Year of Media Grants

The deadline for grant submissions has passed. However, if you have media-related events that you would like us to publicize, please email the NSO office at

The Provost’s theme year encourages individual students, faculty and staff as well as departments and centers to create programming that relates to the topic in many contexts: the sciences, the humanities, social culture and policy, the arts, etc. To further this goal, the Provost’s office will sponsor a Year of Media Grants Program that will offer opportunities to create, participate in, and learn about media and related fields. Applications will be evaluated based on the criteria listed below.

Penn faculty, students and staff can apply, either individually or in groups. There will be some additional funding at a higher level available for special projects—generally, larger conferences, speakers or special symposia that are co-sponsored by several Penn Schools or Centers. Examples from previous years include a presentation by Will Shortz (NY Times Crossword Puzzle Editor) celebrating the Year of Games and a day-long conference at the Penn Museum on Water and Ancient Civilizations commemorating the Year of Water. 

Grant proposals will be assessed based on the quality and innovation of the project and its potential to engage and involve the Penn community. We encourage multi-disciplinary and/or collaborative projects between Penn organizations and schools. Project leaders are encouraged to reach out to other schools and departments, especially to share expertise, networking opportunities, and invitation lists.

The guidelines (below) are for proposals for grants of up to $500.


  • You must be a current University of Pennsylvania student, faculty, or staff member, or a group comprised of at least 80% current University of Pennsylvania students.
  • You may apply as an individual student OR as the representative of a student organization.
  • Faculty and staff projects must engage students as the primary participants.
  • For groups that are not formally registered with the Office of Student Affairs, a sponsoring Penn department or program is required.
  • Funding will be not given for proposals submitted after the activity has taken place.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.



Number of $500 Grants Available Semester of Event

Process Begins


15 Fall 2016 July 1 November 1
15 Spring 2017 July 1 February 1
  • Grants are reviewed by the Year of Media Steering Committee, the Office of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives, and the Provost's Office. Notification will normally be given within 14 days of submission.
  • Requests for grants must be received a minimum of 14 days before the event. There is no funding for events that have already taken place.
  • Please note that all events must take place during the Year of Media (September 2016 through May 2017).


  • The review committees will give priority consideration to creative proposals that emphasize scholarly inquiry and academic engagement with the theme.
  • Preference will be given to new events developed specifically for the Theme Year. (If you are requesting funds for an already-existing event, explain how this grant will specifically add a new element.)
  • Preference will be given to those events that are open to all Penn students.
  • Grants can be up to $500, and may be funded in full or in part.
  • Applicants may request funding for the following project expenses: Materials, transportation, equipment, publicity, facilities, fees, and payment to professional performers or technical assistants.
  • Requests for travel or accommodation expenses for individual applicants are rarely funded.
  • Applicants will be encouraged to borrow equipment whenever possible. Please visit our Inventory and list any equipment you'd like to borrow in your application. In the event that items are purchased that can be reused, they must be returned to the NSOAI office.
  • Please submit a thorough and professional application, with all questions answered including logistics, resources needed, and any details that have already been confirmed.
  • Review the complete guidelines for the supplies and reimbursement procedure before submitting your application. This includes information regarding non-reimbursable expenses, reimbursement processing, etc.
  • In the event that we are unable to provide funding, the NSOAI can sometimes offer in-kind support (publicity, securing a venue, staffing, etc.). If interested, contact Troy Majnerick at


Troy Majnerick
Associate Director
Office of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives / 215-573-1218