Global Religion Research Initiative

Global Religion Curriculum Development Grant Competition

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 12 course development grants in the social sciences per year over three years (36 grants total). The purpose of the grants is to help advance the social scientific study of global religion by providing faculty in North American colleges and universities funds for (1) the development of new undergraduate courses or graduate seminars on religion, especially global religion; or (2) the significant revision or updating of existing undergraduate or graduate courses to add new, substantial components on global religion.

The grants intend to encourage the construction and enhancement of innovative college and university courses in the social sciences that involve significant material engaging students in scholarship about non-Western religions. Each course development grant will provide $4,000 for faculty to develop a new course or significantly revise an existing course; the funds can be used for summer salary, the purchase of books and film media, and other reasonable expenses related to course development and revisions. Twelve grants will be awarded each year over 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.

View completed syllabi from previous rounds here

Eligibility Requirements

These curriculum development grants are open to college and university social science faculty at all levels of their careers employed in North American colleges and universities. Priority will be given to tenured or tenure-track faculty. “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 Grant recipients must agree to teach the new or revised course at least twice in the near future, and will be asked to inform the Global Religion Research Initiative (in part for grant reporting purposes) when they are taught, and to share their course syllabi. All grant funding is awarded to fellowship recipients; no funds will be paid as indirects or overhead to their colleges or universities.

Selection Criteria

Successful course development grant proposals will include the following:

  1. evidence that the faculty applicant will either (a) develop a new course or seminar on religion or (b) significantly revise an existing course or seminar to include new and substantial material on religion — applicants need to demonstrate that the grants will indeed significantly revise their teaching and not simply continue or moderately modify previous or current courses.
  2. Proposed plans to develop or revise a course or seminar to include a significant focus primarily on a contemporary religion or religions (or relatively recent cases, not on ancient, medieval, or early modern religions) in one or more of the following world regions:
    • Asia, including East, Southeast, and South Asia
    • The Middle East and Turkey
    • Eastern Europe
    • Africa
    • Latin America
    • The Caribbean
    • Pacific Islands
  3. Promise of relating the new religion component(s) of the course or seminar to issues of importance within their disciplines in ways that will help to integrate the study of religion into the mainstream of their disciplines

(Depending on the volume of applications received for this fellowship, the GRRI may not be able to provide applicants specific ratings or feedback from the evaluation process.)

Application Requirements

Applications must include the following materials to be considered for funding:

  1. Online application: fill out and submit contact, applicant, and proposal information in the application portal
  2. Cover letter: one or two pages briefly explaining the course or seminar to be created or significantly revised, the applicant’s interest in or rationale for developing or revising the course or seminar, and a summary description of courses taught in recent years and how this new or revised course will alter one’s overall curricular offerings.
  3. Copy of syllabus to be revised (if the proposal is to revise an existing course, not develop a new course). View completed syllabi from previous rounds here.
  4. Curriculum vitae
  5. Department Chair’s letter: a short letter from the applicant’s department Chair approving the creation or revision of the proposed course, and explicitly agreeing that it will be scheduled to be taught at least two times in the near future.

All application materials must be submitted in English. Applicants are responsible to submit all required materials by the deadline. 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.

Application Procedure

Not accepting proposals in 2019.


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You’re already into
dissertation and you need a
year to
finish it.


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Not accepting proposals in 2019.


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Not accepting proposals in 2019.


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You want to collaborate
a colleague overseas
and need
to get rolling.


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You have an idea
for a
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Not accepting proposals in 2019.