The Mind & Life Institute, with funding from the John Templeton Foundation, invites Contemplative Studies Fellowship grant applications that emphasize the role of the humanities or social sciences in deepening our understanding of contemplative practices in all their aspects. The term “contemplative practice” is meant in a broad sense, including a wide range of diverse phenomena such as prayer, meditation, fasting, prostration, yoga, and tai chi. All successful proposals will engage contemplative neuroscience and contemplative clinical science in some meaningful way. Such engagement can be through direct collaboration with scientists, but need not be. In projects where scientists are not on the research team, the proposal should identify how the project is relevant to the scientific study of contemplative practices. The strongest proposals will focus on approaches that emerge from the humanities or social sciences and will be led by (or include) scholars trained in those areas. Applications that propose purely scientific studies will not be considered.
For details, please see the complete RFP.
The MLCSF grant program has two complementary strands. Strand One is for projects that involve new kinds of scholarly reviews and critical analyses of scientific research on contemplative practices. The many possible projects under this rubric would include, for example, an in-depth study of the methodological and cultural assumptions that underlie clinical research on mindfulness. Strand Two projects foster partnerships between scientists and scholars in the humanities or social sciences with the goal of developing new interdisciplinary methods and richer approaches. A project in this strand might combine, for example, an anthropological study of a particular contemplative practice with scientific research on that practice’s effects.
The funding structure for the MLCSF follows the guidelines of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), where awards are based on rank so as to facilitate sabbatical leave for humanities-based scholars. Sabbatical leave, however, is only one way for funds to be used, and the selection committee also welcomes proposals that seek to use the funds in other ways to support the proposed research.
Any questions about the MLCSF (application process, eligibility, etc.) should be directed to email@example.com.
In order to be considered for the MLCSF, applicants must provide the materials and information indicated below:
- A project description (no longer than 3,000 words) that describes the project in relation to one of the two research strands described in the RFP.
- Documentation of the eligibility for matching funds from their respective universities. Such funding is often in the form of support for salary or benefits not covered by the amount of the Fellowship.
- A budget with proposed outputs and outcomes.
- CV and two letters of recommendation.
Request for Proposals
2012 Online Application form
Update: Applications will be accepted through February 15, 2013
MLCSF Advisory Board
- John Dunne, Ph.D., Co-Chair
Associate Professor, Dept. of Religion
- Anne Harrington, Ph.D., Co-Chair
Professor of the History of Science
- Evan Thompson, Ph.D., Co-Chair
Professor of Philosophy
University of Toronto
- Christian Coseru, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Philosophy
College of Charleston
- Jay L. Garfield, Ph.D.
Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy
- Alfred Kaszniak, Ph.D.
Mind and Life Chief Academic Officer
Head, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona
Professor, Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neurology, University of Arizona
Director, Neuropsychology, Emotion, and Memory Lab
- Robert Sharf, Ph.D.
Professor of Buddhist Studies, Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures
University of California, Berkeley
- Ann Taves, Ph.D.
Holder of the Virgil Cordano OFM Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies
Professor of Religious Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara