Highlighted Opportunities

There are many, many opportunities that students can apply for, and each has its own application requirements and procedures. Institutional support and resources will vary depending on the type and details of the award. 

See our monthly listing of upcoming deadlines in our Penn Grad News feed for even more opportunities. 

Institutional Endorsement & Limited Submission Awards

Prestigious awards requiring university interview, nomination, or submission. 

Award Name Internal Deadline
Boren Fellowship
Provides up to $25,000 to support graduate research or study abroad, with a focus on language learning and U.S. strategic national interests. Any field. Learn more.
AAAS Catalyzing Advocacy in Science & Engineering (CASE) Workshop 
Opportunity for students in STEM and social science fields to learn about science policy, the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and appropriations process, and tools for effective science communication and civic engagement. Open to US citizens and non-US citizens. Learn more.
Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships
Supports academic year and summer training in modern foreign languages and related area or international studies or with the international aspects of professional or fields of study. Open to US citizens and permanent residents. Learn more

Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation
Recognizes excellence in Biomedical Science conducted by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Penn may nominate two graduate students and two postdocs. The $50,000 award is a personal cash prize for the recipient. Call for nominations typically distributed in fall.
Learn more.

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship
Grants to support 6-12 months of full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Applications must be reviewed and approved for submission by the University. The campus deadline is typically two (2) weeks prior to national deadline. Students interested in applying should contact the University of Pennsylvania Project Director for the Fulbright-Hays DDRA (Tracey Turner; 215-898-4940), well in advance of the campus deadline.  Learn more
Schmidt Science Fellows 
Penn is one of a select number of institutions invited to nominate graduating PhD students for the Schmidt Science Fellows in partnership with the Rhodes Trust. Fellows receive a stipend of $100,000 and additional support to undertake a full-time, 11+ month postdoctoral study in a field different from their existing area of expertise. Fellows also participate in a series of features four global meetings at the world’s leading academic institutions, over the course of the year. Students must complete a PhD in the sciences before the deadline and should be nominated by a faculty member. Call for nominations is typically sent to graduate deans in March - internal school processes for selection may vary. Contact your graduate dean or graduate group chair for more information. Learn more.
Council of Graduate Studies (CGS) / Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Awards
Recognizes individuals who have completed dissertations representing original work that make an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Penn may submit up to two nominees each year. The award includes $2,000 and a certificate of recognition, which is presented at the annual CGS Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon in December (travel expenses provided). Call for nominations sent to graduate group chairs in April. Learn more
Fulbright US Student Program 
Prestigious program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Funds 8-12 months of graduate research, study, and/or teaching abroad in over 140 countries worldwide. Students must submit an application for campus review and endorsement. The campus deadline is typically in August. U.S. citizens only. Learn more.
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings 
Penn is one of a select number of universities invited to nominate up to two doctoral students to attend the annual Lindau Meeting with Nobel Laureates. Nominees must be U.S. citizens pursuing a doctoral degree in a field related to the annual theme, who have completed at least one year of graduate study and will not be graduating in the following academic year. Nominations are typically solicited from faculty in August. Learn more
HHMI Gilliam Graduate Fellowships for Advanced Study
Supports the development of scholars who will assume leadership roles in science, especially among college and university faculties responsible for developing the next generation of scientists. Open to PhD students in their 2nd or 3rd year of study who are: motivated toward careers as academic scientists; from racial, ethnic, and other underrepresented groups in science, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds; and, committed to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in science. Students must be nominated by faculty. Call for nominations typically in September. Learn more.
Google PhD Fellowship
Recognizes outstanding graduate students conducting research in computer science and related fields. Current PhD students only. Learn more.
NIH NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00)
Supports outstanding, late-stage graduate students with a demonstrated potential and interest in pursuing careers as independent researchers by facilitating the successful transition to their postdoctoral positions. Penn can select one student to apply each year. If you are eligible and want to be considered, please email Dr. David Feldser (dfeldser@upenn.edu) your NIH biosketch, a one-page summary of your thesis research to date, and a one-page LOI. 
Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowship
Full tuition plus a stipend of $18,000 for up to three years. U.S. citizens pursuing a graduate degree in any recognized field of study in the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences  are eligible. The terms require that the Fellow conduct studies entirely within the USA and prove financial need. Learn more.
Microsoft PhD Fellowship 
Two year fellowship for doctoral students pursuing degrees in fields related to Microsoft research areas. 
NIH NRSA Graduate Fellowships (F-Series)
Up to 5 years of financial support for research training leading to a PhD, combined M.D./Ph.D. degree, or another formally combined professional degree and research doctoral degree in biomedical, behavioral, health services, or clinical sciences

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Internal Award Competitions

There are a number of competitive fellowships and awards to support Penn graduate students. In many cases, students must be nominated by their department and cannot apply directly to these awards. Students wishing to be nominated should contact their department’s graduate chair for details. 

