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Frequently Asked Questions

General Grantmaking Questions

Does the Foundation have particular funding areas?

Yes, guided by our charter, the Foundation has established several Core Funding Areas.

Does the Foundation have formal funding deadlines?

 Yes, the Foundation has two annual grantmaking cycles, each of which begins with the submission and review of Online Funding Inquiries and ends with funding decisions based on Full Proposals, which are by invitation only. To learn more, please consult Our Grantmaking Process.

How many grants does the Foundation fund each year and what is the average size of the Foundation’s grants?

 In 2006, the Foundation funded 153 grants with an average size of $468,411. In 2007, the Foundation funded 141 grants with an average size of $620,134. In 2008, the Foundation funded 130 grants with an average size of $549,821. Individual grants range greatly in amount, however, from several thousand dollars to several million.

What is the typical duration of the Foundation’s grants?

 Our grants typically range from a few months to up to three years. In rare instances the Foundation may support a project for up to five years. The Foundation will not fund any project for more than five years.

Does the Foundation fund non-U.S. organizations?


Does the Foundation fund individuals?

Yes, in certain limited circumstances. If you would like to discuss your circumstances, please contact us.

Does the Foundation provide challenge grants?

 Yes, the Foundation welcomes proposals in which there is an expectation that our support will be matched by other funding sources.

Does the Foundation fund buildings, renovations, or capital campaigns; direct-service programs; scholarships for college or graduate school; general operating support for organizations; or disaster relief?

 Generally the Foundation does not provide grants for any of these forms of support.


Does the Foundation fund travel and lodging?

 Travel for a project related to research can be fully underwritten by the Foundation. However, the Foundation will allow only up to 10% of a grant to be used for travel and lodging for attending a conference. If the Foundation's potential 10% contribution will not cover travel and lodging, the proposal must explain where additional funding will come from. Please note that the Foundation will not fund costs related to first-class airfare for any grantee.

Does the Foundation support indirect costs?

 The Foundation will cover overhead costs of up to 15% of the overall grant amount. However, the Foundation welcomes proposals that request a lower percentage for overhead costs. We often find proposals with a lower percentage for overhead costs to be a more cost-effective investment.

Does the Foundation support planning grants?

 Generally the Foundation does not support planning grants, and applicants may not submit requests for planning grants. In rare instances, the Foundation may opt to offer a planning grant to an applicant who has submitted a project idea as an Online Funding Inquiry.

Does the Foundation support research on environmental issues or bioethics?

 The Foundation does not make grants in these areas, for which there is already a great deal of existing philanthropic support.

Does the Foundation support “intelligent design”?

 No. We do not support the political movement known as “intelligent design,” which denies large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge in evolutionary biology. As a matter of policy and in keeping with our legal status, we do not support or endorse political movements of any kind.

Should I call or e-mail the Foundation to discuss my project idea?

 No. The first step in the application process is to submit an Online Funding Inquiry OFI), which is similar to a concept paper or letter of intent. You may start an OFI by clicking the Apply for Funding button on this page, which gives you access to the Templeton Portal for grant applications.

Should I visit the Foundation before submitting my proposal?

 No. Visits to the Foundation are rarely necessary and only by our request.


Funding Timeline

We are not currently accepting Online Funding Inquiries for our Core Funding Areas.

Learn more

External Grant Competitions

Templeton Science of Prospection Research Awards

Templeton Report