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Penn Law’s Quattrone Center offering grants to Penn faculty researching ways to improve fairness of U.S. justice system

August 13, 2018

The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School is now accepting proposals to fund original research projects that will generate new knowledge that can improve the U.S. criminal justice system. The program is open to all Penn faculty.

“The Quattrone Center takes an interdisciplinary, data-driven, and systemic approach to understanding the errors in the criminal justice system and proposing solutions to enhance fairness,” said Paul Heaton, Senior Fellow and Academic Director of the Center. “We’re excited about the possibilities this program presents to encourage new research that will prevent errors and further criminal justice reform efforts.”

The Quattrone Center anticipates funding multiple projects each academic year, with an average award size of roughly $50,000 per project.

The Center has previously funded proposals from Penn faculty in numerous schools and departments, including Penn Law, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the Perelman School of Medicine.


Proposal submissions on any topic related to the Center’s mission will be considered, with particular consideration given to proposals that address the following issues: 

  • The plea-bargaining process;
  • Measuring and improving prosecutorial quality;
  • Pretrial reform;
  • Over-criminalization and sentencing policy;
  • Forensic science; and
  • White collar crime.


Proposals will be selected through a peer review process. Reviewers will evaluate submissions using several criteria, including: 

  • Relevance to the mission of the Quattrone Center;
  • Project originality and innovation;
  • Feasibility of the research plan and appropriateness of methods;
  • The ability of the proposed research team to conduct the work as described;
  • Potential for the research to generate real-world impact; and
  • The likelihood that the project could catalyze future, follow-on research.


Funding proposals will be considered on a rolling basis.

Penn faculty may submit a proposal via this website. Proposals should include a narrative of no more than three pages that describes the proposed research question and its significance, data and research methods, and proposed deliverable. (e.g. journal article, law review article, dataset, etc.). The narrative should also include a list of project personnel, projected completion date, and requested funding amount. Submissions also require CVs of key personnel and a short itemized budget.

For questions regarding the grant program, please contact Professor Paul Heaton.