The David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project

David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project Grants in the Council of the Humanities

This Project provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to Princeton faculty members, thanks to the generosity of Lynn Shostack, in memory of her husband, David A. Gardner '69. The goal is to support ideas that break new ground intellectually and pedagogically and have the potential to change how the humanities are conceived and taught. The committee is attentive to interdisciplinary initiatives as well as to intellectual “nooks and crannies” that might not be well known to students and colleagues but are essential to the richness of the Princeton experience. In this context, the word magic is used metaphorically to signal the possibility of making new things happen.


Preparing Your Grant Request 

The online form for Academic Year 2016-2017 proposals will be open January 5–February 1, 2016. To help you prepare the request, the Council will require a one-page proposals describing how the project breaks new ground and how it might make a difference on the intellectual or curricular landscape. Additionally, you will need to provide a detailed budget for the full project, showing funds contributed by or solicited from other sources. Information such as host department, program manager, project dates and budget information will be necessary to complete the form. And last, provide an abstract for project. Faculty with questions are welcome to call or email Kathleen Crown, Executive Director of the Council at 8-4719 or


Important Dates

    Monday, November 30, 2015: An information session will be offered to potential applicants; 4:30 pm at Joseph Henry House. No reservations are necessary.

    January 5–February 1, 2016: The online application form to submit Magic Grant proposals for Academic Year 2016-2017 will be available on this page.

    March 2016: Decisions will be announced early March.

    May 15, 2017: Final reports for those who receive funding are due using an online form. Links will be provided along with reminders from the Council.

 Magic grants continue to be awarded only for projects to be carried out in the coming academic year, 2016-17. *
*Occasionally smaller amounts of Magic funds become available in the current year (eg, surplus or returned funds) and may be awarded on ad hoc basis. Such requests for 2015-16 projects should be requested by emailing Kathleen Crown.


 Grants are intended to reflect one or more facets of the Project’s mission:

  • To encourage unusual, even surprising, intellectual endeavors that depart from the status quo and have the potential to reshape a body of knowledge;
  • To foster interdisciplinary collaborations and team-teaching across fields;
  • To enlarge the curriculum in ways that encourage both faculty and students to adopt new modes of thought that transcend traditional academic boundaries; and
  • To expose students to educational riches that might not otherwise be visible or available to them because of class size restrictions, budgetary limits, or other obstacles.

The Project does not provide salaries for research, but pairs of faculty members may apply for summer stipends of $7500 to develop team-taught courses that reach beyond a single department. These courses should examine large questions and major texts, building bridges either within the arts and humanities, or across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.


List of Magic Grants Awarded in 2014-15


Joseph Henry House (map)
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Telephone: (609) 258-4717
Fax: (609) 258-2783
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