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Undergraduate Chemistry

Benkovic Summer Research Award

Stephen and Patricia Benkovic Summer Research Award in Chemistry

The Benkovic Summer Research Award in Chemistry provides financial support to Chemistry Department undergraduate students conducting summer research at Penn State. The award is funded through a generous endowment established by Stephen and Patricia Benkovic. Professor Benkovic is the Evan Pugh University Professor and Eberly Chair in Chemistry who joined the department in 1965. For his groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of enzyme catalysis in complex biological systems, he was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 1985, received the National Medal of Science in 2009 and the National Academy of Science Award in Chemical Sciences in 2011, among many other honors and awards. 
The intent of the award is to enrich the undergraduate chemistry experience by providing research opportunities for the next generation of Penn State chemists and to stimulate a life-long passion for creative exploration.


Undergraduate chemistry majors (post-ETM) who are conducting research with chemistry faculty at University Park during the Summer of 2023 are eligible to apply. Applicants must be a chemistry major at the time of application.

Students who receive the Erickson Discovery Grant, or similar college/university award for summer research/engagement experiences, will be required to accept that award so that we may offer a summer research experience to as many chemistry majors as possible. Accepting multiple awards for the same summer research activity is not permitted. 


Application Process:

An application consists of your

  1. Name and Penn State email address
  2. Name of your summer research faculty advisor
  3. Unofficial copy of your transcript
  4. A one-page description of the proposed research
  5. A one-page statement on how the award aligns with your educational and career goals

The online application is available here.


Online Application Deadline:  March 3, 2023
The awards committee will request a letter of support from your summer faculty research adviser once you have submitted the online application. There will be a short deadline for letters of support so please notify your summer research adviser once you have submitted the online application.
The summer undergraduate research program runs for 10 weeks from May 29 - August 4, 2023. The award comes with a $3500 stipend. All Benkovic Awardees are required:

  1. To attend several scheduled events throughout the 10-week summer program.
  2. To present a short talk of their work to an audience of students and faculty and a poster at a Penn State/ECoS-sponsored undergraduate research symposium. We will provide training and assistance in preparing both the poster and oral presentation. 
  3. Participate in one Department of Chemistry recruitment event.

For additional information contact Dr. Dan Sykes (dgs12).