Princeton Research Forum is a community of independent scholars in the Princeton, N.J., area and beyond. It is a Partner Group of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars (NCIS), the latter being an organization which represents more than 250 scholars in 26 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia as well as Canada and the Americas (2019 data).
Princeton Research Forum (PRF) was founded in 1980 by a group of scholars who were pursuing their own research outside of the academy. Their aim was to facilitate access to libraries and funding for independent researchers and to provide a forum for collegiality among the group’s membership. Since those early days, much has improved for independent scholars, in part due to the efforts of PRF founding members and to those of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars (www.ncis.org).
Today, PRF offers a diverse group of men and women scholars the opportunity to share their research interests, expertise, and creative endeavors in a supportive environment with other independent scholars. In addition to meeting monthly during the academic year, PRF members participate in ongoing study groups in the humanities, science/history of science, and poetry, and contribute to the leading-edge PRF Newsletter about the scholarly achievements and interests of members three times a year.
PRF is especially welcoming to Adjunct Faculty engaged in solid academic research and creative work, enabling them to continue to grow and network with peers despite fluctuations in employment.
Members gather for an annual general meeting, presentations on the scholarly work of members, a pot-luck dinner in the summer and a festive wine-and-cheese party in the fall. However, membership does not require on-site participation. During the Covid pandemic, meetings have been conducted via Zoom and ideas for online scholarly resources have been identified and shared.
Past Presidents of PRF include Edith Jeffrey (the organization’s first president), Gloria Erlich, Larissa Onyshkevych, Ann Morgan, Diane Krumrey, Mary Beth Lewis, Priscilla Keswani, Ashwini Mokashi, and immediate Past President Linda Holt.
Executive Officers – 2023-2025
President − Joyce Irwin
Vice President − Donn Mitchell
Secretary − Robert Craig
Treasurer − Open
The Advisory Council of the Princeton Research Forum is composed of a number of distinguished independent and affiliated scholars serve on our advisory council. For each, only one of their many publications has been cited.
Natalie Zemon Davis, a Canadian and American historian of the early modern period, has been described as “one of the greatest living historians.” She has been awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize and National Humanities Medal and has been named Companion of the Order of Canada. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of History and Anthropology and Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.
Trickster Travels (2006)
Gillian Gill is an independent scholar and biographer of Agatha Christie, Mary Baker Eddy, Florence Nightingale, among others.
We Two: Victoria and Albert, Rulers, Partners, Rivals (2009)
Robert Kanigel, Professor of Science Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a biographer and science writer.
Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs (2016)
Stanley N. Katz, Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Study, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University and President Emeritus, American Council of Learned Societies;
Mobilizing for Peace: Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine and South Africa (2002)
Chiara R. Nappi, Professor Emerita, Physics Department, Princeton University, is a theoretical physicist who has made important contributions to a broad range of problems in modern particle theory.
Why Charter Schools? The Princeton Story (1999)
Richard Rhodes, is an independent scholar, historian and journalist known for both fiction and non-fiction (which he prefers to call “verity”).
The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1987), winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award
PRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered by the State of New Jersey.