GAPSA-Provost’s Award for Interdisciplinary Innovation
Applications for the GAPSA-Provost’s Award for Interdisciplinary Innovation should be
submitted to: The Office of the Provost, 122 College Hall, Philadelphia Pa 19104-6303
All inquiries should be directed to the Vice Chair for Research Students via e-mail.
The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) and Penn Provost Ronald J.
Daniels announce a prestigious and competitive award for graduate and professional
student-conceived interdisciplinary projects that includes a summer fellowship stipend of
up to $6,000. Projects may range widely in topic and purpose, integrating knowledge
from different disciplines. Project Teams can range in size from a single individual to
large groups, and composition will preferably be made up of individuals from different
departments or schools. Up to two Project Team Leaders may receive a total of $6,000 of
summer stipend funding through this program offered jointly by GAPSA and the Office
of the Provost.
Only full-time graduate or professional students may apply for the Award, and only
students without full summer stipend support will be eligible for the fellowship. Fully
funded students may apply for the prestige associated with winning the Award, but will
not receive the fellowship funding.
End Products of the Fellowship
End products may vary widely depending on the focus and nature of the project.
Examples may include: an academic paper (publishable or presentable), a business plan
or strategy for a profit or non-profit, a policy idea or proposal for local, state, or federal
government (referenda, bills, etc.), a piece of artwork, etc. Award recipients will also be
asked to submit a report at the end of the summer documenting (1) their findings or end
product, (2) hurdles encountered doing their interdisciplinary work and (3) unique skills
or knowledge gained through working in an interdisciplinary fashion. Finally, fellows
will participate in a poster session during October in the academic year following the
summer they are supported. The poster session will provide a venue for fellows to present
their work, receive feedback from the larger Penn academic community, and encourage
future interdisciplinary collaborations. The poster session will be organized in
conjunction with the Graduate Student Center located at 3616 Locust Walk.
Criteria for Selection
Applications will be accepted from full-time individual graduate and professional
students or from teams of graduate/professional students. Criteria for selection will
include (1) demonstration of using bodies of knowledge (theoretical or methods) from
more than one discipline to address the issues; (2) feasibility of the proposed project
within the three month timeframe; and (3) relevance of the project to the local or global
community. Applications will require a letter of support from a faculty member who is
willing to work with the team during the summer months, and a note of approval for
summer stipend support from the applicants graduate program, which include the contact
information of a Business Administrator who is able to process stipend payrolls. Only
full-time enrolled Penn graduate or professional students are eligible. The selection
committee will be composed of graduate and professional students, faculty, and a
representative from the Office of the Provost.
Brevity and clarity will enhance the likelihood of the application’s success. Failure to
provide the information in the order requested below, or to comply with page limitations,
will risk disqualification from the competition. All applications should be limited to no
more than ten pages (single spaced, not including cover, recommendations, and
transcripts) and should include:
1. Cover sheet, which should include the name of the Project Leader(s), names of
collaborators (if any), degree program(s), year in program(s) and phone number,
e-mail address, department, school, address of the project leader; the title of the
proposal; the signatures of the project leader(s), the recommending Advisor (with
title and department), and the Business Administrator(s) who administers the
Project Leader’s (or Leaders’) stipend payroll account(s) (also with title and
2. An abstract of no more than 250 words.
3. A brief biographical sketch of each investigator (preferably no more than two
4. An indication of the Project Leader’s (or Leaders’) need for the fellowship
funding, if any: availability of other funding sources for this project; detail of
funding received during the school year; and current funding or loan status (i.e. no
future funding from Penn, two more years of funding, and/or amount of current
graduate/professional school loans).
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5. A description of the research proposal giving the scope, rationale, significance,
plan, and potential impact of the project. Indicate the number of people served by
the project, either in the past or projected for the future.
6. A sufficient review of any literature related to the proposed project.
7. A description of the methods to be used and intended outcome of project.
8. A description of the proposed “End-Product.”
9. A description of future work that can emanate from this project.
In addition to submitting the above document, please submit two (2) recommendations
(at least one from a faculty member) for each Project Leader and a Penn transcript
(unofficial is acceptable) for each Project Leader as well.
For current the deadline, see the GAPSA website: http://www.gapsa.upenn.edu