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For millennia, humanity has found awe and wonder in contemplating the cosmos. Today, scientists use ever-evolving tools to push the boundaries of our knowledge of the universe and our place and purpose within it.  In our Mathematical and Physical Sciences funding area, we support research seeking to shed light on the fundamental concepts of physical reality. We also explore the interplay between these sciences and broader human experience.

What is the nature of the universe that we inhabit? What are the most fundamental, microscopic constituents of physical reality? How are physical systems more than “the sum of their parts?” How do these various ideas come together? The John Templeton Foundation is interested in fundamental questions in the mathematical and physical sciences and how they might converge to form a coherent picture of physical reality.

We also want to understand the roles and implications of the sciences within a wider context of human purposes. How do discoveries in the mathematical and physical sciences challenge our ways of thinking and reasoning? How do cultures, institutions, or societies impact how such research is conducted and vice versa? How can we further inspire awe and wonder at the unveiling of nature’s mysteries?

  • Our Online Funding Inquiries for 2022 are now closed. Please check back for any guidance regarding the 2023 cycle (due August 18, 2023) in spring 2023.
  • We are also participating in a joint funding opportunity to fund small-scale experiments for fundamental physics with the Moore, Sloan, and Simons Foundations. You can find a program description and instructions for submission (due October 30) here.

 

We seek projects that will conduct rigorous scientific research in one or more of:

  1. Cosmology
  2. Quantum Foundations
  3. Complexity and Emergence

We are especially interested in research projects that touch on more than one of these themes.

We also prioritize projects which bring rigorous MPS research to bear on:

  1. Questions of human reasoning: Examples include but are not limited to: new perspectives on causality, the existence of objective reality(ies), what information or artificial intelligence can reveal about human cognition.
  2. Cultural and social perspectives: Examples include but are not limited to: how discoveries or advances are perceived by differing peoples, how the cultural background of scientists impacts the practice of science, the interplay between scientific institutions (organizations, collaborations, teams) and scientific practice, the impact of locating research facilities in particular cultural contexts.
  3. Inspiring awe and wonder: Examples include but are not limited to: public outreach about MPS which inspires awe and wonder, with a special emphasis on reaching those populations/demographics less engaged by conventional outreach methods; considering how awe and wonder animates practicing scientists; initiatives to encourage scientists to reflect on or reengage with feelings of awe and wonder.

Featured Grants

Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Project Leader(s): Sheperd Doeleman, Abraham Loeb
Grantee(s): President and Fellows of Harvard College
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Project Leader(s): Carlo Rovelli, Marios Christodoulou
Grantee(s): SAMY MAROUN CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON SPACE, TIME AND THE QUANTUM
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Project Leader(s): Jim Al-Khalili, Andrea Rocco
Grantee(s): University of Surrey
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Project Leader(s): Jennifer Sokoloski
Grantee(s): LSST Inc
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Project Leader(s): Andrew Geraci
Grantee(s): Northwestern University