Brackenridge Fellowships

$4,000 for any form of research, scholarship, or creative work

Conduct an independent research or creative project full-time over the summer, under the guidance of a faculty or graduate student mentor. Brackenridge Fellowships support projects in any field or major — analytic, or purely creative.

Applications for Summer 2020 Fellowships are no longer being accepted.


As a fellow, you'll receive a stipend of $4,000 for the summer (mid-May through early August) so you can devote yourself full-time to your project and the associated responsibilities without having to support yourself with a summer job. You can't take a summer course or have a summer job.

The Brackenridge Fellowships are designed to help you develop your research, while also gaining a better understanding of research across disciplines. In addition to working on your individual research project, you'll attend weekly seminars with students from different disciplines to discuss and present your research. The seminars will focus on strategies to communicate about research to a broad general audience. You will also attend lectures, workshops, and panels with faculty mentors and researchers from all across the University.

During the academic year following the summer program, you'll also be required to present at the Honors College research fair.

The Brackenridge Fellowship was the first interdisciplinary research program of its kind in the nation, and has an esteemed reputation. It is named for Hugh Brackenridge (1748-1816), the founder of the University of Pittsburgh. 

Who Can Apply?

Full-time 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. Students who intend to graduate 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, using minimal jargon.

About Applying for Other Pitt Honors Summer Awards

Students wishing to be considered for both the Brackenridge Fellowship and the Health Science Fellowship must submit separate applications for each. The programs are distinctly different and applications should be tailored to the appropriate opportunity. While the Brackenridge is made up of a cohort of fellows divided evenly among the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, with a focus on communicating your work to a broad audience, the Health Sciences Fellowship focuses only on Health Sciences research and sharing your work within that community. 

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 Brett Say (