Funding for Independent Work

Limited funding is available through a variety of mechanisms for students doing an experimental thesis in the Department of Psychology. The first step is to design your research project with your advisor and then consider the following sources for funding.

Advisor Funding

If you are doing an experiment in a Princeton lab in the context of your advisor’s research, then the first likely source of funding will be your advisor’s lab grants. Check with your advisor before applying for the funding listed below to determine whether your work will require additional resources. 

If needed, and in consultation with your advisor, you can apply for funding through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). There you will find a set of funding opportunities open to Psychology concentrators. To apply, you must write a brief proposal describing your project and the estimated costs. If you have further questions about SAFE, consult with the Department of Psychology Undergraduate Program Manager. As a reminder, you need IRB approval before you can conduct any research with human subjects. For questions about IRB approval, you may ask our Human Subjects Administrator, RoseMarie Stevenson.

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR)

Please note that if you apply for the Office of Undergraduate Research Senior Thesis Research Funding (OUR-STREF) program, you will be required to apply for all departmental and programmatic funds for which you are eligible in one single application. These opportunities include the following:

OUR-STRF program, Fall Break funding

OUR offers some limited funding for Senior Thesis research to be carried out during the Fall break, on or off campus. This funding is often used for research participant costs, housing, or travel. Please check the SAFE site early for submission deadlines. The Fall break funding typically has a submission window in late September and early October.

OUR-STRF program, Winter Break/Intersession funding

OUR also offers some limited funding for Senior Thesis research to be carried out during the Winter break and Intersession, on or off-campus. Again, this funding is often used for subject costs, housing, or travel. The Winter break and Intersession funding typically have a submission window in late October and early November.

Summer funding between Junior and Senior year

Juniors wishing to apply to OUR for summer Senior Thesis research funding should apply in early Spring. Please check SAFE  for submission deadlines. Details regarding eligibility, when and how to apply, review and award processes can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Research website. 

Department Funding

The Department of Psychology's fund for independent work is awarded based on the merit of the proposal and the need for funds. Students doing research in well-funded labs are less likely to receive departmental funding. Students can receive up to $1,000 in departmental funds toward their independent work. Please keep this limit in mind when designing your experiment. It is part of the challenge of practical science to keep the costs down. Sometimes some cleverness can help. For example, you may also be able to reduce the number of subjects by streamlining the experimental design. Discuss these options with your advisor. 

The departmental fund for independent work may be used to pay for research participant fees, equipment fees, or supplies. It cannot be used for housing, living expenses, or travel-related expenses.

Please check the SAFE site for the time window for submitting proposals. The application period for Psychology funding opportunities closely follows the OUR-STRF funding cycles (see When to Apply on the Office of Undergraduate Research website).