For Faculty

As part of its mission to promote global engagement between the University of Pennsylvania and the global community, Penn Global supports faculty-led student research projects abroad through the Penn Global Research Institutes (PGRI) fund. 

Institutes are dynamic research communities composed of faculty, scholars, and students whose work addresses today’s most pressing global challenges. They promote sustained, ethical collaborations with host communities across the globe through a combination of on-campus research and extended fieldwork abroad. 

Through PGRI, Penn Global strives to: 

  1. Support faculty global research projects that include an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to conduct immersive, collaborative, and robust research projects abroad. 

  1. Cultivate future research scholars through experiential learning and faculty mentorship. 

  1. Contribute to the research outputs of Penn students, including conference presentations and publications, through a blend of faculty-supported, hands-on, collaborative student research opportunities abroad and Penn research support and guidance.  

  1. Promote long-term, community-based global engagement through highly collaborative, responsive, and ethical research engagement in a host community abroad. 

  1. Advance Penn’s Strategic Framework for Global Initiatives by educating global citizens and enabling Penn’s global scholars and practitioners to catalyze transformative ideas that address major global challenges.  

Penn Global is currently accepting proposals for new institutes to launch in 2024. Proposals are due by November 30, 2023.  Faculty will be notified whether their proposed institute has been selected for development in January 2024. Penn Global welcomes proposals across all disciplines and regions.  

Get started on your proposal by reviewing the important information below.

PGRI Priorities

Penn Global welcomes faculty proposals for PGRI funding and support that meet the following requirements: 

  1. Institutes must engage undergraduate student researchers from across schools and disciplines. Institute projects may also engage graduate student researchers when appropriate, though undergraduate researchers should make up a majority of each cohort. Cohorts typically range from 5 – 7 students per year. 

  1. Student contributions to the institute’s research, fieldwork, and outputs are prioritized in the institute’s mission. 

  1. The institute and its related research activities must be directed or co-directed by a Penn faculty member who serves as the Principal Investigator (P.I.). 

  1. Fieldwork activities must be based in a host community outside of the United States and its territories and should address critical global issues that are relevant and meaningful within the host community. 

  1. Research projects should be collaborative with members of the host community and designed in a way that is responsive to the specific goals, needs, and circumstances of the host region. 

  1. Research projects should be designed for long-term engagement, and thus each project should be multi-year in scope. 

  1. Project P.I. should provide a structure for ongoing student support, guidance, and mentorship for the full duration of each cohort of student researchers. 

Proposal Process and Evaluation Criteria

The Penn Global Research Institute program looks for faculty proposals that support immersive student research projects abroad in a location where the faculty has established deep-rooted, ongoing research collaborations that address critical global issues. Proposals should be submitted in the form of a PDF document and address the following topics: 

  1. Project description, design, and methodology 

  1. Proposed Year 1 timeline and a summary of how the project would evolve through years 2 and 3 

  1. Project outputs, with an emphasis on opportunities for student contributions and publications. 

  1. Description of the local community partners and the PI’s relationship with these partners. 

  1. Impact of project on student researchers, local community partners, and other stakeholders. 

  1. Year 1 budget. 

  1. Other sources of funding or in-kind support, where applicable. 

Faculty who are selected to develop an institute will be asked to provide the following: 

  1. Support of home department’s business office to administer the funds, including onboarding vendors, issuing student stipends, making travel arrangements, and reconciling expenses. 

  1. Letters of support from host community and department head. 

Success can be measured by a variety of criteria; there is no “one-size-fits-all” model. In general, benchmarks for success can be measured by the level of engagement of student researchers, demonstrated ongoing mentorship of student researchers by faculty P.I., demonstrated long-term, collaborative engagement with the host community abroad, student research outputs (including written findings, conference presentations, further research, and publication or work toward publication), and overall research impact. In addition, a successful project must be multi-year by design, and include a clear plan for sustained engagement in the host community. 

Submit your proposal to Laurie Jensen at by November 30, 2023. Feel free to reach out with any questions or to talk through a prospective institute.  

What We Support

Penn Global typically supports each Institute at the level of $75,000 - $100,000 per year, for an initial period of three years. Projects may be renewed for additional three-year terms thereafter. Penn Global Research Institutes funding may be used in support of the following types of activities: 

  • Student travel and research: Activities associated with student research travel abroad in the summer term, including round-trip economy-class airfare, accommodations, meals, and personal expenses; student stipends; visas and immunizations; costs related to student research implementation, presentation, or publication.  

  • Faculty/staff travel: Costs directly associated with PGRI-related research travel to the project host location abroad, including round-trip economy-class airfare, accommodations, meals, and necessary on-site personal and/or research expenses; in-country travel for approved PGRI partners and/or collaborators. 

  • Other direct research costs: Necessary costs related to Project-related student and/or faculty research, including research equipment or materials, on-site staff support, or other tools related to data collection, field work, and publication. 

Note that all PGRI-supported travel must be in compliance with applicable University travel procedures, including the use of specified Penn travel portals and/or advance travel approval where applicable, in light of public health or other considerations. Questions related to allowable expenses may be directed to Laurie Jensen at  

How We Work Together

Penn Global Research Institutes are a collaboration between Penn Global and academic units across the University. These collaborations are shaped organically and can look a variety of different ways. Below you will find the typical breakdown of responsibilities between Penn Global and the faculty PI: 

Penn Global Responsibilities: 

  • Support the institute with yearly funding award (institutes are funded on three-year renewable terms).  

  • Provide advice on the logistical aspects of the student fieldwork experience. 

  • Assist with student recruitment and management of the application process. 

  • Help prepare students for travel by contributing to pre-departure orientations and providing resources on topics like insurance coverage and health and safety. 

  • Connect faculty with other stakeholders on campus to elevate the profile of their work. 

Faculty PI Responsibilities: 

  • Design the institute and drive the goals and scope of the institute. 

  • Create a budget and steward the funds allocated to the institute. 

  • Design the student research projects and mentor student participants during their period of engagement with the institute. 

  • In collaboration with home department business office, handle logistical details of the fieldwork experience, including securing flights, lodging, ground transportation, and meals. 

  • Ensure that student researchers have adequate on-the-ground support and supervision during the fieldwork portion of the institute. 

  • Drive the outputs of the institute (papers, articles, multimedia, etc).  

Faculty interested in proposing a Penn Global Research Institute are encouraged reach out to Laurie Jensen at to discuss your ideas.