SAS Research Opportunity Grants

SAS expects that the faculty’s first step in seeking financial support for their research will be from external sources, including governmental agencies and foundations, the University Research Foundation (URF), or departmental discretionary resources. However, SAS recognizes that there are types of research activity for which it is harder to obtain such funding. SAS offers Research Opportunity Grants (ROGs) because it is both necessary and appropriate for the School to support activities including research travel, access to documents, and publication subvention for the dissemination of the research, among others.

It should be understood that the School does not have the resources or the responsibility to fund everything associated with a faculty member’s research: it sets limits on both the nature and the amount of resources provided. Research funding is provided according to both need and merit: to receive funding, faculty must make the case for the need, and at the end of the grant period they should be able to demonstrate that the investment of SAS funds was worthwhile.

The School administers SAS Research Opportunity Grants to support individual faculty research needs that are not covered by an external grant, existing discretionary research account, or departmental sources.

The Spring ROG 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. 


SAS standing faculty, Professors of Practice, Senior Lecturers, Senior Lecturers in Foreign Language, Senior Lecturers in Critical Writing, and emeriti faculty.  Priority will be given to faculty with no existing discretionary research accounts.

Award Amounts

  • Minimum: $500 (amounts under $500 should be supported by the faculty member’s department).
  • Maximum: Individual requests are expected to be under $5,000. Requests over that amount will be considered under special circumstances.

Activities or Purchases Covered

May include:

  • research travel for the collection of data or archival work
  • research assistance (with a preference for the employment of undergraduate research assistants)
  • obtaining important documents or primary materials
  • publication subvention (faculty may apply for publication subvention only after a project has been formally accepted for publication; please include a copy of this acceptance with the application)
  • specialized computer equipment or software that cannot be obtained through customary School allocations
  • other equipment that cannot be obtained through customary School allocations or external support.

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 Research Opportunity Grant application--a single pdf comprising:

  • a Research Opportunity Grant cover sheet, signed by your department chair and business administrator;
  • an abstract of no more than 200 words;
  • a proposal of no more than five pages describing the project/activity/purchase and explaining clearly the research that it will support.  Please also describe the financial need, i.e. what other sources of support are being sought at and beyond Penn, or why other sources of funding are not available (e.g. no discretionary funds, not an allowable expense on an existing grant);  
  • a budget which has been reviewed by your business administrator, as attested to by his/her signature on the cover sheet;
  • a current curriculum vitae of the principal investigator/applicant.

Business office and department chair signatures (electronic OK) are required on the ROG 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  February
 March  Early Summer


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