Dean's Global Inquiries Fund

As home to a multitude of subject matter experts and associated resources that span traditional and emerging disciplines, the School of Arts and Sciences stands at the forefront of the University’s endeavors to support greater understanding and advances in the study of global issues. The Dean’s Global Inquiries Fund augments the development and advancement of teaching and research projects that explore the interconnectivity and complexity of the cultural, social, political, and economic forces that shape peoples, nations, and regions, as well as their relations with one another. The Fund, in keeping with the SAS Strategic Plan, aims to stimulate the collective investigation of global topics among the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences; across departments, programs, centers, and schools; or across time periods.


While proposals that include faculty from other schools are admissible, a SAS standing faculty member must serve as the project lead. In addition, applications should provide information about other funds available to support the project.

Award Amounts

The Dean’s Global Inquiries Fund awards up to $50,000 on a competitive basis to faculty collaborators for a variety of initiatives, including, but not limited to working groups, visiting scholars, curriculum development, research and outreach projects, and seminars and symposia.

Activities or Purchases Covered

Activities eligible for support through the Fund include those that have a broad impact on the Penn community, programs and projects not eligible for funding from outside agencies or foundations, and promising projects that require seed-funding in order to compete successfully for outside grant support.  Applications may also be submitted for matching funds that are either encouraged or required for various Provost-managed global engagement fundsGraduate tuition and salary support for faculty are not allowable expenses.  The application should provide information about other funds available to support the project.

To Apply

Step 1: Faculty with a proposal idea are asked to discuss it informally with their divisional dean well in advance of submitting an application.

Step 2: submit the following to the SAS Research Support Application page by February 14, 2020:       

  • Application Cover sheet
  • Proposal of 800 words or less that includes a project summary, project rationale, goals and objectives, timeframe, and plan for evaluation
  • Brief bios (no more than 2 pages) of participating faculty
  • Budget outlining proposed expenditures (up to two years.)
  • Plan to involve students.  If the project involves a course, address the following questions:
    • Is this a new or existing course?
    • In which semester(s) will the course be taught?
    • What is the course level (undergraduate, graduate, or cross-listed for both)?
    • Who will teach the course?
    • If the course will involve overseas travel with students, briefly describe the trip, including the planned timing, the rough itinerary, and the main educational components for students.

Preference will be given to projects that involve:

  • Faculty across multiple disciplines and departments
  • Opportunities to attract new resources to sustain project activities beyond the terms of the award
  • Some evaluation of the short and long-term impacts of the research, program, or project  
  • Opportunities for organized presentations by students and faculty to present findings to the larger Penn community

Proposals that engage with and leverage the resources of SAS as well as Penn’s established centers of excellence in global studies, including Perry World House, are encouraged.

Notification of Awards and Use of Funds

Reporting Requirements

  • A final report that details the activities supported by the grant and provides a full accounting of expenditures will be due within 90 days of the conclusion of the grant. For multi-year projects, annual interim reports are also required.
  • A presentation of findings to the larger Penn community as part of a formal SAS program.