Francisco J. Varela Research Awards for Contemplative Science
The Mind and Life Francisco J. Varela Research Awards are an important and integral component of the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, and are based on neuroscientist and philosopher Francisco J. Varela’s belief that contemplative training offers modern science novel methods for investigating human experience. In his vision, contemplative training not only provides a new domain for scientific study, but more importantly offers resources for advancing scientific theories and models of consciousness, emotion and cognitive processing. The Varela Awards emphasize empirical examinations of contemplative techniques with the ultimate goal that findings will provide greater insight into the mechanisms of contemplative practice and its application for reducing human suffering. Preference is given to proposals using rigorous experimental designs that evaluate both state and trait effects of contemplative practice, as well as those that incorporate “first-person” contemplative methods, employing introspective investigation and reports on subjective experience. This grant program also encourages the active collaboration of scientists with contemplative scholars/practitioners in all phases of research. Grants of up to $15,000 are awarded annually through a competitive application, review and selection process.
Mind and Life wishes to express our deep thanks to the John Templeton Foundation and the Hershey Family Foundation for supporting this important grant program.
To be eligible for a Varela Award, the applicant must have attended the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute as a Research Fellow within the last five years (i.e., for 2013 applications, one must have attended a Summer Research Institute in 2009 or later). Applicants must currently be graduate students, post-docs, or junior faculty up to their third year of appointment.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The application period for the 2013 Varela Awards is now closed