GAPSA-Provost Awards

**This program is currently paused while undergoing a restructuring and expansion by GAPSA and the Office of the Provost. We anticipate that new details and instructions will be announced in mid- to late-Spring 2024. 

GAPSA-Provost Awards for Interdisciplinary Innovation 

Academic Year Awards Summer Awards 
Deadline: TBA
Recommender Deadline: TBA 

Deadline: TBA
Recommender Deadline: TBA

The GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation is a program jointly funded by GAPSA and the Office of the Provost for the expressed purpose of fostering an interdisciplinary graduate and professional environment at the University of Pennsylvania. This highly competitive award strives to support original, student-derived initiatives that integrate knowledge across diverse academic disciplines. The fellowship is also meant to help the project leader(s) develop, pursue and complete their proposed interdisciplinary initiatives.

Academic Year Fellows are to complete their proposed research projects over the course of the fall-winter with an end product due in April of the current academic year. Summer Fellows complete research over the summer with end products due in late September. 

Program Overview 

  • Eight awards with funds of up to $6,000 will be awarded each year. This program is funded in equal portion by GAPSA and the Office of the Provost.
  • Funds are awarded per project on the basis of the submitted budget. If a commissioned project has two project leaders, that project will still only receive a maxiumum of $6,000.
  • Proposed projects may have no more than two project leaders.There is no limit to the number or affiliation of persons collaborating with and/or contributing to the completion of the proposed projects.
  • There must be at least one mentoring faculty member who agrees to monitor the progress of the proposed project over the period of the fellowship.
  • All awardees are required to participate in a poster session and reception in late April following the period covered by the fellowship.
Who Can Apply

To be eligible, applicants must: 

  • Be enrolled in a degree-granting graduate or professional degree-granting program at Penn throughout the period covered by the award. 
  • Be in good academic standing at the time of application and throughout the funded terms. 
  • Have not already received a GAPSA-Provost Interdiciplinary Award. 
  • Submit research reports and present at an end-of-year poster session and reception in the spring. 
Program Requirements

All recipients are expected to complete the following requirements: 

Monthly Updates
Fellows are expected to communicate their progress with their mentoring faculty member at the end of each month. Fellows are also required to submit a monthly summary of their research accomplishments and progress. Fellows must indicate the status of each goal/ aim specified in their application. The report must include an update on the work plan from the proposal and details on what activities have been completed toward reaching the end product.

These reports are due on the last day of each month during the period covered by the award:

  • Academic Year Recipients: December, January, February and March.
  • Summer Fellowship Recipients: May, June, July, and August. 

Research Report
Fellows will submit a report at the end of their fellowship documenting (1) their findings or end product, (2) hurdles encountered during their fellowship, and (3) unique skills or knowledge gained through working in an interdisciplinary fashion.

The research report is due by April 15 (AY awards) or September 15 (Summer awards) 

End Product
Fellows must produce an end product for their funded project. End products may vary widely depending on the focus and nature of the project. Examples include the following: an academic paper (publishable or presentable), a business plan or strategy for a profit or non-profit enterprise, a policy idea or proposal for local, state, or federal government (referenda, bills, etc.), a piece of artwork, or a website.

End products are due no later than April 30 (AY awards) or September 30 (Summer awards) 

Academic Poster
Following the completion of the fellowship, fellows are required to create a conference-quality poster that will be displayed at the Graduate Student Center at the end of the spring semester.

Poster poster dimensions should be 5’-6’ by 3’ (or vice versa). Posters can be printed through the Weigle Information Commons in the Van Pelt Library. Fellows are responsible for fees associated with poster printing. In April, a reception will be held for all AY and Summer fellows. Posters need to be delivered to the Graduate Student Center at least 7 days prior to the reception. The GAPSA Chair for Research Students will let the fellows know the date of the reception as soon as it is set.

Poster Session
Fellows are required to attend the poster session and reception. Fellows will be recognized in formal remarks and will have an opportunity to stand next to their posters to answer individual questions from attendees. Fellows are welcome to invite faculty, colleagues and friends to the reception. All guests and attendees should register through the Graduate Student Center website in advance.

Monthly updates, research reports, and end products should be submitted through the online GAPSA-Provost Reporting Form. 
Questions should be directed to the GAPSA Provost account at

Application Process

Project leader(s) must submit a complete application containing, among other things, a research proposal.

A complete application includes the following: 

  • Online application form including 
    • Project leader(s) academic and contact information 
    • Faculty Recommender(s) / Mentor(s) contact information 
    • Project Abstract (300 words max)
    • Interdisciplinary Innovation (600 words max)
    • Project Proposal (6 pages / 3000 words max)
    • Project Budget (600 words max)
    • Biographical Sketch or CV for project leaders (PDF, uploaded in online form) 
  • Recommendation form submitted by mentoring faculty member 
  • (optional) additional letters of recommendation 

A description of application components can be found in the award description on the GAPSA Individual Grants page. 


Review and Selection Process

Grants are reviewed in a 2-stage process by a student selection committee composed of members of GAPSA's Professional Student Council and Research Student Council, then by a selection committee within the Office of the Provost.

Recipients will be notified within 3 weeks of the application deadline and have one week to accept or decline the award.