Expand your experience beyond the classroom.


Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. Students are strongly encouraged to seek additional funding sources, including matching funds from their campus, college, department, and/or external sources. Efforts to obtain additional funding will be viewed positively by the review committee. The grant application and review process has been designed to create a fair and equal opportunity for students to receive funding. Any funding requests outside the established application and review process will not be considered.


Students must be currently enrolled as undergraduate students at Penn State. Students applying for summer funding must be enrolled in summer courses or registered for the following fall. Students must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University. Graduating seniors are ineligible.


Students will be required to provide a budget and an acceptance letter, if applicable. Additionally, students must identify a supervisor, mentor, or advisor for the purposes of the application and obtain permission to provide the name and contact information of that individual. All supervisors/mentors/advisors of awarded applicants will be notified by the Student Engagement Network.

Award Cycles

Application & Award Timeline: Cycle 1 (fall + spring)

Applications for experiences taking place in fall 2018/spring 2019 (~August 20, 2018 – May 10, 2019)

    • August 17 – Application Opens
    • August 31 – Application Deadline
    • September 17 – Award Decision Notification
    • TBA – Grant Awardee Information Sessions
Application & Award Timeline: Cycle 2 (spring)

Applications for experiences taking place in spring 2019 (~January 2, 2019 – May 10, 2019)

  • October 19 – Application Opens
  • January 31 – Application Deadline
  • February 15 – Award Decision Notification
  • TBA – Grant Awardee Information Sessions
Application & Award Timeline: Cycle 3 (summer)

Applications for experiences taking place in summer 2019 (~May 5, 2018 – August 17, 2019)

  • March 1 – Application Opens
  • March 15 – Application Deadline
  • March 29 – Award Decision Notification
  • TBA – Grant Awardee Information Sessions

Additional Links

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Get answers to common questions and concerns.

Application Tips

Learn how to prepare a competitive application.

Growth Areas

Understand the potential for transformative growth.

Story Submission

Document your engagement journey.

Narrative Tips

Learn how to write a compelling story.

Photo Tips

Learn how to take good photos.

Video Tips

Learn how to shoot high-quality video.

Individual Application

Group Application


Grant Applications


Experiences Funded


Awarded in Grants

Student Stories

Introduction to Social Activism

Throughout the summer of 2018, I traveled along the east coast to Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York to attend various cultural events. I was very fortunate in that I was able to attend eight different events and meet an incredibly diverse group of...

Sustainability in Tanzania

I studied abroad for six weeks in Tanzania, spanning from mid-May to late June. During this time, I learned about community development, the barriers of sustainable living in rural regions, and the consequences of environmental degradation to a developing region. This...

Reinvigorating My Passion

I went to Iceland with the GREEN Program in June of 2018. The focus of the trip was Sustainability and Renewable Energy. We studied both in class at Reykjavik University (taking courses with area experts in Geothermal Energy, Hydropower, and Energy Policy), and in the...

Igniting My Passion for Math

Over the summer, I worked under the tutelage of Associate Professor Dr. Carina Curto. I originally met with her to ask about her neuroscience research. Dr. Curto happened to be writing a book chapter for an undergraduate textbook in biological math and asked me to...

Defining My Dream

This past May I went to the Cannes Film Festival in France as part of my internship with American Pavilion. As an intern I worked for the social media team, live-tweeting panels and roundtables as well as posting content across all social media platforms. I’m a film...

Finding Myself in Rome

I had an internship at Le Cicogne, an Italian startup founded in 2012. On the first day of my internship, I was told that the CEO wanted me to learn about all aspects of the company, not just one project. I started out doing researching new business partners; I found...

Welcoming New Experiences and Challenges

This past summer, I stayed at Penn State and worked on my honors thesis in a plant biology lab. I used click chemistry to work towards visualizing the most recently deposited cell wall matrix. This is a part of biology I haven’t had much experience with as a biology...

Breaking Down Medical Barriers

I spent 6 weeks interning at Hershey Medical Center in PA with genetic counselors. Specifically, we were in the Cancer Institute and meeting with patients who have either a personal or family history of cancer. Our job was to translate genetic scientific jargon into...

Conducting I/O Psychology Research in the Workplace

I spent the semester working at the Penn State organization, Aurora with my advisor and graduate mentor (Rachel Heinen) to design a study to help this organization better understand their leader dyads and perceived effectiveness in the outdoor orientation program. I...

Getting Down to Business in Dublin

In Dublin, Ireland, I worked in one of the best startup accelerators in Europe, NDRC, at a very interesting biotech startup called Think Biosolution. The founders have developed a product called PulseR that allows medical professionals to obtain patients’ vitals over...

A Career in Biomedical Research

I completed work for my thesis research in the Translational Neuroimaging and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory during the summer of 2017. Of course, these results will enable me to complete my thesis and graduate with my degrees, but I also hope to publish these...

Tackling Post-Harvest Losses in Kenya

This semester, I visited Kisumu, Kenya with my EDSGN454 class. This class was a continuation of EDSGN 452 and 453, Design for Developing Communities, which I took during the spring semester. In the spring, my team worked on a solution to post-harvest losses in Kenya,...

Improving Urban Food Sustainability

I am a World Campus Student and I participated in the Study Away Philadelphia program which has a focus on social justice in the city. My placement/fellowship was with Greensgrow Urban Farm located in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. This placement offered...

Gaining a Different Cultural Lens

For my engagement experience, I participated in the HDFS Study Abroad Program in Florence. The program focused on development over the lifespan in an Italian context. In addition to the cross-cultural coursework, we spent our time experiencing the vibrance of the...

Blazing a Trail for Women in STEM

I was a camp counselor and a science teacher at a one-week STEM immersion program at Camp Catanese. I found that I shared many values with Camp Catanese; they believe that everyone should have equal access to opportunity and education. The camp and its staff mentor...

Appreciating a Different Culture

I went to Beijing, China for two weeks in July to take a Biology of Cancer course at Peking University (PKU). It was a faculty-led study abroad program with Dr. Zhi-Chun Lai. Throughout the week we took classes and learned about cancer biology. During our time, we...

Working in a Virus Research Lab

As a participant in the DAAD RISE Summer Internship, I was conducting research in Dresden, Germany, at a clinic affiliated with the Technische Universität Dresden. The Carl Gustav Clinic where I worked housed a large research group focused on cellular immunity. I...

Creating My First Robot

During my time at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) West I and II at Penn State University, I worked on a ROS node that adapted a previously written code from MATLAB into Python. This code allows the robot to identify the terrain it is traversing, based on...

The Importance of Quality Patient Care

This summer I worked in a lab that is validating a test that predicts gestational diabetes in pregnant women. The focus of this project is to use blood lipids as a means to determine insulin resistance in pregnant women in order to identify those at risk for...

Gaining Technical Skills in Geoscience

From early June to late August, I completed fieldwork in southeast Iceland with an Icelandic professor and a French student. Every day, we travelled to remote locations on the island to set up GPS stations. Finding each new station was comparable to geo-cacheing, and...
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