Letters-of-Intent applications for the 2021 cycle are now closed
Full Proposals (by invitation only) due July 30, 2021
Funding decisions announced in November

Research on contemplation offers a rich opportunity for understanding the mind and its capacity for change, and programs delivering contemplative training in various settings have expanded rapidly over the past decade. Our knowledge of cognitive, physiological, and clinical effects of these practices has grown steadily, in large part due to the ongoing efforts of the Mind & Life Institute and our community of scholars. Research to date has focused largely on mindfulness-based practices and their impact, although recently compassion-based practices have also been investigated. This expansion to include research on the specific cultivation of prosocial qualities and actions is clearly warranted as we look to foster positive change in the world. In addition, much of the existing research has examined effects of contemplative practice solely on the individual who practices—a logical first step in this broad investigation. However, we believe this is a crucial moment for understanding the development of qualities and outcomes that support not only individual well-being but also interpersonal well-being, societal flourishing, and interconnection. 

To this end, Mind & Life is pleased to lead the way in expanding contemplative research through our PEACE Grants. This funding mechanism supports projects that advance our understanding of wholesome mental qualities and positive interpersonal and social action related to Prosociality, Empathy, Altruism, Compassion, and Ethics (PEACE). Mind & Life PEACE grants will fund projects that advance our understanding of the mechanisms, implementation and outcomes of contemplative strategies to promote well-being and prosocial behavior in individuals and communities. In addition, we encourage the development of measures to rigorously assess these qualities in various real-world contexts. Please read the full Request for Letters of Intent for more information.

This grant program encourages the active collaboration of scientists with contemplative scholars/practitioners in all phases of research. Humanities proposals are also encouraged. Two levels of funding are offered—$25,000 and $100,000—for projects that can be completed in a two-year time frame.

For any questions about the PEACE Grants, please see the FAQ, or email PEACEgrants@mindandlife.org.

Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Grant

Beginning in 2020, one of the awarded PEACE grants ($25,000) will be designated as the Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Grant, given to honor the life of Samuel B. Hanser, to support the development of innovative research that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the effects and mechanisms of contemplative practices on body, mind, and spirit.

The 2020 Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Grant was awarded to co-recipients Christopher May and Marieke van Vugt for their project “How do the benefits of meditation spread? Investigating interpersonal mechanisms following practice.”

Congratulations to our
2020 PEACE Grant Recipients

2020 PEACE Grants Review Committee

Doris F. Chang, PhD

New York University

Paul Condon, PhD

Southern Oregon University

Fellow, Grantee

Lisa Flook, PhD

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Convening Faculty, Grantee

Annemarie Gockel, PhD

Smith College


Mark Greenberg, PhD

Pennsylvania State University

Convening Faculty, Fellow, PPC Member

Anthony King, PhD

University of Michigan


Jennifer Mascaro, PhD

Emory University

Convening Faculty, Grantee

Matthias Mehl, PhD

University of Arizona

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD

Greater Good Science Center, University of California–Berkeley

David Vago, PhD

Vanderbilt University

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee, PPC Member

Fadel Zeidan, PhD

Wake Forest University

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee