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Dan Markel
Research Grant

Overview & Goals

Justice for Dan, Inc., is offering a series of $1,000 grants to be awarded to up to three (3) law or pre-law students to advance Dan’s academic research by completing some of his unfinished work. 


Specifically, awardees will tackle research that Dan had wanted to complete, but couldn’t before his murder, regarding the topic of “time and punishment.” 

Teaching, mentorship, legal research, and legal writing were Danny’s passions. This grant project will: 

  • Foster Dan’s legacy in these areas to members of the next generation of legal thinkers 

  • Provide opportunities to awardees to me mentored in legal research by members of the selection committee, many of whom were in Danny's academic and professional circles.

  • Provide posthumous credit to him through completed student papers

Background on the Topic of “Time and Punishment”:

Dan Markel had an idea for a research project that he codified in a placeholder abstract. But he never got to complete this research prior to his murder. 


“I am chiefly interested in explaining what the time constraints are in the context of criminal law, and whether they endure bare scrutiny,” Dan wrote, “This paper is still gestating, so suggestions from readers of this abstract are welcome.”


Grant awardees will tackle some of the following features Dan had outlined in his proposal, including: 

  • examine the “normative conundra associated with how the passage of time affects the institutional imposition and distribution of punishment in criminal law and procedure”

  • explore what “principles have been articulated by courts and other political actors to justify temporal limits on criminal responsibility such as those found in statutes of limitations; determinations of offender competence pre-, during, and post-adjudication; the effects of intervening changes in the law and related issues of retroactivity; and choices regarding consecutive and concurrent sentencing.”

Proposals review process: 

Grant applications will be reviewed by a 10-member selection committee that includes:

  • Justice for Dan board members

  • Law scholars in Danny’s various circles

  • Prosecutors

  • Defense attorneys


Members of the selection committee will also serve as mentors to awardees, providing guidance on research approach, and feedback on findings and writing.

Application process:

Applications for this grant project will open on July 19, 2024 – the tragic 10 year anniversary of Dan’s murder. 


This is also the date that selection committee members will be publicly named. The application will be available at that time through this page. 


In the meantime, for those interested in applying, successful proposals will: 


  • Identify a faculty sponsor from the student's home university who will supervise the research project locally.

  • Identify which piece(s) of Dan’s original idea will be pursued

  • Cite other pieces of Dan’s extensive scholarship

  • Provide an example of prior research or writing

  • Provide at least two academic references 

Contact for more information

If you're interested in learning more about this project - whether as an applicant, as media, or as a prospective member of the selection committee, please email us at or call 850-296-7771.

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