Penn Global Engagement Fund GEF Investigator-Initiated Program

Through the GEF Investigator-Initiated Program, applicants are invited to submit letters of inquiry off-cycle to propose innovative ideas that comply with the Funding Priorities of the Global Engagement Fund.

Funding Priorities & Criteria

All proposals are subject to the funding criteria of the Global Engagement Fund.  Prior to submitting a letter of inquiry, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Global Engagement Fund requirements to ensure their project qualifies for funding.

Timeline & Review Process

Letters of inquiry are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis between the months of April and December.  Once submitted, letters of inquiry will take approximately four (4) weeks to review.

Letters of inquiry will be reviewed by representatives of Penn Global for scholarly merit and significance for global research, teaching, and service. Priority will be given to projects that seed ambitious new endeavors. 

If your letter of inquiry is accepted, a representative from Penn Global will contact the Principal Investigator and invite him or her to submit a full proposal via Survey Monkey Apply. Full proposals may take an additional 4 – 6 weeks to review.

Letter of Inquiry Submission Guidelines

Letters of inquiry should be a maximum of 3 pages, inclusive of the following:

  • Provide a statement of need clearly describing why the proposal should be considered off-cycle

  • Identify which funding priority (or priorities) the project addresses

  • Describe the approach

  • Describe the goals you wish to achieve

  • Project timeline

  • Provide an estimated budget. (A budget template is not needed.)

Letters of inquiry should be submitted via email to We strongly encourage applicants to include “GEF Letter of Inquiry” in the subject line of the header to ensure timely receipt of your application.