Program Deadline Month
Provost’s Graduate Academic Engagement Fellowship at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships 
Program for outstanding PhD students whose scholarship significantly involves Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) and related activities, including locally based community problem-solving, engaged scholarship, service learning, and learning by teaching in public schools. Fellows participate in a seminar on community engagement research and teaching, research funds, conference travel support, and funding. Learn more.
Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students
Recognizes the profound impact of graduate students on education at Penn. Nominations come directly from undergraduate and graduate students. Ten prizes are awarded annually. Call for nominations sent directly to students. Learn more.
Wolf Humanities Center Graduate Student Research Fellowships
The Wolf Humanities Center offers two one-year research fellowships to Penn graduate students in the humanities who are ABD and conducting research related to an annual theme. Research fellows receive $3,000 each and are required to attend the Center’s weekly Mellon Research Seminar and to present their work at one of the sessions. Learn more.
Wolf Humanities Center Graduate Student Research Assistantship
One year graduate research assistantship to Penn graduate student in the humanities who is ABD and conducting research related to an annual theme.  The Graduate Research Assistantship provides tuition and a stipend of approximately $39,425 and carries membership in the Center’s Mellon Research Seminar on Kinship. The half-time position requires 15–20 hours per week of service in a variety of functions at the Wolf Humanities Center. Learn more
Gloria Chisum Graduate Fellowship 
Fellowship to support new and continuing doctoral students from populations most under-represented nationally in PhD education. Fellows receive a stipend of $30,000, tuition, fees, and insurance for the first two years at Penn. Call for nominations typically in February. 
Marymount Fellowship
Supports graduate and professional students who are graduates of Marymount Manhattan College (Bronx) or any of the Marymount Colleges established by the Order of the Religious Sacred Heart of Mary. Fellows receive $5000/year for up to three years. Call for nominations typically in February. 
President's & Provost's Honor for Developing New Initiatives in Graduate & Professional Student Life 
Presented to graduate or professional students, upon their graduation from Penn, who have been a catalyst for transformative and lasting new developments that have enhanced graduate and professional student life at Penn. Learn more.
March / October
Dr. Andy Binns Award for Outstanding Service to Graduate and Professional Student Life 
Presented to graduate or professional students, upon their graduation from Penn, who have significantly impacted or extensively contributed to graduate and professional student life at Penn through outstanding service involvement in student life programs, initiatives, or organizations. Learn more.
March / October
CETLI Graduate Fellowships for Teaching Excellence
Honors graduate students who are dedicated to excellent teaching and is designed to foster conversations about teaching to help graduate students develop as teachers. Fellows participate in regular teaching discussions with the other Graduate Fellows, organize departmental and university-wide teaching workshops for graduate students, and mentor other graduate students in teaching, consulting with and observing current teaching assistants as demand arises. Fellows receive $6,000 award for the school year. Candidates must be nominated by their department. See the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Innovation (CETLI) website for more details. Call for nominations typically sent to faculty in February. 
late March / early April
YH Park Fellowship in Korean Studies 
Provides PhD tuition, 12-month stipend, and health insurance to graduate students in the humanities, social sciences, international management, international studies, or fine arts whose primary research area is Korea and whose dissertation will be on Korea. Fellows are expected to continue their scholarly activities outside of Korea after graduation and must have sufficient proficiency to use Korean-language sources in conducting research and writing dissertations. Open to current master's or PhD students. Open to US citizens and non-US citizens. Learn more.

late March / early April

GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation (currently paused / not offered for 2023-24)
Grants of $6,000 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.There are two types of Fellowships: Academic Year (Oct deadline) and Summer (April deadline) Fellows. Learn more.
April / October
Project in the Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (HUD)
Small research grants 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 $2000 per proposal. Learn more.
Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity 
These residential fellowships will support graduate students in the humanities or social sciences in the final stages of dissertation research or writing at Penn. They offer an opportunity for scholars who plan an academic career to continue to take advantage of Penn programs and faculty expertise and afford access to libraries. Each scholar will be hosted by their department or school.  Recipients will be in the stage of either advanced dissertation research or writing. Not open to current Penn Students. Learn more.
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities
Five Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships are available each academic year. Awards carry a competitive, full-time stipend as well as other benefits. Scholars spend one year in residence at Penn and teach one undergraduate course in addition to conducting independent research. Annual calls for applications open in late spring. Learn more
Penn Global Dissertation Grants for PhD students 
Penn Global, in partnership with the Office of the Vice Provost for Education, is launching the Penn Global Dissertation Grants program, which will provide up to $8,000 to selected Ph.D. student applicants who will either A) use this program’s resources to explore and engage global components for their early-stage dissertation research, or B) use this program’s resources to broaden and deepen their late-stage dissertation research, ideally leveraging their dissertation towards future career opportunities in global leadership. Following their funded research, awardees will, in consultation with Penn Global, identify ways to leverage their work to enhance Penn’s global engagement. Call for applications open in October. Learn more.

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Other Programs of Interest

Many awards are designed for students to apply to the foundation or granting agency directly, without a campus endorsement process. Of these, several programs stand out as particularly interesting to Penn graduate & professional students. Although you apply for these awards directly, we strongly encourage you to seek feedback and guidance from the fellowships team at CURF, your faculty advisor(s), and peer advisors or mentors. 

