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Research Grants FAQ

The 2024-2025 application has closed. The 2025-2026 applications will open in fall 2024.

Please note: The Princeton University Library Research Grant is a monetary award to support individuals' 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. Who can apply for a grant? 
Doctoral students, recent doctorates, tenured and non-tenured faculty, and independent scholars are all welcome to apply. 

Q. If I apply for a grant, will I automatically receive funds? 
No, this is a competitive process. In 2023, we received over 100 applications and funded about 40%.

Q. Can I see the application before creating an account?
You are welcome to view a blank, sample 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.  Applications from doctoral students, recent doctorates, independent scholars, or those with limited or no institutional resources to support their research are especially welcome. The proposal should address specifically the relevance to the proposed research of unique resources found in the Princeton University Library collections.

The Friends have allocated funds to provide honoraria for articles published in its refereed journal, the Princeton University Library Chronicle, that are based on PUL research.

Q: I am a former recipient of a PUL research grant. May I apply again?
There is no rule against applying for a second grant, and there have been successful second research grant applicants over the years. In your application, you would need to clearly explain the need for a second grant.  If it is for a different project, that is more likely to be funded. If it is an extension of your original work, you would need to detail why you need additional time. One possible explanation is that you originally came for two weeks (for example) but found more than you anticipated (and why or how that occurred) and now need additional time. Given that we receive many more applications than we can fund and that each year many worthy applications do not get funded, there is a higher bar for this type of application to be supported.

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 are not funded. Projects needing only a modest amount of materials that can be fulfilled by a digitization request are not funded.

Q:  I want to have access to Firestone’s general collections. Will this program support that?
The access you will receive is for Special Collections and rare materials found in the East Asian and Marquand Libraries. The general collections in Firestone are not available as part of your access. For more information on accessing the general collections, please review the Library's Access Policy. The purpose of this program is to support work involving the unique resources found in Princeton University Library. Applications solely focused on the general circulating collections and electronic resources of the Princeton University Library will not be considered for 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 a U.S. citizen, you should consult with your home institution about visa issues before applying/traveling. 

Q. Is my grant award taxable? 
Yes. U.S. 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.

Q. How do I access the application?
The 2024-2025 application has closed. The 2025-2026 application window will open in the fall of 2024.

After applying for a grant

Q. How do I know my application has been received?
The Grant Application Portal will send a confirmation email once you have submitted your application. Please note: Applications are not automatically submitted. You must click the green Submit button once all components of the application have been uploaded in order to be considered for the FPUL Research Grant. 

Q: I have applied for a grant. How and when will I find out if I have been successful?
All applicants will be informed of their status via email by May 2024. In order to ensure grant-related messages are not sent to spam, please add to your safe sender list.

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?
The payment for your award will not be requested until after your arrival. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will be required to complete a W-9 Form which can be uploaded through a secure portal. For foreign nationals, the forms required vary and you should contact for more information.

Non-US citizens should especially note, once all paperwork is submitted, it can still take several weeks for you to receive your payment and it may not be delivered until after your time on campus. Therefore, recipients should not depend on these funds to be available to cover expenses as they are incurred.

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. Princeton University also participates 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: Can the library sponsor me so that I am eligible to use campus services such as the gym, have library borrowing privileges, etc.?
Unfortunately, no. Your award does not entitle you to use campus facilities where departmental sponsorship is required.

Q. When should I plan my trip?
Once awarded, grant trips can commence starting May of that year through the following April. The dates the Library will be closed are listed on the Library’s website. We STRONGLY SUGGEST AVOIDING coming to campus during Reunions and Commencement, which in 2024 falls on May 24-28.

The Special Collections Reading Rooms are closed on University Holidays including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day (July 4th), Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the following Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. The exact dates may change depending on what day of the week the holiday falls in a given year. Please consult the University’s calendar for more information. Any unanticipated closures will be announced on a banner on the Special Collections website.

Q. What’s the best way to get to Princeton? 
Please go to the Visit Us page on the university's website for the latest information on traveling to campus by air or train.

Q:  Do you have any suggestions for housing while in Princeton?
Unfortunately, housing is expensive in Princeton, especially within walking distance of the campus. There are pricey hotel options in town, including Nassau Inn and Peacock Inn. There are more affordable hotel options on the outskirts of town; many provide a shuttle service. The Erdman Center permits individuals to rent when they have rooms available. Another option is to find a short-term sublet. TigerReTail is the Princeton University community classified ad site. Local hotel options and additional lodging information can be found on the university’s website

Please see the University's Transportation website for information about accessible transit services around campus.

Q:  I am driving, where can I park?
A current campus mapparking and shuttle information can be found on the University's Visit Us page. There is metered parking on William Street and Olden Street that allows 10-hour parking, and public parking garages are available in downtown Princeton.

Q: To whom may I direct additional inquiries? 
For questions about materials or the reading room, please use our Ask Us Form to get in touch with our Public Services team. For other grant-related inquiries email