Over the past decade, the field of the contemplative sciences has grown remarkably, while new subfields continue to emerge. Recognizing the need for small groups of specialists to convene in dialogue about a specific issue or set of concerns with the capacity to deepen their collective insight and make significant impacts, we are pleased to offer the Mind & Life Think Tanks.
Mind & Life Think Tanks are intimate, two- to three-day, self-organized collaborative gatherings designed to incubate or advance a particular project area or advance a specific problem within the broad field of the contemplative sciences. Grants support the travel, accommodations and general organization of Think Tanks to convene small groups of collaborators including scientists, scholars, humanitarian leaders and changemakers, contemplative practitioners, educators and applied professionals to workshop a coherent topic with well-defined outcomes and potentially high impact.
2017 Think Tank Grant Recipients
“Core Measures for Mindfulness Studies”
Organizer: Rick Hecht
Date: February 2018
Location: San Francisco, California
We aim to develop a set of recommended “core measures” for mindfulness-based intervention research that can strengthen individual studies and facilitate pooled data analyses and meta-analyses. While most studies require study specific outcome measures, there are domains that are appropriate to measure across studies. These includes self-report measures of important common outcomes (e.g. stress and mood) and functions specifically targeted by mindfulness training (e.g. behavioral, or cognitive responses to standardized tasks or naturalistic daily stimuli). Domains we anticipate covering include intervention effects on affect dynamics, attentional processes, and pro-social behavior. We will carefully assess the pros and cons of available measures, their appropriateness for mindfulness research, and develop a menu of recommended measures. We will bring together a diverse group of researchers from several disciplines, including mindfulness teachers. To disseminate findings, we aim to publish a joint paper, and the UCSF Osher Center will host a website summarizing recommendations.
“Designing and implementing a contemplative practice-based program for ex-combatants in Colombia’s peacebuilding process”
Organizer: Juan Santoyo
Date: November 2017
Location: Medellin, Colombia
This think tank will develop a meditation-based curriculum for peacebuilding along with guidelines for its implementation as a component of Colombia’s ongoing peacebuilding process. We will draw on Mind and Life’s model to bring together scholars, scientists, and contemplatives across institutional and geographical boundaries for this immediate opportunity to promote individual and societal flourishing in an important global context. Our primary goal is to develop a manual for a program that uses compassion, equanimity, and kindness meditation and didactic exercises for use in peacebuilding contexts. As long-term goals, think tank participants will go on to implement this framework with Colombian ex-combatants. Additionally, scientific research on its effects will be carried out in or to further refine the program and facilitate its adaptation for use with other marginalized populations in the USA and other global contexts.
Apply for a Mind & Life Think Tank Grant
- $10,000 to $15,000 per Think Tank.
- Up to six Think Tanks are funded each year.
- Applications can be submitted year-round.
- Applications are reviewed and awarded once per year.
- The application deadline is June 1.
- Applications are reviewed by a blind interdisciplinary committee.
- Applicants are notified by the second week of August.
- International applicants are encouraged to apply.
- One- to three-day self-organized gatherings.
- Ten to 25 participants per Think Tank.
- Applications must include the names of participants representing diverse disciplinary expertise (minimum three disciplines and three institutions).
- Must demonstrate relevance to the Mind & Life mission, engage leaders and changemakers, have social and ethical relevance and include diverse perspectives (ethnic, racial, gender, geographical, disciplinary, etc.).
- Must have clear outcomes and deliverables (white paper, conference, grant, curricular development, etc.).
- Must have a clearly defined timeline supported by progress reports.
Abstracts and Reports
Successful applicants must sign an agreement with Mind & Life to provide:
- A 150-word abstract of the Think Tank.
- A one- to two-page summary report, due at the conclusion of the Think Tank.
- A full impact report detailing the deliverables and outcomes, due 24 months after the Think Tank.
- Publications or other productions from the Think Tanks must acknowledge support by the Mind & Life Institute.
- Outcomes, deliverables and insights from Think Tanks may be shared on the Mind & Life website and posted on social media to educate the public.