Tag: John Templeton Foundation

John Templeton Foundation Academic Cross-Training Fellowship


Request for Applications



The John Templeton Foundation invites applications for its Academic Cross-Training (ACT) Fellowship program beginning December 1, 2019, with fellowships to begin Fall 2021. The ACT Fellowship program is intended to equip recently tenured (after September 2009) philosophers and theologians with the skills and knowledge needed to study Big Questions that require substantive and high-level engagement with empirical science.

Each ACT Fellowship will provide up to $220,000 (US dollars) for up to 33 months of contiguous support for a systematic and sustained course of study in an empirical science such as physics, psychology, biology, genetics, cognitive science, neuroscience, or sociology. Acceptable courses of study might include a plan to audit undergraduate and graduate-level courses, a plan to spend time in residence at a research lab, or a plan to earn a degree in an empirical science. This iteration of the program will also permit applicants to request that up to one year of the ACT Fellowship be used to support a small-scale pilot scientific research project that improves or enhances the capacity, skill, and talent of the fellow to investigate the above-described Big Questions. Fellows may undertake their study at their home institution or another institution. All fellows must have a faculty mentor in their cross-training discipline.

Please note that due to IRS limitations on the Foundation’s grantmaking, the maximum term of the ACT Fellowship is now 33 months.


The application process has two stages: a Letter of Intent (LOI) and for the most promising applications, invitation to submit Full Proposal. The LOI must include the following:

  • Applicant information – contact details, name of academic institution conveying tenure, and CV (10 MB limit);
  • Request information – proposed project dates (project may not begin before the beginning of AY 2021-2022 or exceed 33 months in duration), cross-training discipline, and name of cross-training mentor;
  • 400-word Project Statement describing – a) what topics or questions you believe cross-training will help you investigate, (b) how these topics or questions fit with JTF’s donor intent, and (c) what the proposed course of cross-training might look like.

The LOI will be available as a web form from December 1, 2019-May 1, 2020.


LOIs for each applicant will be evaluated according to the following criteria listed in ascending order of importance: (i) the academic credentials of the proposed fellow, (ii) the publication record of the proposed fellow, (iii) the professional standing and professional accomplishment of the proposed fellow, (iv) the potential for the applicant to be an influential figure in their field in the future, (v) the appropriateness of the chosen means for the goal of cross-training, and (vi) the potential of the proposed fellow to undertake substantive, high-quality interdisciplinary research on Big Questions falling within the domain of JTF’s mission to fund “Science and the Big Questions” if the proposed fellow were awarded the fellowship. Applicants will not be evaluated based on the race, religion, or gender of the proposed fellow.


  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree from an accredited university.
  • Employment by an accredited U.S. or non-U.S. university or college. The employer agrees to sponsor the applicant, be the ultimate recipient of fellowship funds, administer the distribution of funds, and make reports to JTF on the use of the funds.
  • Received tenure after September 1, 2009, or reasonably anticipates receiving tenure by the beginning of AY 2021, as defined by applicant’s employing institution.
  • Primary faculty appointment within a philosophy, religious studies, religion, or theology department.

Note: Trustees and officers of the John Templeton Foundation and other “disqualified persons” as defined pursuant to Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, are not eligible to apply for the ACT Fellowship program.


December 1, 2019 LOI submission window opens
May 1, 2020: LOI submission window closes
June 1, 2020: Full proposals invited
July 13, 2020: Full proposals due
Fall 2020: Awards announced
Fall 2021: Fellowships begin


Please email rfp@templeton.org.



Gratitude to God: Psychological, Philosophical and Theological Investigations Project

Gratitude to God: Psychological, Philosophical and Theological Investigations Project

Duration: Two Years Start date between September 1, 2020 and November 1, 2020.
End date between August 31, 2022 and October 31, 2022


Biola University, with the help of a very generous grant from The John Templeton Foundation, and under the direction of Peter Hill and Robert Emmons, welcomes proposals from various disciplines to investigate questions that concern Gratitude to God.*

*[For the sake of this proposal and the anticipated projects that we hope it generates, we are using the term “God” to encompass the supreme God of monotheistic traditions, as well as other supernatural or superhuman beings with agency and powers (gods, spirits, ghosts, saints), whether personal or impersonal (Smith, 2017) with capacities to “make things happen or prevent them from happening, especially obtaining goods and avoiding bads” (Smith, 2017, p. 22). The phrase “personal or impersonal” implies that the superhuman powers may or may not be believed to possess consciousness, intentions, feelings, desires and other properties of the mind. We use the term “cosmic gratitude” in the RFP to depict the state that is felt by people who are inclined to feel gratitude for things not plausibly attributable to human agency nor to a personal supernatural or superhuman agent (Roberts, 2014)]


We anticipate proposals for empirical and non-empirical projects that address one or more of the questions listed below. Proposals may be for projects that utilize the methodologies of the behavioral sciences, philosophy, theology, or religious studies. Empirical projects may be multimethod, qualitative, theoretical, cross-cultural, employ behavioral measures, or incorporate developmental approaches (though none of these are required). For the empirical projects, experimental methodologies are encouraged. There will be 4 separate award competitions: (1) Empirical large grants, (2) Empirical early career grants, (3) Non-empirical large grants, and (4) Non-empirical early career grants.

What is Beyond the Scope of this Competition?

Projects that are fundamentally concerned with the effect of gratitude to God on health, well-being, happiness, coping or other similar outcomes are valuable, but should be excluded from the present funding competition, which focuses on foundational questions. Projects that are primarily correlational in nature and psychometric work on measures of gratitude to God in adults are not encouraged.

Projects exploring comparisons among experiences and expressions of gratitude across religious traditions. The focus of the project is not a comparative examination of gratitude (e.g. are Buddhists more or less grateful than Christians?) but rather how people experience gratitude to God and other supernatural agents or forces.

Projects that focus on collaborations between psychology, theology, or philosophy of GTG and the ministry. The John Templeton Foundation has funded numerous projects that have supported collaborative work between academics and ministry professionals, but the focus here is on advancing basic scholarship on GTG.

Projects that are historical in nature are beyond the scope of this competition.

For a detailed PDF with instructions see here: https://emmons.faculty.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/90/2019/10/Gratitude-to-God-Request-for-Proposals.pdf