The Global Religion Research Initiative (GRRI) of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society (CSRS) at the University of Notre Dame (IN, USA) will be awarding an average of 10 research collaboration grants each year over three years (30 grants total), to fund the development of new, collaborative, empirical research projects in the social sciences focused on the study of religions around the globe. The central purpose of this program is to foster new, potentially long-term, empirical research collaborations between social science scholars of religion in North America and those in countries beyond the North Atlantic world (i.e., not Canada, the U.S., and Western Europe). Each grant will provide up to $25,000 to be used by the research collaborators for transportation, lodging, communications, meeting expenses, data collection and analysis, the purchase of research materials, and other collaborative research costs. Grant money may not be used for researchers’ salaries, stipends, or teaching reduction. Ten fellowships will be awarded each year on average over the three academic years (2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020). The next round of applications are for the 2019-2020 academic year. The Global Religion Research Initiative is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust of Nassau, Bahamas.
These international collaboration research grants intend to foster new collaborative ties between social science scholars in different countries — specifically, those in North America and their partners beyond the North Atlantic world (i.e., Canada, the U.S., and Western Europe) — for the purpose of conducting collaborative, empirical, social science research on important topics that centrally involve religions around the globe. (For similar but non-collaborative grants, see the Project Launch program.) By providing start-up funding for scholars to explore and launch new, collaborative research projects on global religions, this program seeks to connect scholars in North America with working partnerships elsewhere in the world, to expand the horizons of North American scholarly researchers and empirical research on religion, and to foster new streams of knowledge and publications on religions around the globe. These grants also intend to position partnered researchers to apply together successfully for larger, full-project research grants to fund the conducting and completion of the projects that these start-up grants seek to launch.
Many social scientists working outside of “the West” are amazingly knowledgeable about and well positioned to study religions in their or other countries or regions of the world. North American scholars of religion can benefit immensely by building long-term, collaborative research partnerships with such colleagues around the globe. At the same time, many social scientists in various countries around the world work in universities and colleges that lack basic research infrastructures, often taken for granted by most North American academics, which disadvantages their scholarly endeavors. Collaborative research partnerships with other well-matched scholars can therefore benefit their careers and scholarship as well. This program’s collaborative research grants intend to foster new working scholarly partnerships marked by genuine equality, reciprocity, and mutual respect and learning; proposals reflecting traces of paternalistic, hierarchical, or neo-colonialist working relationships will not be funded. Overall, this grant program thus seeks to globalize the study of religion not only in terms of the geographical range of the subject of study, but also the reach and density of collaborative ties among the networks of social science scholars who study religion.
These collaborative research project-launch grants are open to regular tenured and tenure-track social science faculty at all stages of their careers who are employed in North American colleges and universities (adjunct and temporary faculty and graduate students are not eligible). Their collaborative non-North American research partners must also be regular faculty in their universities and colleges (although well justified special cases for researchers at important non-academic research institutes will also be considered). “Social sciences” here includes sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, and psychology; prospective applicants in other departments (e.g., areas studies) should inquire with GRRI staff about their possible eligibility (at firstname.lastname@example.org). All grant funding is awarded to fellowship recipients as reimbursement for eligible, documented research project expenses; no funds will be paid as indirects or overhead to their colleges or universities. Grant funds are intended to pay for research expenses (which may include hiring student research assistants), but not salaries or teaching replacement for the grant awardees.
While prior contacts, discussions, and planning between the proposed collaborative partners is an asset, these grants are not intended to support existing research projects that are already significantly underway or funded by other major grants. We aim to support social science faculty at whatever stage of their careers whose proposals reflect the greatest promise of leading to new or nascent scholarly collaborations on important, empirical research projects that are focused on religions around the world. One of the important criteria in evaluating proposals will be credible evidence that the applicant is not only personally serious about the prospect of conducting significant empirical social science research on global religion, but that the collaborative partnerships proposed are not long-standing and that the proposed empirical research is new, not a continuation or extension of previous work. Part of the expected effort involved in developing proposals for this grants competition, therefore, will be building on contacts around the globe to develop promising working partnerships and envisioning together new and important empirical research endeavors that capitalize upon the combined assets and synergies of the collaboration. However, the partnership must be established at the time the proposal is submitted. Each collaborator must submit budget and other documents in the proposal process.
Because of the constrained logistics and legalities of research grant contracts, these collaborative research grants will be made as sub-contracts between the University of Notre Dame and the North American partner’s university, who will then further subcontract with other collaborators’ institutions. Each collaborator should submit a budget for the portion of the award he or she requires to complete the project, as well as a letter from his or her university’s sponsored research office approving the use of these funds.
Ten grants will be awarded each year on average over the three academic years (2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020), for a total of 30 awarded grants. However, because successful proposals for this grant in particular will likely require significant front-end planning work by potential collaborators, more grants per year may be awarded in the final two years of the program than in the first year. Prospective applicants should prioritize their submitting the strongest possible proposals over submitting proposals in the first year.
Global Religion Research International Collaboration Grant proposals will be judged by a panel of expert reviewers. Successful proposals will involve proposed projects that are:
For a more elaborate list of evaluation criteria, click here. (Note: Depending on the volume of applications received for this grant competition, the GRRI may not be able to provide applicants specific ratings or feedback from the evaluation process.)
Applications must include the following materials to be considered for funding:
All application materials must be submitted in English. Applicants are responsible to submit all required materials. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated for possible funding. Each researcher may not submit proposals to more than two GRRI programs in any given year.
The Round 2 application deadline was October 16, 2017. The Round 3 application period will open in August 2018.