How to Apply - Grants
WRITING A GRANT PROPOSAL FOR THE LOUISVILLE INSTITUTE
The Louisville Institute makes grants in response to well-written, persuasive grant proposals. An effective grant proposal, especially for a research grant,
advances an argument about a significant issue or research problem in a way that is clear and accessible. Competitive applicants will effectively communicate
why they are applying, what they will do during the grant period, and how the project will benefit the larger church. In crafting a research proposal, applicants
should articulate clearly the nature of the problem, question, or concern that they hope to investigate. How do they see this problem manifest? What resources
are available for studying the issue? Recognizing that others have studied the issue, what new insights does the applicant hope to contribute to the conversation?
Proposals most likely to be funded are those that describe persuasively the nature of the problem, have a clear plan of study and investigation, and have a sense of
how they will share what they have learned, through either oral or written communication, with a well-defined audience. We encourage proposals on topics and interests
related to the churches in North America, especially concerning Christian faith and life, pastoral leadership, and/or religious institutions.
The Louisville Institute especially seeks to fund innovative, experimental projects that will contribute to new learning by both church and academy. Consequently the
Louisville Institute does not make grants for basic institutional operating support (including the normal operation of existing programs), construction expenses,
endowments, publication subventions, routine conference support, educational expenses for persons enrolled in degree programs, and Doctor of Ministry projects.
Louisville Institute grants cannot be awarded to members of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary Board, faculty, administration, staff, or student body, or to any of their immediate family members (parents, spouse, or children).
Two books that may be especially helpful to persons designing and evaluating a grant project and writing a reasoned, persuasive grant proposal are:
Kathleen Cahalan, Projects that Matter: Successful Planning and Evaluation for Religious Organizations
(Alban Institute: 2003) and Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb,
and Joseph M. Williams,
The Craft of Research
(3rd edition, University of Chicago Press, 2008), especially chapters 3 and 4.
How to Apply
Please review the Grant Programs page as well as the section on the particular grant program in which you are interested in
order to assess your eligibility. (Please note that the application process for the Pastoral Study Project program differs from our other grant programs.) Some portions of your grant application may be submitted online. To do so, you must first establish an account. This will
enable you to begin and finish your grant application at different points in time and allow us to track your application data. To establish an account
All Louisville Institute grant proposals include the following elements, all of which may be submitted uploading documents through our website or by e-mail attachments in either *.pdf or *.doc format to firstname.lastname@example.org by the annual deadline.
If you choose to send your entire proposal in hard copy, please assemble it in the order listed using paper clips and not staples and mail to the office of the Louisville Institute by the annual deadline.
Applicant Information and Project Summary Form
of approximately 5-7 pages (double-spaced and typed in a 12 point font, 2000 word limit) that succinctly describes the proposed
research project and explains its relationship to the goals of the particular grant program.
(2-3 pages double-spaced).
Copy of your current Curriculum Vitae or résumé
(no more than 4 pages).
- Detailed budget and budget narrative (see the document entitled, "Guide for Budget Preparation").
- Letters of recommendation should be sent by the letter writer directly to the Louisville Institute by the application deadline. While it is our preference to receive them by hard copy on letterhead, letters will be accepted on letterhead by email attachment in *.pdf or *.doc format or by fax, with hard copy to follow.
Proposals for research grants usually contain the following elements.
A one-paragraph summary of the proposal’s argument (provided on the Applicant Information and Project Summary Form). What core questions will guide your inquiry?
A clear description of the issue or problem and its significance. A good grant proposal should indicate why making progress
on this issue is important to church and society.
A description of the proposed approach to the issue or problem (the method to be followed).
An explanation of what you expect to find or accomplish.
This may be a fairly precise hypothesis or an educated hunch
about your anticipated results.
Some indication of how you intend both to assess the success of your project (evaluation) and to share your findings with others
Many otherwise fine proposals pay far too little attention to evaluation and dissemination. Both are essential.
Some attention to the ways in which this project contributes to our understanding of contemporary North American Christianity.
Given the Louisville Institute’s fundamental mission to bring pastors and academics together, preference will be given to projects
that involve both groups in the research process.
Proposals for grants other than research grants may not always follow closely the research proposal format, but they should clearly describe both the nature of the proposed project and its importance to the church.
If a grant is made to support your project, what difference will it make to the life of the church?
The ultimate intent of all Louisville Institute grantmaking is the same—to bring together academics, pastors, and other religious
leaders on behalf of North American Christians and their churches.
Annual Grant Application Deadlines:
Pastoral Study Project Program - September 1 Click Here
Project Grants for Reseachers - October 1 Click Here
Sabbatical Grants for Researchers—November 1 Click Here
First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars - January 15 Click Here