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.


Students will be required to provide a breakdown of their budget. 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 2019/spring 2020 (~August 2019 – May 2020)

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

Applications for experiences taking place in spring 2020 (~January 2020 – May 2020)

  • TBD – Application Opens
  • TBD – Application Deadline
  • TBD – Award Decision Notification
  • TBA – Grant Awardee Information Sessions
Application & Award Timeline: Cycle 3 (summer)

Applications for experiences taking place in summer 2020 (~May 2020 – August 2020)

  • TBD – Application Opens
  • TBD – Application Deadline
  • TBD – 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 and share 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.

Data Summary

See the grant data for applicants and awardees.

Individual Application

Group Application


Grant Applications


Experiences Funded


Awarded in Grants

Student Stories

A Week of Being “On” In Puerto Rico

For one week two separate Penn State campuses became one. From March 2ndto March 9th, 2019, the campuses of Penn State New Kensington and Penn State Greater Allegheny, coming to be known as Greater Kensington, embarked on their annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB)...

Finding International Similarities and Differences Through Politics

The biggest aspect I learned is that there are a few critical factors to why Russia is the way it is. I think of these to be: geography, survival, and the origins and history of Russia. One of the coolest parts of the trip was seeing that Russia is not Easter or...

Conducting Fitness Assessments

I completed my engagement experience by performing human subject research in the Center for Fitness and Wellness located in the IM building on campus. There, I worked as a student intern conducting fitness assessments and blood assays to examine the health levels of...

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...

Keeper of the Earth

In February 2019 I began my internship with the National Park Service at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, located in the Sonoran Desert on the Arizona border with Mexico.  For an outdoor enthusiast and aspiring Park Ranger, I knew this was going to be a...

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...

Adapting to Obstacles

I flew to a small town in northern Norway, Andoya, along with several other students on the project, to participate in NASA’s launch of a rocket (G-Chaser) with our payload on it. We were involved with the Andoya Space Center for a week and a half, in which we took...

The Hidden Beauty within Nursing

My engagement experience occurred under the guidance of Michael Evans Ph.D., M.S.Ed., RN, ACNS, CMSRN, CNE, Assistant Chief Academic Officer and Assistant Clinical Professor of Nursing at Penn State Worthington Scranton, during his shifts with Visiting Nurses...

My Approach to Complex Problem-Solving

I helped develop a new graphical interface for an open-source game creation tool, called ENIGMA, that will be used to teach students about computing concepts. The project itself is a clone of the popular software GameMaker, originally released in 1999, which is a game...

Expanding My Cultural Knowledge

I went to Rome, Italy for my experience. We visited around 30 churches, such as the Sistine Chapel and specific baroque and gothic style churches. We also visited the Jewish ghetto and Pompeii. I learned about the culture of Italy through my stay in the apartments...

Creating Unique Research

I worked as an undergraduate intern at the Center for Excellence in Science Education (CESE) at University Park. A year ago during a pedagogy course taught by Dr. Jennelle Malcos, I realized that educational research blended my technical and scientific mindset with my...

Preparing for Graduate-level Education

I conducted an independent research this summer. I tried to answer the divisions in Lebanese society. To further understand Lebanon, I went over the writings of acclaimed scholars on Lebanon. My adviser suggested Samir Khalaf, Ussama Makdisi, Itamar Rabinovitch, Asher...

Finding My True Self

In November 2018, I went to the oSTEM conference hosted in Houston, where I was able to participate in several panels and conversations surrounding the topics of being out and how that affects being in and working in STEM, and intersectionality in general. I was also...

Realizing My True Passion

For my engagement experience, I studied abroad in Townsville, Australia for two weeks. During those two weeks, I took part in many conservation efforts and citizen science projects. I was able to experience the different biomes and wildlife in Australia firsthand and...

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...

Preserving a Fading Culture

This summer, I traveled to Benin in West Africa with six other students as an extended learning opportunity through the Linguistics course Languages in Africa. After a few days of exploring Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin, we traveled to a small village called...

Giving Back to Penn State

My engagement experience occurred during the summer of 2019, when I worked for the Penn State Office of Student Orientation and Transition Programs as the Campus Liaison for the New Student Orientation Welcome Crew. During my experience, I worked at New Student...

Studying Veterinary Practices and Wildlife Health in Belize

This summer, I spent a month in Belize studying large animal veterinary practices, as well as wildlife health and conservation. During the first two weeks, we were able to visit a raptor conservation center, a baboon sanctuary, the Runaway Creek Nature Reserve, and...

Putting Knowledge to Work

This past spring break, I visited Costa Rica with the ERM 499 class titled Costa Rica Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources. The entire week was an educational experience where we were constantly learning about the country, sustainability, farming techniques,...

Illuminating Backyards One Light Bulb at a Time

My experience took place in Dover, DE, as part of a comprehensive Neighborhood Revitalization Plan implemented by the National Council on Agricultural Life and Labor along with the non-profit HELP Initiative Inc., which I represented.  The campaign provided...
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