Shah Family Prize for Innovative Undergraduate Student Projects

The Shah Family Prize for Innovative Undergraduate Student Projects at the Netter Center enables the most creative and dedicated Penn students to further develop, improve, and successfully implement their projects. It encourages innovation, creative social entrepreneurship, and commitment to developing and sustaining projects that make a positive impact on campus and in the local community. Projects related to Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) and/or existing Netter Center initiatives with West Philadelphia will be given priority. The Prize is open to all undergraduate students who have taken Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses or have been involved in Netter Center programs and want to build upon an existing project.  

  • Two annual prizes of $5,000 each will be awarded. 
  • Students can be nominated through the Netter Center Student Advisory Board, faculty that teach ABCS courses, as well as Netter Center staff. Self-nominations are also encouraged.
  • Once nominated, students will be invited to submit an application that describes their ideas for the project going forward and how they might use the funds to realize these ideas in practice. Students are encouraged to collaborate with Netter Center staff in developing the final application.
  • Final applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of staff and members of the Netter Center’s Faculty Advisory Board and Community Advisory Board. The committee will make recommendations to the Netter Center director, who will select the final recipients of the Shah Family Prize. 
  • Selected projects will work closely with Netter Center staff and community partners to implement their proposal.

Timeline for Shah Prize 2023-2024:


Guidelines for proposal format:

  • Abstract (250 words or less)
  • Project Proposal (3 pages or less, single-spaced) considering the following:
    • What is the problem your project is working to solve? What are your motivations for pursuing this project? Have you spoken with stakeholders about the need for the development of a project like this? 
    • What are the goals of your project? How does your project achieve those goals? If your project is implemented, how will you evaluate/measure if you have met your goals?
    • What, if any, are existing programs that address this issue? How does your project fill in any significant gaps?
    • Steps that have already been taken to develop the project, if applicable
    • Specific key players and campus or community partners and their roles with your project
    • Estimated timeline of development and implementation
    • Estimated budget breakdown
  • Appendix of supplementary materials, if applicable
    • Could include sample lesson plans, proposed activities, concept maps, organizational charts, etc.

2023-2024 Winners

2022-2023 Winners

2021-2022 Winners

2020-2021 Winners

2019-2020 Winners

2018-2019 Winners