Scholarship Details

Erickson Discovery Grants

Application Deadline:



freshmen, sophomore, and juniors


The Rodney A. Erickson Discovery Grant Program, named in honor of Penn State's seventeenth President, supports undergraduate student engagement in original research, scholarship, and creative work under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

The Erickson Discovery Grants are directed to student-initiated projects in the arts, engineering, humanities, sciences, and social sciences that provide experience in all facets of the research, scholarship, or creative processes. This includes conceptualization of a question or focus, proposal writing, identification and implementation of methods, and communication of results (reporting, exhibition, or performance). Projects should be primarily the student's own work; although the project may be related to the supervising faculty member's research or scholarly interests, it should not simply provide assistance to faculty work.


Penn State undergraduate students from all campuses in all fields of study may apply for a grant. Students are eligible for grants in the summer following their first year through the summer before the year in which they will graduate (limit of one grant per student). Recipients must be enrolled full-time at Penn State for at least one semester following the summer work. Students must have a Penn State faculty supervisor who is available during the summer to consult with the student and evaluate how the project is conducted. Eligible projects include laboratory and field research, scholarly inquiry, and creative work in music, art, theatre, and other fields. Study abroad, travel unrelated to research, and projects not grounded in an academic discipline are not eligible for Discovery Grant funding.

The Erickson Discovery Grants are intended to enable students to immerse themselves in their projects. It is expected that the Discovery Grant project will receive significant student engagement during the summer and will be accorded sufficient hours and effort to produce excellent work. Any summer jobs should be limited to fifteen hours per week.

Terms of Award:

Approximately 60 Erickson Discovery Grants, each in the amount of $3,500, are available through the Office of Undergraduate Education for summer.

The grants may be used to cover living expenses and project costs (supplies, materials, books, specialized software, travel for the purpose of data collection, etc.). Note: Funds will be deposited to student accounts and therefore may have an impact on student aid or be applied to outstanding charges.

Please Submit:

Application Requirements

Fill out the required information form. Upload two-page project proposal (single or double spaced), written by the student, and including the following:
o The question or goal to be addressed and its relevance to the discipline or field. Proposals for creative projects should describe the academic nature of the work.
o The methods or processes that will be used to address the question or goal.
o Why the project is of interest to the student and his or her preparation to complete it (courses, other experiences, etc.).
o How the supervision by the faculty member will contribute to the project.
In addition, a one-page recommendation must be submitted by the faculty supervisor. The recommendation should include:
o name of the student
o title of the project
o an evaluation of the proposal and the student's ability to complete the project

Online Application: