APRIL 1–MAY 27, 2020
Funding decisions announced in September

Updated April 22, 2020

Over the past decade, the contemplative sciences have grown remarkably, generating new questions across a wide range of disciplines and sectors of society. Recognizing the need for small groups of specialists to convene in dialogue about a specific issue in order to deepen their collective insight and make significant impacts, we are pleased to offer the Think Tanks grant program.

Mind & Life Think Tanks are intimate, two- to three-day self-organized gatherings (either in person or online) designed to advance a particular project bridging contemplation, research, and action—with clear and realistic deliverables. These incubator-type meetings bring together small groups of collaborators including scientists, scholars, humanitarian leaders and changemakers, contemplative practitioners, educators, applied professionals, and others.

Proposals must demonstrate relevance to the mission of the Mind & Life Institute. We have a particular interest in supporting projects that examine the role of contemplative practices in fostering interconnection, and/or addressing issues of disconnection either at the societal level (e.g., othering) or at the individual level (e.g., loneliness, depression, addiction, trauma). In this context, “contemplative” practices are defined in a broad sense—including various forms of meditation, embodied or movement-based practices, introspection and awareness of mind-body states, reflective writing, contemplative prayer, etc. Please read the Application Information for more details.

Grants of up to $15,000 (USD) will be awarded to strong proposals that cultivate collaborations between researchers and applied practitioners, embrace multi-disciplinarity, engage leaders and changemakers, have social and ethical relevance, and include diverse participants (in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, ability, geographical location, expertise, etc.).

For questions about this grant program, please see the Think Tanks FAQ, or contact

Congratulations to our
2019 Think Tank Recipients

Think Tanks

Wise Climate Actions & Sacred Activism

Vivian Valentin, Radhule Weininger, Michael Kearney, John Foran, Kevin M Gallagher, Leila Cavallho, Monique Myers, Stacy Pulice, Shawn VanValkenburgh, Kristen Goodrich, Joanna Macy, Catherine Gautier, Jose Caballero, Linda Buzzell-Saltzman, Martin Wagner, Yemaya Renuka Duby, Jessica Alvarez Parfrey, Ken Hiltner, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Summer M. Gray, Sarah Ray, Maithilee Kanthi, Bill McKibben, Emiliano Campobello, David Pellow

Topics: Compassion & Empathy | Environment | Interconnection | Social Change

Think Tanks

Decolonizing Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Spaces

Priya Iyer, Irene Barraza, Sonia Montoya, Meha Davé

Topics: Body-based Practices | Mindfulness | Social Change

Think Tanks

Critical Neuroscience and the Politics of Mindfulness Interventions for Youth: A Proposal for an Interdisciplinary Working Group

Suparna Choudhury, William Wannynn, Elena Hailwood, Steven Stanley, Jennifer Thomson, Rhonda Magee, Elizabeth Gagen, David Forbes, Kristina Eichel, Ana Gomez-Carillo, Joshua Moses, Rachel Lilley, Funie Hsu, Paul Howard Jones, Barbara Ibinarriago Soltero, Anne Harrington, Jamie Kucinskas

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Education | Mindfulness | Self & Other | Social Change

2019 Think Tanks Review Committee

Gaelle Desbordes, PhD

Grants & Science Manager, Mind & Life Institute

Kieran Fox

University of British Columbia

Richa Gawande

Cambridge Health Alliance

Kathleen Garrison, PhD

Yale University

Barbara (Bobbi) Patterson, PhD

Emory University

PPC Member

Juliana M Santoyo, EdM

Courage of Care

Convening Faculty, Grantee

Anthony Zanesco

University of California–Davis