Conference Support (for conferences held at Penn)

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for the Spring 2020 SAS conference grant application has been extended to March 27, 2020; however, the URF deadline remains March 20, 2020.

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). 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.  Combined award amounts will not exceed $5,000.

Biannual application- and award-cycles for SAS Conference Support intentionally coincide with those of the URF.  Review committees work together to maximize award amounts for successful applications to both programs.  Therefore, standing faculty and Professors of Practice are required to simultaneously submit both Conference Support and URF applications.  Please see the SAS Research Support Application page for more information on simultaneously submitting SAS Conference Support and URF applications.

To Apply

Please submit the following to the SAS Research Support Application page by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020 (NOTE: the URF deadline of March 20th remains the same): :

An 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.

Please note: Because URF and SAS review committees work together to maximize award amounts for successful applications to both programs, standing faculty members and Professors of Practice in SAS are still required to submit a copy of their URF application together with their SAS conference support application, except when requesting support for projects that are not eligible for URF funding.  Identical narrative and budget information may be submitted for both opportunities.  All URF applications must submitted online directly to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, by the deadline.  The URF online application portal allows applicants to download a pdf copy of their application, once it has been submitted, and this copy can then be uploaded to the SAS Research Support Application page.  Please visit the the SAS Research Support Application page for more information on simultaneously submitting a SAS Conference application and a URF application copy.

While the Office of the Vice Provost now requires approval to be indicated via check-box certification instead of signatures for URF applications, it is nonetheless necessary for URF budgets to be approved by an SAS business office to ensure compliance with University financial guidelines.  Business office and department chair signatures are still required on the Conference Support cover sheet SAS Conference Support cover sheet.  lease submit your budget to your business office for review no later than noon on THURSDAY, MARCH 26 prior to submission by the March 27 deadline via the SAS Research Support Application page. Electronic signatures or emails in lieu of signatures are acceptable

Notification of Awards and Use of Funds

 Application Deadline   Notification of Award
 Late October  February
 Late March  June


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.