Year of Data Grant Application


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 sponsors the Year of Data Grants Program to offer opportunities to create, participate in, and learn about curiosity 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 promise 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.


  • 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 must be able to provide a Penn 26-digit Budget Code to receive grant funds.
  • For individuals or groups without a Penn 26-Digit Budget Code, a sponsoring Penn department or program is required.
  • Personal expenses should be reimbursed through the sponsoring Penn department or program.
  • Faculty and staff projects must engage students as the primary participants.
  • Funding will be not given for proposals submitted after the activity has taken place.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.


  • 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 project expenses such as essential materials/supplies, equipment, publicity, facilities, fees, guest speaker travel/accommodations, and payment to professional performers or technical assistants.
  • Applicants may NOT request funding for project expenses such as promo items, door prizes, gift cards/certificates, and travel/accommodations expenses for members of the Penn community.
  • Any reusable supplies purchased using grant funds should be returned to the NSOAI Office.


  • In the event that we are unable to provide funding, NSOAI can sometimes offer in-kind support (publicity, securing a venue, staffing, etc.).
  • Other grant opportunities include the First-Year Experience (FYE) and Second-Year Experience (SYE)
  • Contact Troy Majnerick | Associate Director | Office of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives | | 215-573-1218



Please include specifics of the academic/educational nature of the event.
Typical grants are funded up to $500; however, special academic conferences may request additional funding.
Please attach an Excel spreadsheet that includes: Amazon links for the items you wish to purchase for this event (if an item is not available through Amazon, provide a link to the item on another site); quantity of items you wish to order; explanation of why you need the item for your event. If you request funding for catering, please list your needs and the Penn preferred vendor (linked here) that will be the supplier (includes Fresh Grocer). Please see this sample budget if you have questions.
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: xls xlsx.
Departmental Business Administrators or OSA Financial Coordinators are preferred. If you are unsure of your financial liaison contact your sponsoring department or OSA at
These include event flyers, graphics for marketing, etc. Please click the "Upload" button to upload your file.
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf doc docx xls xlsx.
DISCLAIMER: In submitting this form, I acknowledge that I have read through and accepted the terms of the application guidelines and eligibility. If you are not redirected to the "Submission Confirmation" page after clicking "Submit," please review the application form for errors or missing fields.