Rapid Response Grants: Call for Proposals

The disruption of the pandemic and other pressures of the moment demand pathbreaking responses from humanists.

The Humanities Council affirms our commitment to connecting and supporting humanities scholars across the borders of their disciplines and beyond the University. In supporting the forward momentum of humanities research, we further affirm our commitment to our partners at community and public institutions. 

To that end, the Humanities Council offers a special round of  “rapid response” Magic Grants for Princeton University faculty and research staff who propose new projects starting in Spring 2021, emerging from the disruptions of the pandemic. We invite “outside-the-box” ideas that transform academic business as usual, reimagining its forms and communities in light of current conditions.

Magic grants are intended to be the primary funder and “initiating spark” for a first-time project and thus may not top up, co-sponsor, or sustain projects initiated elsewhere. Priority will be given to ideas that can be transferred or scaled to other contexts. Collaborations and joint proposals are encouraged. 


Princeton University faculty and others with continuing Dean of the Faculty appointments—e.g., lecturers, postdoctoral fellows, research scholars, and professional specialists—may submit a one- or two-page proposal, along with an itemized budget from $500 to $5,000

Applicants may request support for courses and workshops, especially with components that move beyond the traditional classroom setting. In addition, applicants may hire current Princeton University students (graduate or undergraduate) for technical or research assistance. Other eligible project expenses may include technical support or training relevant to the project (such requests may not replicate available University resources). Funds are not intended for the development of new websites but might support new components for existing sites. Proposals under serious consideration may be reviewed by faculty experts in the relevant fields, in consultation with the Center for Digital Humanities, ProCES, and the Council for Science and Technology, the Office of the Dean for Research, and other campus offices.

Grants may not support travel, in-person meetings, faculty summer salary, or honoraria for online lectures or performances.

Proposals should indicate a commitment from a University office to manage funds and logistics. The Humanities Council will support projects through our usual publicity and communications channels.


Proposals will be considered as they arrive, with awards granted on a rolling basis.

If requesting funds for a course, proposals must include a confirmation from the relevant department chair stating the semester that the course will be offered, unless the course is already on the books for Spring 2021.

Please contact Kathleen Crown, executive director of the Humanities Council, for guidance on preparing a proposal or questions about eligibility.

Grant Application

See the Summer 2020 call for proposals.

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