Provost’s Undergraduate Research Presentation Awards (PURPAS)

The Office of the Provost announces a pilot program that provides funds for undergraduates who want to extend their undergraduate research efforts beyond the Georgetown campus in either traditional or innovative ways, in the form of conference presentations, publications, or performances. The Provost Undergraduate Research Presentation Awards (PURPAS) support students who want to bring the findings of their research to a professional or scholarly community, or to other venues.  There are multiple mechanisms for supporting thesis and independent research on campus, such as tutorials, GUROP, Raines, Kalorama, and various research fellowships.  However, limited funds are available for the creative and expansive dissemination of the results of research, through, for example, conference presentations, publications, and performances.

PURPAS provides competitive awards of up to $500 to support the following activities: (1) conference fees incurred to present research beyond Georgetown’s campus; (2) travel support for the student to present a paper or poster or perform his/her creative work (hotel, travel, meals); (3) publication fees for a peer-reviewed journal or similarly prestigious publication; and (4) entry or other fees directly associated with the performance, exhibition, or public presentation of visual, literary or other forms of artwork. Funding will be provided for 24 months (2015-2017), followed by program assessment, at which point additional fundraising and/or redesign of the program may be needed. Competitive applications will be reviewed by and administered through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Council (PURC) in two funding cycles (for the pilot year).

Students from all majors in all of Georgetown’s undergraduate schools are eligible for funding.  Preference will be given to juniors and seniors who will be disseminating their work prior to graduation and in rare cases, immediately after graduation. Without exception, students must apply prior to graduation. Faculty sponsors must be Georgetown faculty, but can be from any school or discipline. Faculty sponsors should also write a short letter or email addressing the importance of the activity (conference, publication, exhibit, etc.) generally and specifically for the student. Additionally, the letter should describe the student’s commitment to the project (see criteria below)

Applications will be received by one of two deadlines – one in fall and one in spring:  The spring deadline is March 16, 2018. The fall deadline is September 22, 2017.  Fill out the PURPAS Application (new window) here. 

The typical award will range from $200 to $500, with a maximum of $500 per student. Students would receive no more than one such grant in the course of their undergraduate time at Georgetown.

The criteria that will be used by PURC are: (1) professional or scholarly significance of presentation, performance, or publication venue; (2) student commitment to project; and (3) relevance of the project and its dissemination to student’s future goals. 

Please contact Sonia Jacobson at with any questions.