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Psychological Science Cross-Training for Christian Theology

RFP Details and Instructions

The Application ProcessEligibilityProposal DetailsReview & SelectionOther

The Application Process

How do I submit a proposal?
The application process begins with an Online Funding Inquiry (OFI) on the John Templeton Foundation’s application portal. Please click here for the link to our online application portal. In the Cycle & Area section of the application, select the “Psychological Science for Christian Theological Inquiry” funding cycle.
What does the application process look like?
1. OFI Submission (June – August 2021): All OFIs must be submitted by August 20, 2021 for consideration.
2. Review (August – October 2021): All applications will be reviewed by internal Foundation staff and some will also go to a panel of external reviewers. Applicants will receive notification of a decision on their OFI by October 15, 2021.
3. Full Proposal Submission (October – January 2021): Applicants who receive an invitation to submit a Full Proposal should expect to submit their Full Proposal by January 14, 2022. Applicants will receive notification of a decision on their Full Proposal by June 10, 2022.
What do I put in each of the online fields?
Please reference the “Online Funding Inquiry Instructions and Notes” document as you work on completing the Online Funding Inquiry. This document is found within your Templeton online portal.
The online fields are so short! Can I include more information as an attachment or in an email?
Due to the number of expected applications, we encourage applicants to limit their entry to the OFI form. We have found that the space provided is sufficient for applicants to provide a succinct, but detailed, project description. In addition to the applicants’ CVs or resumes, the online form includes space for one attachment. Please only include an attached document if it is absolutely necessary for understanding your proposed project. Please do not send additional project information via email.
Should my OFI only include scholars from one organization, or can it include individuals from multiple organizations?
We strongly encourage applicants to put together a project leadership team that spans the psychological sciences and theology, broadly construed. The project leadership team might be drawn from a single institution or from multiple institutions. However, please note that one dimension along which OFIs will be evaluated is cost-effectiveness. Also note that any project that is funded will result in a single grant to a single prime grantee institution, even if multiple institutions are involved. The prime grantee institution may issue subcontracts or subgrants to other institutions to subvene their project costs.
I’m planning to apply with a collaborator(s) from another organization. Should we each submit an OFI?
No, you only need to submit a single OFI for the project. For the purposes of the OFI, we ask that a single person serves as the Project Leader and include their organization’s details in the Organization section of the application.


Can non-U.S. organizations apply?
What types of organizations are eligible to apply?
We welcome proposals from a wide range of organizations. We anticipate a significant majority of the awardees will have a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status or an equivalent nonprofit status recognized by a non-US government.

Proposal Details

How much should I request?
When determining your request amount, we ask that you consider (a) the potential size of the project’s audience and scope of its outcomes; and (b) the cost of your activities and personnel. Generally speaking, a project that aims to engage a larger audience will require more complex activities and more funds. Your request amount should accurately reflect fair market-rate costs for your proposed activities and should also respect any constraints or rules imposed by your organization. Oftentimes, applicants note that the number of activities is flexible, with more activities requiring more funds, and fewer activities requiring less funds. There is no “right amount” to request, but our reviewers do consider the “return on investment” as a key decision criterion.
Can we submit an OFI for a project with a duration over 3 years?
Project durations cannot exceed 5 years (or 57 months in the case of organizations that do not have US public charity status), though the Foundation prefers OFIs for projects that would not exceed 3 years (or 33 months in the case of organizations that do not have US public charity status) in length.
When should proposed projects start?
All proposed projects should have an anticipated start date no earlier than August 1, 2022 and no later than June 1, 2023.
Do you provide overhead/indirect costs?
The Foundation allows for an overhead/indirect cost component within the budget, which is capped at fifteen percent (15%) of the direct costs. We welcome proposals that request a lower percentage. The overhead/indirect cost should be included in your Total Request Amount.
Do you support travel and lodging costs?
Travel and lodging for the Personnel Employed by the Legal Organization can be completely underwritten by the Foundation for all project activities. However, the Foundation has much stricter limits for the travel and lodging costs associated with anyone who is not employed by the Legal Organization, such as a Project Co-Leader at another institution or consultants or project personnel from other institutions. In general, the Foundation does not fund projects with budgets that exceed 10% travel and lodging costs for persons not employed by the Legal Organization. Please also note that the Foundation will not pay for first class or business travel.
What is Additional Funding?
All applicants are encouraged to consider ways in which the project might be financially supported by funding drawn from sources other than the Foundation. All such funding that can be costed toward the project’s proposed budget and during the proposed duration of the project counts as Additional Funding, including cash and in-kind support from organizations that might be involved in the project. The one exception is waived overhead expenses, which would not count as Additional Funding.
May our project team or organization submit more than one OFI?
In general, we ask that there be no more than one OFI submission per organization. We also ask that no one individual be a Project Leader on more than one OFI submission. However, a single person might be project personnel on multiple OFI submissions, and an organization might be involved in multiple OFI submissions, though not as the prime organization.
Should citations or references be included in our OFI?
The Foundation expects applicants to use their judgment in deciding how many citations are necessary to include as part of describing their project idea. While in-line citations for key references can be helpful, especially where the proposed project is building on or challenging a particular line of work, we do not expect a full reference list at the OFI stage.
Is feedback available for a declined OFI?
Regrettably, given the large number of OFI submissions, the Foundation is unable to provide each applicant with specific feedback.
What kinds of Outcomes and Outputs should we include on the application?
In general, Outputs are activities/products that are accomplished/delivered during the grant’s duration; more importantly, they are generally within the power of the project team to deliver upon. Outcomes, in contrast, are hoped-for changes that result, in part, from the project’s Outputs. In most cases, Outcomes are not within the power of the project team to deliver upon; other factors beyond the project team’s control must also be in place. In writing Outcomes for a proposal, we advise applicants to make plausible assumptions about such factors.
For inspiration in coming up with Outputs and Outcomes, we encourage applicants to consider the four items listed in the Parameters section of the RFP.

Review & Selection

What are the selection criteria?
External reviewers, as well as John Templeton Foundation’s internal staff, will consider the following criteria when reviewing OFIs:
• Alignment with RFP objectives. Have you clearly stated how the proposed work aligns and furthers the objectives laid out in the RFP call? Does your proposal touch on all four types of activities given in the RFP call?
• Detailed project plan. Have you provided a detailed project plan? Does this plan lay out activities that might plausibly lead to the objectives given in the RFP?
• Highly qualified and well-positioned project team. Does the project team have the necessary experience and connections? Does the proposal evidence familiarity with currents in psychological science and theological inquiry that might be fruitfully mixed?
• Anticipated impact. If you are successful, what is the likely significance of the proposed project? Are the Outputs and Outcomes clearly described? How might your project lead to more theologians substantively engaging with the psychological science in their research? How might the practice of theological research more generally change as a result of your success (i.e., as described in the Outcomes)?
• Cost effectiveness. Is the proposed work cost effective? Does it comply with the Foundation’s limitations on travel and lodging expenses and overhead charges?


Who should I contact if I have further questions about the application process?
For any additional questions, please contact:

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