Klein Family Social Justice Grants

A major component of the Inclusion and Anti-Racism Initiatives announced by SAS in November 2020 was the School’s commitment to contributing to the achievement of social justice through research and teaching, and through community engagement rooted in the arts and sciences. To further stimulate scholarship and education on topics of anti-racism, inclusion, diversity, and social justice, and to promote additional opportunities for community engagement, the School has established an annual grant program offering awards for academic activities that use the arts and sciences to contribute to positive social change in the United States, including in Penn’s engagement with its surrounding community.

The initiative hopes to encourage proposals that address inequities in race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic mobility, education, health care, political representation, as well as the grand challenges of climate change, poverty, and immigration.

Faculty members with existing or new projects are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in funding. We seek academic projects that:

  •     promise a tangible impact on social justice.
  •     focus on the United States. This includes projects centered on Penn’s engagement with its surrounding community.

Academic projects may take a variety of forms. We welcome:

  •     any combination of research, coursework, and service
  •     the engagement of students
  •     interdisciplinary teams and/or collaborations among departments, centers, and programs


Faculty teams must include at least one standing faculty member in SAS. Faculty are encouraged to work across academic disciplines. 

Award Amounts

Faculty members with existing or new projects are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in funding.

Activities or Purchases Covered

Grants may support course development, pre-departure training, domestic and international travel, lodging, stipends for external project participants, summer interns, and research/teaching assistants, and dissemination of findings.

  • Projects may be developed and implemented over multiple years. Awards may be renewable.
  • Applications should provide information about other funds available to support the project.
  • Faculty with questions about the scope of their project may consult with their Associate Dean.
  • Graduate tuition and salary support for faculty are not allowable expenses.

To Apply

Submit the following to the SAS Research Support Application by April 12, 2024:        

  • Application Cover sheet
  • Brief CVs (no more than 5 pages) from faculty project directors, one of whom should be from SAS
  • 800-word proposal that includes a project summary, project rationale, goals and objectives, timeframe, and plan for evaluation.
  • Project budget that includes information about other funds available to support the project.
  • 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. Before planning your trip, please refer to Penn’s International Travel Guidance website to ensure you are apprised of the most recent University updates, policies, and procedures.  If you plan to propose any trips as part of your proposal, please also provide an alternative plan, describing how you will move your project forward if travel is not possible.

 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 awards, an annual report of the same nature will be required.