(In-progress Updated CREF Site) Penn China Research and Engagement Fund

Launched in March 2015, the Penn China Research and Engagement Fund (CREF) is a five-year, $10 million competitive matching research/event funding program. CREF supports Penn faculty- and staff-led activities that advance the study, teaching, and engagement of China. Managed by Penn Global on behalf of the Office of the Provost, the Fund supports faculty members across all twelve schools.

CREF Goals

The primary goals of the China Research and Engagement Fund are:

  1. To develop new, as well as strengthen existing, institutional and faculty-to-faculty relationships with Chinese partners.

  2. To support outstanding research projects from across the University that are poised to make significant contributions to their field.

  3. To increase the study and understanding of China at Penn and create opportunities for meaningful student engagement.

  4. To highlight the Penn Wharton China Center as a preeminent space in China for knowledge exchange and professional consultation.

Through the Penn China Research and Engagement Fund, we seek to deepen and strengthen Penn’s China engagement with the goal of creating sustainable impact for the Penn community and beyond. In order to achieve this goal, CREF delivers a diverse range of interdisciplinary experiences for Penn's community both on- and off-campus, including:

  • Events and workshops led by CREF project leaders at venues such as Perry World House in Philadelphia and the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing
  • Interdisciplinary research projects managed by Penn faculty, staff, postdoctoral Fellows, Ph.D. candidates
  • Published books, papers, and articles
  • Undergraduate programming such as freshman seminars and summer study opportunities

CREF and Penn China Initiatives

Learn more about CREF and China Initiatives:

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CREF Projects To Date

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CREF Impact

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CREF Key China Partners

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Annual Penn China Research Symposium & China Policy Dialogues

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CREF Projects To Date

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CREF Impact

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CREF Key China Partners

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Annual Penn China Research Symposium & China Policy Dialogues

Prof. Jonathan Moreno Interviewed on Phoenix TV
CREF Principal Investigator Spotlight
Interviews on China's Phoenix TV - US Response to COVID-19

CREF Principal Investigators Jonathan Moreno (pictured at right), David & Lyn Silfen University Professor, Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and of History & Sociology of Science, and Steven Joffe, Interim Chair, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy; Chief, Division of Medical Ethics; Founders Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy; and Professor of Pediatrics, were interviewed on April 14th, 2020 on a Chinese television program jointly produced by the Center for China & Globalization (CCG) and Phoenix TV. They offered insights into the US response to COVID-19.

View the full interviews here.

Resources for CREF Applicants and Recipients

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For Fund Applicants

Learn more about the application and review process for the Penn China Research and Engagement Fund.

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For Fund Applicants

Learn more about the application and review process for the Penn China Research and Engagement Fund.

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Contact us with any additional questions you may have at


global@upenn.edu