Conference Support (for conferences held at Penn)

The University and the School provide funds to support conferences, whether a meeting sponsored by a group of faculty at Penn or a meeting of a regional or national organization. The University’s program is run through the University Research Foundation (URF), which offers grants in the fall term only.  SAS will provide up to $5,000 on a competitive basis and in combination with URF awards for the support of a conference or colloquium, if it involves substantial participation of Penn faculty and students and promises to enhance the research of our intellectual community.

While the School recognizes that such conferences bring visibility to SAS and provide important collegial and research connections for faculty, it is expected that such conferences will be largely self-supporting through registration fees, association funds, or outside grants, particularly in cases where funding for honoraria is requested. Planning and applications for funds should be done far in advance of the conference itself.  Faculty may apply for Conference/URF Support up to one year in advance of the scheduled conference, bearing in mind the schedule of award notifications. No one should assume that there will be a subvention from the University or SAS.

In their application for funds to SAS, organizers are expected to indicate what other sources of funds--extramural as well as support from departments, centers, and Penn--have been approached for support of the conference.


SAS standing faculty and Professors of Practice. 

Award Amounts

Faculty may request up to $5,000 in SAS Conference Support and $3,000 in URF funds (Fall only).  Combined award amounts will not exceed $5,000.

The Spring Conference grant cycle operates independently of the URF.  The Fall application-and-award cycle for ROGs intentionally coincides with that of the URF (now offered once annually in the Fall semester), and review committees work together to maximize award amounts for successful applications to both programs.  Therefore, standing faculty are strongly encouraged to simultaneously submit both ROG and URF applications in the Fall cycle where eligible. 

To Apply

Please submit the following to the SAS Research Support Application page by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2024.

A SAS Conference Support application--a single pdf comprising:

  • Conference Support cover sheet, signed by your department chair and business administrator
  • a proposal of no more than three pages addressing the purpose of the conference, benefits to Penn students and faculty and to scholarly/research programs at Penn, the relationship of the meeting to department, institute, or center programs, and matching funds from institutional or external sources.
  • a budget which has been reviewed by your business administrator
  • a current curriculum vitae of the principal investigator/applicant.

Business office and department chair signatures (electronic OK) are required on the Conference Support cover sheet.  Please submit your budget to your business office for review no later than noon on THURSDAY, April 4th prior to submission by the April 5th deadline. 

Notification of Awards and Use of Funds

 Application Deadline   Notification of Award
 October  January
 March  Early Summer


Because the review process for Conference Support applications, conducted by a committee of SAS deans, is coordinated with that of URF applications, conducted by committees appointed by the Vice Provost for Research, notification will occur after both committees have completed their reviews.

Awards are subject to SAS guidelines for the use of faculty research funds.  They will be administered by the recipient's regional business office.