Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Student Research

Each year faculty members from the South Asian Studies department  supervise Penn students with an academic interest in the region to complete a research project of their choice. During the school year 2014-15, students completed research projects, and the previous summer, in 2014, four other undergraduates completed a project and also travelled to India to complete their work. 

In the following section several students discuss their research topics and thesis. They identify the most rewarding aspects of the research, and how this has effected their undergraduate experience. They go on to reflect on how the research and the skills from this will shape their post graduate plans. Finally, they conclude with some advice to others who are considering participating in research projects in the future.


Information about participating and grants for research projects 

South Asia Studies majors do research as assistants on large projects, within courses, and on independent projects (including writing an honors thesis). 

Some major-based opportunities for doing research:

SAST Independent Study
SAST Honors/Senior Thesis

To see faculty specializations and department resources, go to 

SAST Department Research Page 
SAST Graduate Group Research Page

Research Grants for Undergraduate Students

The Department of South Asia Studies offers up to two $3000 Summer Research Grants each year for undergraduates conducting original research in a South Asian country.  Additional grant opportunities for research in India are offered by the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI).


For information on undergraduate research awards and funding, go to

Penn Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (CURF)

For information about human research participants (IRB approval) go to

Penn Office of Regulatory Affairs--Institutional Review Board


Opportunities to publish undergraduate research in the College

CUREJ (College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal)  
Scholarly Commons
Penn History Review (History Department)
In Situ (Anthropology Department)


For information about research assistant jobs contact 
Penn Career Services
SAST UAB (Undergraduate Advisory Board)