Awards

Overview

The Department of Religious Studies offers a number of prizes to stimulate excellent student research.

Eligibility: Term papers, capstone projects, and honors theses that are produced (1) by declared RELS majors, (2) by matriculated RELS graduate students, or (3) by any student in a class that is listed or cross-listed as RELS. Students may modify the work before submitting it for consideration for the prize. Further eligibility requirements are listed below.

 

Israel Goldstein Prize

$1,000 will be awarded annually to each of two Penn students (one undergraduate and one graduate) who have completed research evaluating religion as a force of social progress in the United States. The project should ideally focus on Philadelphia and must have culminated in a paper. Projects that may be expanded into undergraduate honors theses are welcomed. The prize will be awarded at the end of the spring semester and will be announced in the Commencement Program.

To apply for the Israel Goldstein Award, please send the following materials to the current undergraduate chair (listed at bottom of homepage). Applications for the award are due by March 10 of each year.

1. A cover letter describing the research project and its suitability for the prize.
2. A current CV.
3. A copy of your paper.

Undergraduate chairs may request hard copies of these documents from award finalists.


 

Merle Saunders Schaff Memorial Prize

This annual award of $500 is offered each spring for the best written work demonstrating creative thinking on any subject related to the archaeology of Ancient Israel or to Judaic religious thought through the Middle Ages.

An additional prize of $1000 may be awarded for an appropriate essay in the area that led the donor to establish the prize, namely, connections between Celtic Christianity and the religious culture of the ancient Hebrews. 

Eligibility: This prize is awarded to graduate students in even-numbered years, and undergraduate students in odd-numbered years.

To apply for the Schaff Prize, please send the following materials to the current undergraduate chair (listed at bottom of homepage). Applications for the award are due by March 10 of each year.

1. A cover letter describing the research project and its suitability for the prize.
2. A current CV.
3. A copy of your paper.

Undergraduate chairs may request hard copies of these documents from award finalists.

 

Ann Matter Prize for Best Paper in the History of Religions

$250 will be awarded to the Penn undergraduate who has completed
the best research paper in any given year on any subject under the broad heading of "The History of Religions."  Term papers or undergraduate honors theses are welcomed. The prize will be awarded at the end of the spring term and will be announced in the Commencement Program. 

To apply for the Ann Matter Prize, please send the following materials to the current undergraduate chair (listed at bottom of homepage). Applications for the Ann Matter Prize are due by March 10 of each year.

1. A cover letter describing the research project and its suitability for the prize.
2. A current CV.
3. A copy of your paper.

Undergraduate chairs may request hard copies of these documents from award finalists.