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2016 Funding Cycle 1 | November 9, 2015 - March 31, 2016

Academic Cross-Training Fellowship

Request for Applications



The John Templeton Foundation invites applications for its Academic Cross-Training (ACT) Fellowship program beginning November 9, 2015, with fellowships to begin Fall 2017. The ACT Fellowship program is intended to equip recently tenured 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 $217,400 for up to 3 contiguous years of 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 range from a plan to audit undergraduate and graduate-level courses to a plan to earn a degree in an empirical science. Fellows may undertake their study at their home institution or another institution. All fellows must have a faculty mentor in their cross-training discipline.

Application Process:

The application process has two stages: a Letter of Intent (LOI) and, if invited, the completion of a Full Proposal. The LOI must include the following:

  • Applicant information – contact details, name of home academic institution, and CV (10 MB limit);
  • Request information – proposed project dates (project may not begin before 2017 or exceed 3 years 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 form is available here.

Evaluation Criteria:

LOIs for each applicant will be evaluated according to the following criteria: (i) academic credentials, (ii) publication record, (iii) professional standing and professional accomplishment, and (iv) potential 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.” Applicantions 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, 2010.
  • 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.


LOI submission window opens: November 9, 2015
LOI submission window closes: March 31, 2016
Full proposals invited: May 17, 2016
Awards announced: Fall 2016
Fellowships begin: Fall 2017


E-mail: rfp@templeton.org