Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Penfield, Teece, and SAS Dissertation Research Fellowships (DRF)


The Graduate Division office has announced this year's competition for the combined Penfield, Teece, and SAS Dissertation Research Fellowship (DRF). In order to write nomination letters for all eligible applicants, the Graduate Chair must receive your completed application by 4 p.m. on Monday, February 8, 2016. The following information on the fellowship comes from the Dean's office.



Penfield, Teece, and SAS Dissertation Research Fellowships are intended to facilitate the progress of students who are engaged in an early or intermediate stage of dissertation research. Candidates who can be expected to finish their dissertations in 2013-14 are not eligible for this competition, but may be proposed instead for an SAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (see above).

Candidates for all three fellowships will be evaluated as part of a single pool by members of the SAS Committee on Graduate Education. Winners who satisfy the restrictions of the Penfield and Teece Fellowships will be funded from the income of those endowments, until funds are exhausted. The SAS Committee on Graduate Education will determine from which endowment successful applicants are funded; applicants need not indicate which of the Penfield, Teece, or DRF funds they prefer.

 • Penfield Fellowships, funded by a bequest that dates from 1930, are intended to aid students of “diplomacy, international affairs, and belles-lettres.” In keeping with those foci, SAS has traditionally used Penfields to help students who need to do research overseas.

 • Teece Fellowships result from a new endowment established in 2007 thanks to the generosity of David and Leigh Teece. David J. Teece, who holds the Thomas W. Tusher Professorship in Global Business at the Haas School of the University of California at Berkeley, is a Penn Ph.D. alumnus in Economics. While a student, David benefited from a Penfield Fellowship himself, so he and Leigh designated the Teece Fellowships for a similar but distinctive purpose. These awards are for graduate students working in the physical and social sciences who are doing applied research that is empirical or field-based in nature and interdisciplinary in its foundations. Teece Fellowships may cover any element of research expense, travel, books, data acquisition, and tuition.

 • SAS Dissertation Research Fellowships are supported by the School’s unrestricted funds, so they can aid students not eligible for a Penfield or Teece Fellowship. In addition, once the Penfield and Teece funds are exhausted, students who would otherwise be eligible for those competitions may receive a DRF if they rank higher than remaining candidates in the combined pool of nominees.

Requests for grants to support travel and/or other research expenses must be justified by an itemized (but not excessively detailed) budget.

Research funds may be used during either the Summer of 2013 or the 2013-14 academic year, or both. The maximum award for a Summer DRF will be $5,000. Budgets should not include normal living expenses (food, rent, etc.), as stipends are intended to cover those costs. However, requests may be made for costs of temporary lodging away from home, if the student must continue to pay for a usual living place, or for extra costs of eating out during travel when self-catering is not feasible. The aggregate amount of money we have to support these fellowships is limited, so the amount we can offer towards each request will depend on the number and nature of the applications we receive. Our goal is to help as many deserving students as we can with our resources.

Recipients of DRF’s should be working full-time on dissertation research, although in the case of Summer fellowships, two or three weeks of vacation are permissible. Please note that the purpose of Penfield, Teece, and DRF Fellowships is to support graduate students while they are working on their dissertations. Thus, to be eligible a student must have an approved dissertation proposal prior to nomination. All awards will be made on the basis of academic excellence and the merit of the dissertation project, but we will use as one indicator of excellence the ability of candidates to progress through their Ph.D. programs in timely fashion, with due regard for unusual programs of study that might require a longer period of preparation or research. In calculating the student’s time at Penn, we will adjust for transfer credits and leaves of absence.

A completed application must include:

(1) An up-to-date unofficial Penn transcript, which should include the status of the preliminary examination, foreign language requirement, etc.

(2) Two current letters of recommendation. (Please ask your recommenders to send these as email attachments directly to the Grad Chair.)

(3) A list of publications and conference papers, if any. (You may enclose reprints if they are not bulky.)

(4) The tentative title of the dissertation, the name of the dissertation supervisor, and a concise “Dissertation Proposal” of no more than five pages, written for a scholar outside of the major field of study.

(5) A statement from the nominee discussing his or her specific plans for the fellowship period.

(6) If funds for travel and other research expenses are requested, an itemized budget.


 Please provide the Grad Chair with one hard copy of all these items (with the exception of the rec letters, which should come by email) by 4 p.m. on Monday, February 8.