Each year, the Friends of the Princeton University Library offer short-term Library Research Grants to promote scholarly use of the research collections. The Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Fund also supports a limited number of library fellowships in Hellenic studies, and the Cotsen Children’s Library supports research in its collection on aspects of children’s books. The Maxwell Fund supports research on materials dealing with Portuguese-speaking cultures. In addition, awards will be made from the Sid Lapidus '59 Research Fund for Studies of the Age of Revolution and the Enlightenment in the Atlantic World. This award covers work using materials pertinent to this topic donated by Mr. Lapidus as well as other also relevant materials in the collections.
These Library Research Grants, which have a value of up to $4,000 plus transporations costs, are meant to help defray expenses incurred in traveling to and residing in Princeton during the tenure of the grant. The length of the grant will depend on the applicant’s research proposal, but is ordinarily up to one month. Library Research Grants awarded in this academic year are tenable from May 2017 to April 2018, and the deadline for applications is January 31, 2017.
Applicants are asked to complete an online application form (available in the original web page) and submit a single Word or PDF file (preferred) containing a budget form, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and a research proposal not exceeding one thousand words in length. Applicants must also arrange for two confidential letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the Library Research Grants Committee at the address given in the original web page.
The proposal should address specifically the relevance to the proposed research of unique resources found in the Princeton University Library collections. Applications will be considered for scholarly use of archives, manuscripts, rare books, and other rare and unique holdings of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, including Mudd Library; as well as rare books in Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, and in the East Asian Library (Gest Collection). Prospective grantees are urged to consult the Library’s home page (access via original web page) for detailed descriptions of the collections, especially those in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Applicants should have specific Princeton resources in mind as they prepare their proposals. The general circulating collections and electronic resources of the Princeton University Library are not relevant for purposes of this grant program.
A committee consisting of members of the faculty, the library staff, and the Friends will award the grants on the basis of the relevance of the proposal to unique holdings of the library, the merits and significance of the project, and the applicant’s scholarly qualifications. Awards will be made by in April of 2017.
Frequently Asked Questions for Friends Grants
Before applying for a grant
Q. If I apply for a grant, will I automatically receive funds?
No, this is a very competitive process. In 2016, we received over 100 applications but were only able to fund 33 projects. Awards ranged from $1,000 to $4,000.
Q. What kind of proposals are funded?
We seek to fund proposals on new, important, and original topics. Projects involving collections that have been well-used and from which much has already been published are far less likely to be funded. Scholars of all stripes are considered. The proposal should address specifically the relevance to the proposed research of unique resources found in the Princeton University Library collections.
Q. The materials I am interested in are on microfilm or are of a small volume. Should I apply?
Generally speaking, applications that seek to primarily use materials also available on microfilm that can be loaned or purchased are not funded. Projects needing only a modest amount of materials that can be fulfilled by a photoduplication request are not funded.
Q. What’s the best way to get to Princeton?
If flying, Newark airport has easier public transit connections to the University. From the airport, one can take a NJ Transit train to Princeton Junction and then transfer to the “Dinky.” The Dinky terminates on the University campus. (At the airport, you can buy one ticket to cover the entire trip.) If flying to the Philadelphia airport, public transportation (SEPTA) is also available, but depending on the time of day, three to four transfers are necessary. If taking a train, Amtrak combined with local trains is a good option, i.e. take a train to New York or Philadelphia and then NJ Transit or SEPTA to Princeton. Google Transit is helpful in determining train schedules for all public transit services. Also, there is a shuttle service from the Philadelphia airport, Olympic but it is not inexpensive.
Q: I want to have access to Firestone’s general collections. Will this program support that?
While grant recipients will have access to Firestone’s general collections, the purpose of this program is to support work involving the unique resources found in the Princeton University Library collections. The general circulating collections and electronic resources of the Princeton University Library alone are not relevant for purposes of this grant program.
Q: Will the University sponsor my visa?
No, these are not appointments through the Dean of the Faculty’s office, and therefore not eligible for visa sponsorship. If you are not an American citizen, you should consult with your home institution about visa issues before applying/traveling.
Q. Is my grant award taxable?
Yes. US citizens will need to report the grant as income. All others will have 30% tax withheld from their award; however, if your country has a tax treaty with the United States, you may recover the taxes by filing a U.S. tax return in the year following your trip.
After applying for a grant
Q. After submitting my application, will I receive notification that it has been received and is complete?
All applicants are sent an auto-response from the system that your email has been received, but applicants are responsible for submitting complete applications, including the two letters of recommendation. Due to the volume of applications and letters of recommendation received just prior to the deadline (quite literally several hundred emails), personalized responses are not possible, and requests for confirmation of completion cannot be accommodated.
Q: I have applied for a grant. When can I find out if I have been successful?
All applicants will be informed by the end of the first week of April.
Q: If I email before then, can I learn of my status?
No, the review process does not conclude until just prior to notification. Once the decisions have been made, applicants are informed immediately.
After being awarded a grant
Q: I’ve received a research grant award. How do I collect my funds?
If you are an American citizen and submit a W-9 form to Linda Oliveira four weeks before your trip to campus, a check will be ready for you upon your arrival. For foreign nationals, the forms required vary and you should contact Linda Oliveira for more information. Once all paperwork is submitted, it takes about three weeks for a check to be issued.
Q: To whom may I direct additional inquiries?
If your materials are in Firestone Library, you may write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your materials are in Mudd Library, you may write to: email@example.com
If your materials are in another library, you may write to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward your mail as appropriate.
For more information please click on "Further official information" below.
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