal (2 pages): Use the following as suggested areas to cover rather than required categories:
    • Background: Evaluate existing knowledge and work in the area and briefly summarize/justify the proposed project’s potential contribution
    • Objectives: State the objectives and relevance of the proposed work in terms intelligible to an educated non-specialist
    • Project Design: Describe the procedures/actions to be employed and provide a timetable and implementation plan for completion of the project
    • Predicted Outcomes/Future Plans/Statement of Impact or Importance: Discuss the potential results to be generated from the submitted project, proposed next steps, and a statement of lessons to be learned from the undertaking
    • Preparation & Motivation: Describe how this project fits with BOTH your current academic, personal, and career interests/goals AND your future plans
  • Budget (Itemized and Total Overall): On a separate page list and justify each budget item in order of priority, including the total amount needed to complete the project. Here is an Excel template to guide your budget creation.
    • These funds may be used to support the student while undertaking the proposed project AND to offset reasonable project costs 
    • Types of allowable expenses include travel to project site, living expenses that would enable the student to participate in the project, programming support, materials and supplies, etc.
    • Reimbursement of living expenses may be taxable. Software and capital equipment are almost never funded. Items that cost $500 or more with a useful life of one year or more must be purchased with a University purchase requisition and will remain the property of the University. 
    • If funds are being sought from other sources, state the source and potential amount of such funding.
  • Additionally, each application must by supported by two letters – one letter of support from a Penn mentor (faculty or staff), and one letter of support from a proposed project affiliate in the host community. Once you have arranged for these letters, fill out a CURF Recommendation Request Form for each so that they can be submitted directly to CURF. These letters must also be received by Penn’s (anticipated) Deadline of March 14, 2021.
    • One letter of support should come from a Penn mentor (faculty or staff) and should discuss the project’s feasibility and the adequacy of the applicant’s/applicants’ preparation to complete it. It should also outline ways in which the applicant (or team of applicants) will be mentored over the course of the project and beyond.
    • One letter of support should come from a proposed project affiliate in the host community and should acknowledge that you have been in contact with local partners, that your project is welcome, and that you will have access to necessary materials and support while on location.


Procedures for Receiving Funding and Expectations for Grant Recipients:

Funds will not be disbursed until students review CURF’s information on Ethics and Compliance and complete and submit all necessary forms. All CURF-funded students must complete a Waiver of Liability. Once the award has been made and the Waiver of Liability has been submitted, recipients will be given instructions on how to access these funds.

Undergraduates receiving this funding are expected to (1) present a poster at a designated CURF event, (2) submit a website summary and photograph, and (3) provide a detailed report for the Hassenfeld Foundation.  The website summary should be suitable for posting on CURF’s website and will describe the project’s goals and content, what the student learned through the experience and how participating in this project contributed to the educational experience. The Foundation report should include the above and also detail the specific work (rather than the theoretical contribution) of the project and the potential for real-world outcomes and significant social impact that the project offers.

American Scandinavian Society Fellowship

The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) offers one-year fellowships (up to $23,000) and 1-3 month grants (up to $5,000) to individuals who have completed a Bachelor's degree to pursue research, study, or creative arts projects in one or more Scandinavian country.


Deadline: November 1, 2020 (TENTATIVE)

Penn’s Application Process

  • While the American-Scandinavian Foundation does not require Penn’s nomination, CURF will be happy to provide advice, guidance, and application assistance to you.

Contact Information

CURF can assist by providing stylistic feedback on essay drafts and other application-specific advice to Penn undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni.

Dr. Wallace Genser
Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships 
The ARCH, 3601 Locust Walk 
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6224
Please call 215-746-6488 to schedule an appointment

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: http://www.humanitiesurbanismdesign.com/


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: http://www.humanitiesurbanismdesign.com/publication_category/student-research-2/

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 (agoulet@sas.upenn.edu) or Daniel A. Barber (barberda@design.upenn.edu)

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)

Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Program

Deadline: January 31 2021

The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Program is a six-week summer institute for rising college juniors. This program offers a leadership curriculum that encourages students to examine their personal strengths, identify areas for growth, and ultimately take action as a leader. Fellows design and present a Capstone Project on an issue about which they are passionate. The program provides housing, transportation, meals, and a $3,000 stipend. To be eligible, sophomores must have at least a 3.40 GPA.


Deadline: January 31, 2021

Penn’s Application Process: This program does not require Penn’s nomination, but CURF will be happy to provide advice, guidance, and application assistance to you.

Sobti Family Fellowship

Application Link: Sobti Family Fellowship Application

CASI offers a post-baccalaureate fellowship award of $12,500 for a graduating senior or recent Penn graduate to spend at least nine (9) months in India. Eligible applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree from any of Penn’s four undergraduate schools up to two years previous to the current academic year. Applicants design a feasible independent research project in connection with their academic and professional interests. 

NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program

NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program

The NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program is an accelerated, individualized doctoral training program for outstanding science students committed to biomedical research careers. Successful applicants will spend half their time at the National Institutes of Health and the remainder at either Oxford or Cambridge in an intensive, research-driven, dual-mentored degree program. Students begin work to develop a dual-mentored thesis that meets their academic and research goals immediately upon acceptance. The scholar’s doctorate, usually completed in four years, is conferred by either Oxford or Cambridge, depending on where their research is done; hence applicants must meet requirements for acceptance into the graduate program of the relevant University.


Deadline: December 1, 2020 (TENTATIVE) - Application opens August 1, 2020 (TENTATIVE)


Penn’s Application Process

  • While the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program does not require Penn’s nomination, CURF will be happy to provide advice, guidance, and application assistance to you.


Boren Graduate Fellowship

Deadline: January 18 2021

Boren Graduate Fellowship

Boren Fellowships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide funding for US graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to US interests.  Boren Fellowships provide funding for overseas language study, academic study, research, an academic internship, or a combination of the above (though all proposals must include a significant language component).  Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.


Penn Deadline: January 18, 2021


Penn’s Application Process

  • Submit your application materials directly through the Boren Fellowship website by January 18, 2021.  CURF is then responsible for the final submission of your application. 


Fulbright Summer Institutes

Deadline: February 28 2021

Fulbright Summer Institutes

These summer programs provide the opportunity for US undergraduates with at least two years of undergraduate study left to complete to come to the UK on a fully-funded three-to-four week program.  Students will take part in cultural events, research, collaboration, and presentations at an esteemed British University.  Each Summer Institute will cover a different theme.  To be eligible, applicants must have at least a 3.70 GPA.


Deadline: February 28, 2021 


Penn’s Application Process

  • While the Fulbright Summer Institutes do not require Penn’s nomination, CURF will be happy to provide advice, guidance, and application assistance to you.