Full Proposals (by invitation only) due July 31, 2020
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). With this mechanism, Mind & Life 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.

Application Information: Request for Letters of Intent

Grant Policies and FAQ

*Tips for a Great Proposal*

PEACE Grant Recipients

For any questions about the PEACE Grants, please see the FAQ, or email


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.


To be eligible, the Principal Investigator (and Co-Principal Investigator if relevant) must have completed a research doctorate (e.g., PhD, EdD) and have sufficient training, experience and institutional resources to accomplish the proposed work. Mind & Life aims to maximize the benefits of diversity, and to use diversity as a tool for enriching the field of contemplative research. We welcome applicants of all races, classes, genders, ages, religions, physical abilities, and sexual orientations.

Applicants may not be actively funded through any Mind & Life research grant. Current Mind & Life grantees must submit a final report and budget reconciliation for existing grants before applying for a new grant. This policy applies both within and across Mind & Life research grant programs (with the exception of Think Tanks). Note that we do not allow two separate proposals for the same program in a given cycle from the same applicant, or from different applicants for two aspects of the same project.

The 2020 application period will open on February 5, and close March 4 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. All applicants must submit a letter of intent to be considered for invitation to submit a full proposal. Applicants will receive email notification by the end of May as to whether they have been selected to submit a full proposal. If selected, a detailed request for proposals (RFP) will be sent to you at that time, and the final deadline will be July 31, 2020. Grants will be announced in November. See the Request for Letters for more details.