Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowships

These fellowships are named for Hugh Brackenridge (1748-1816), the founder of the University of Pittsburgh. They support full-time undergraduate students on the Oakland campus while they devote full-effort to conducting an independent research or creative project under the guidance of a faculty or graduate student mentor. These Fellowships are open to undergraduates from any field. 

Brackenridge Fellows receive a stipend of $4,000 for the summer (mid-May through early August) to assure that they can devote themselves full-time to their projects and the associated responsibilities without having to support themselves by means of a summer job. Fellows may not take a summer course or hold a summer job.

In addition to working on their individual research projects, all Fellows must be available to attend weekly seminars during which students discuss and present reports on their research, a series of lectures, workshops, and panels given by some of the faculty mentors throughout the summer, and a retreat for the entire group which starts the summer program.

During the following fall semester, all fellows will be required to present a poster at the Honors College research fair.

Projects may be analytic or purely creative. The Brackenridge supports any form of research, scholarship, or creative work that is appropriate to a student’s discipline.

Who May Apply?

Undergraduate students on the Oakland campus who have identified a faculty member or appropriately qualified graduate student who has agreed to work with them during the Fellowship. The fellowship is open to students from any field and any class, including rising sophomores as well as rising seniors. Note that students who will have graduated in April are not eligible.

Selection Criteria

Fellows are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Their academic record
  • The quality and coherence of their proposal (Is it understandable to someone outside their discipline?)
  • The originality and promise of their proposed projects
  • Their interdisciplinary interests and potential to contribute to the interdisciplinary community of students in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and applied disciplines

While all types of proposals are strongly encouraged, special consideration will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary in nature (crossing the boundaries of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences).

It is important to remember that unlike many other research proposals this one must be written in a manner that is understandable to a broad, non-expert audience, and therefore use minimal jargon.

Questions about the Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship program should be directed to Jason Sepac (

Deadline for Summer 2018 Fellowships

March 2 by 5:00 p.m. 

About Applying for Associated Awards

If you want to be considered for the Honors College Health Sciences (HCHS) Program as well, you should check "Yes" in the box that asks about your interest in the HCHS Program. The Honors College will send a copy of your application materials to the HCHS Coordinator. If you wish to apply to the HCHS program only, click here.

For students interested in law an governance, the Dick Thornburgh Undergraduate Summer Fellowship is another option for engaging in independent research in the Brackenridge community of scholars. ( Simply tailor your application to that award and check the box indicating you would like to be considered for it.

How to Apply

In consultation with the sponsoring faculty member the student must submit an application according to the instructions via the "Application Instructions" link below. All application materials must be received by the date specified above. The UHC will evaluate the proposals, and all applicants will be notified of the decisions within roughly 30 days of the application deadline.


The Awards

Application materials required (detailed explanations of each item can be found in the application instructions and in the online application itself):

  • A Project Proposal
  • A brief Statement of Interest in the Community
  • An up-to-date Academic Transcript
  • A Letter of Recommendation from your Faculty or Graduate Student Mentor

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all materials mentioned above and to ensure that the faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation is submitted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

If you have additional questions, please contact Jason Sepac (


Lists of Past Fellows

2017 Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship Recipients

2016 Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship Recipients