Martin A. Dale '53 Summer Awards


The Martin A. Dale '53 Summer Awards provide financial support to enable a small number of Princeton University sophomores to pursue worthy projects that provide important opportunities for personal growth, foster independence, creativity, and leadership skills, and broaden or deepen some area of special interest. It is required that the project will take eight weeks or more of the summer.

 Past projects have included:

  • Special programs or projects in the creative arts
  • Community service projects
  • Programs of study that DON'T satisfy academic requirements at Princeton or independent study projects
  • Exploration designed to fulfill a goal

Proposals for participation in formal “structured” programs generally receive less consideration.  Note that Dale projects must comply with all guidelines for University-sponsored travel, as well as all local and national health and safety guidelines. Proposals submitted during the AY 2021-22 application cycle should be sufficiently flexible to adapt to the uncertainties of travel during the global pandemic.

Learn more about the Dale Summer Award by attending an upcoming info session:

  • Thursday, November 18 from 4:30-5:30pm in Wilcox Commons
  • Wednesday, December 1 from 4:30-5:30pm in the Mathey PDR
  • Monday, January 10 from 12-1pmET on Zoom.


All currently enrolled sophomores at Princeton University who wish to pursue a summer project are eligible to apply. Applicants' academic records, while not of primary importance, will be considered together with extracurricular activities which reflect personal initiative and commitment. Selections will be based on the worthiness of the project and its particular value to the individual. The award is intended to allow students the freedom to pursue areas of personal interest that they might otherwise be unable or unlikely to explore further.


The Martin A. Dale '53 awards carry a stipend of $5,000. Students receiving Princeton grant aid who win the award will have their expected summer earnings replaced. (Please note: The $5,000 stipend is treated as taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service.) The Dale award must be the only Princeton-sponsored program in which the student participates in the summer for which the award is granted. Students accepting the Dale award are required to withdraw from any and all other Princeton programs. Potential conflicts should be addressed in the application for funding.


Students interested in applying for this independent project funding must do so through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). The application will be available beginning Monday, November 8. You will be able to save your application and go back to it, but it must be submitted by the application deadline, Friday, January 21, 2022. You should access the application as soon as it opens and review all the requirements and conditions very carefully in order to write a thoughtful essay describing the nature of your proposed summer project. Note: your letter of recommendation must be from a Princeton faculty member or university administrator with an active PU netid. Please contact your recommender early. SAFE does not allow letters of recommendation to be submitted until you submit your completed application. At that time, the recommender will receive an email from SAFE with a link to the online form. (The system allows letters of recommendation only to be submitted for a short period after the application deadline of January 21, 2022.)

Additional information will be available at the information meeting held in the residential colleges in November, December, January and on your college website. Applications are reviewed by faculty and staff selection committees in each college, and the most competitive candidates are invited to an interview. Students are notified of the results of the competition around March 1st. (An e-mail notification will be sent to each applicant.) For further information, please contact the director of studies of your residential college.