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Research Grants FAQ

Please note: The Princeton University Library Research Grant is a monetary award to support personal research in the library's special collections. This is not a fellowship and you are not considered an employee of the University during your research visit.

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 2019, we received over 175 applications but were only able to fund less than 50 projects. 

Q. Can I see the application before creating an account?
You are welcome to view a blank, sample copy of the application.

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. When should I plan my trip? 
While many come during the summer, the awards are viable until May of the following year of the award. We STRONGLY SUGGEST AVOIDING coming to campus during Reunions and Commencement, which in 2019 falls on May 31 to June 5. Please reference the University holiday schedule

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 Limo, but it is not inexpensive.

Q:  Do you have any suggestions for housing while in Princeton?
Unfortunately housing is expensive in Princeton, especially within walking distance of the campus. One inexpensive option might be the Erdman Center, a facility on the Princeton Theological Seminary campus  within walking distance to Princeton’s campus. The Erdman Center permits individuals to rent when they have rooms available. The Nassau Inn and the Peacock Inn are within walking distance to the Princeton University campus, but are expensive. There are many hotels on Route 1 outside of town that Princeton recommends, but if you do not drive to the area, you must find one with a shuttle service as they are too far to walk and a taxi would cost around $25 per trip. Another option would be to find a short-term sublet. TigerTrade-Housing is the Princeton University community classified ad site.

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? 
The application system will send automatic replies when you have completed your application. The system will first require that 2 letters of recommendation be received before submitting an application. You can complete the application in stages. All of your information will be saved. You will be notified via email when your recommendation letters are received. At that point, you can return to the system and review and submit your application. 

Q: I have applied for a grant.  When can I find out if I have been successful?
All applicants will be informed in April, 2020.

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 pulgrants@princeton.edu 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 pulgrants@princeton.edu for more information.  Once all paperwork is submitted, it takes about three weeks for a check to be issued. We also recommend that grant recipients acquire their own travel insurance ahead of their research trip.

Q: Will I have WiFi access while on campus?
Free wireless access to the University’s network is available. More information can be found on the Princeton University Library website or on the Office of Information Technology website. Please reach out to our Research Grants Liaison (pulgrants@princeton.edu) with any questions. Please note: Princeton University is also a participant in the Eduroam federated network access service. This service allows visitors from participating institutions to gain access to the Princeton University wireless network using authentication credentials from their home institution. 

Q:  I am driving, where can I park?
A campus map and more information about the shuttle can be found on the University's Visit Us website. One option is to park in the visitors’ lot near the stadium, Lot 21. There is a free shuttle, the East Line, that services that parking lot. There is also metered parking on William Street and Olden Street that allows 10 hour parking.  There are also public parking garages in downtown Princeton.

Q: To whom may I direct additional inquiries? 
For questions about materials use our Ask Us Form.

For other grant related questions email: pulgrant@princeton.edu