  • American Academy in Rome: Rome Prize 
    Rome Prize fellows reside at the Academy's eleven-acre center in Rome and receive room and board, and a stipend for periods ranging from 6-months to two years. Preference is given to applicants for whom research time in Italy, and especially in the city of Rome, is essential, and who have not had extensive prior experience there.

  • American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) Fellowships & Grants
    Awards to support study, research, or creative projects in one or more Scandinavian country for up to one year. Preference is given to candidates conducting dissertation-related study or research, who have at least some ability in the host country language.

  • Center for Engaged Scholarship (CES) Dissertation Fellowships
    Supports 9-months of full time dissertation research and/or writing for Ph.D. students in academic departments and programs in the social sciences, including: anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, social psychology, and sociology.

  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
    Completion fellowship for 12-months of full-time dissertation writing on topics related to ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences. 

  • DAAD -- The German Academic Exchange Service
    Scholarships funding study, research, and/or internships in Germany for one semester to one year. Preference will be given to students whose projects or programs are based at and organized by a German university. Programs include: 

    • DAAD RISE Pro for graduate students and undergraduate DAAD RISE alumni to carry out summer internships with German companies.
    • Graduate Study Scholarship for one full year of study in any subject for a master’s degree or an independent research project at an institution in Germany. 
    • and more! 
  • Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF)
    Renewable fellowships for outstanding students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields of study that use high performance computing to solve complex science and engineering problems. Provides a yearly stipend, tuition, a research allowance, and more. Applicants must be in the first year of graduate study in engineering, mathematics, or the physical, computer, or life sciences.

  • Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program
    Provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students conducting research in areas that address scientific challenges central to the Office of Science mission. Recipients conduct 3-12 months of research at a participating host DOE laboratory/facility in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist within a defined award period. 

  • Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
    Support the final year of dissertation writing and defense for individuals completing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree. Fellows have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
    Predoctoral fellowships provide three years of support for individuals engaged in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree. Fellows have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

  • Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity
    Formerly known as the National Physical Science Consortium, Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity is a partnership between government agencies and laboratories, industry, and higher education. Fellowships are awarded to doctoral students in the physical sciences and related engineering fields. The competition is open to all qualified U.S. citizens, with an emphasis on recruiting a diverse applicant pool. NPSC Fellows receive one or two paid summers internships at their NPSC-sponsoring employer’s research facility, as well as tuition, fees, and stipends for up to six years.

  • Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship
    Highly selective fellowship supporting the nation's most remarkable PhD students in the physical, biological and engineering sciences. Applicants must be students of the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and engineering who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States of America, and who are willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency

  • Insight Data Fellows Programs 
    Funded, intensive seven (7) week post-doctoral training fellowship programs bridging the gap between academia & data science in several areas:data science, data engineering, health data, decentralized consensus, AI, and more.

  • Josephine De Karman Fellowship
    Completion fellowships for PhD students entering their final year who will defend their dissertation by June of the following academic year. All disciplines are eligible. Special consideration is given to applicants in the humanities. 

  • Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant Program
    Research funding research funding opportunity for doctoral students from groups underrepresented in computing (women, African-Americans/Blacks, Latinos, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and/or people with disabilities). PhD students must be conducting dissertation work that relates to computing topics in which Microsoft Research has expertise. PhD students must be in their fourth year or beyond in a PhD program when they apply for this grant. 

  • National GEM Consortium Fellowship Program
    GEM offers MS and Ph.D. level students an outstanding opportunity and access to dozens of the top Engineering and Science firms and Universities in the nation. The GEM Fellowship was designed to focus on promoting opportunities for individuals to enter industry at the graduate level in areas such as research and development, product development, and other high level technical careers. GEM also offers exposure to a number of opportunities in academia.

  • NRC Research Associateship Programs (RAP) 
    The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies administers competitive graduate, postdoctoral, and senior research awards on behalf of 26 U.S. government research agencies and affiliated institutions with facilities at over 100 locations throughout the U.S. and abroad. Research Associates receive annual stipends ranging from $30,000 to $80,000 by degree level and  proportionally higher for Senior Associates. The NRC also provides health insurance, relocation benefits and an allowance for professional travel. The host laboratory provides research facilities, equipment and funding for supplies to support the Associate’s research. Citizenship requirements vary by host institution. 

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)
    The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides 3 years of support to outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are at or near the beginning of graduate study. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend, cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at their chosen accredited U.S. institution of graduate education.

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Programs for Graduate Students
    Listing of various programs provide either direct (i.e., from NSF) or indirect (i.e., from an awardee institution) funding for graduate students at this level or identify programs that focus on educational developments for this group such as curricula development, training or retention.

  • Soros Fellowship for New Americans
    The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship supports the graduate education of New Americans (immigrants or the children of immigrants),  who are poised to make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture, or their academic field. Fellows receive up to $90,000 in financial support over two years and join a lifelong community of New American Fellows. 

  • Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship
    Supports up to 12 months of support to PhD students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are conducting dissertation research on non-US topics. Fellowship amounts vary depending on the research plan, with a per-fellowship average of $23,000. The fellowship includes participation in an SSRC-funded interdisciplinary workshop upon the completion of IDRF-funded research.