First Book Grant for Minority Scholars
ANNUAL APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 15
NOTE: We are currently finalizing 2013-14 application requirements. Please check back after June 1, 2013 for complete requirements.
The Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars seeks to assist
junior, non-tenured religion scholars of color to complete a major research
and book project, focusing on some issue pertaining to American Christianity
related to the priorities of the Louisville Institute.
All too often such scholars are asked to assume a heavy set of institutional
responsibilities that can make it more difficult to complete the scholarly
work necessary to secure tenure. As a response, this grant program seeks to
enable scholars to spend an entire academic year devoted to that research
project while free of other professional responsibilities.
In keeping with its fundamental mission, the Louisville Institute is
especially interested in identifying and supporting scholars of color who
seek through their academic work to be in conversation with church leaders
and to strengthen their faith communities.
be members of a racial/ethnic minority group,
have an earned doctoral degree (normally the Ph.D. or Th.D.),
normally be a pre-tenured faculty member in a full-time,
tenure-track position at an accredited institution of higher education
(seminary, college, or university) in North America,
be able to negotiate a full academic year free from
teaching and committee responsibilities, and
be engaged in a scholarly research project leading
to the publication of their first (or second) book, focusing on some
aspect of Christianity in North America.
(If the institution does not award tenure, it must provide some form of continuing, full-time employment, such as renewable term contracts. For purposes of this grant program, the term “racial/ethnic minority group” includes African Americans,
Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, and Pacific Islanders.)
Applicants may not submit applications to more than one
Louisville Institute grant program within the same grant year (June 1-May 31).
Questions about eligibility may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Application and Selection Procedure
Application forms may be downloaded from the Louisville Institute web site. Applications include:
- Applicant Information and Project Summary Form
- Narrative statement of approximately 5-7 pages (12-point and double-spaced). Describe your proposal in detail using the following outline:
- Concern/Question: What is the primary concern or question being addressed?
- Rationale: Why is the proposed topic important to you and to the church? What are the consequences if this issue is not investigated and responded to?
- Plan: How do you intend to study and investigate the concern? Include a description of the way in which you will conduct the inquiry: bibliography of the main sources to be read, field work if appropriate, travel and other resources necessary to complete the project.
- Dissemination: Who is your audience for this research? How do you plan to share your research with them? What oral forms of dissemination fit the project (e.g. sermons, education venues, speeches, conference papers)? What written forms of dissemination fit the project (e.g., essay, article, book, other possible publication venues)?
- Impact: What personal, academic, and spiritual impacts do you see for yourself in engaging in this project? What benefits will come to your institution and to the larger church?
- Timeline: What is the schedule and timeline for the project?
- Selective bibliography of the main sources to be read (2-3 pages double-spaced)
- Detailed budget and budget narrative – see Guide for Budget Preparation
- Copy of your current Curriculum Vitae or résumé (no more than 4 pages).
- A letter from the dean or chairperson confirming release from teaching responsibilities in the event of a grant
- Two letters of recommendation commenting on the project and the applicant. Letter writers should send these letters directly to the Louisville Institute office by the January 15 application deadline. (To help ensure that your completed application is accessible to the Louisville Institute, please fill out your application in either Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.)
With the following exceptions, we prefer that you send most application materials by either uploading documents through our website or by e-mail attachments in either *.pdf or *.doc format to email@example.com by the annual deadline.
- 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.
- If you choose to send your entire proposal in hard copy, please assemble it in the order listed above using paper clips and not staples and mail to the office of the Louisville Institute by the annual deadline of January 15.
Duration of Award and Stipend
The grant amount requested should not exceed $40,000. Awards for sabbatical leaves of less than a
full academic year will not be made. Normally the Louisville Institute will pay the grant directly to the
institutions of those selected, but no indirect costs to the institution will be
allowed in this grant program.
Grantees must be released from all teaching and committee responsibilities during the
award year, and applications should include a letter from the appropriate
dean or chairperson confirming that the applicant will be released from
those responsibilities if receiving an award. (If the institution does not award tenure, this letter should also briefly describe the faculty review process that provides faculty members with continuing, full-time employment, such as renewable term contracts.) Grantees may not accept other
awards that provide a major stipend during the tenure of this grant except
insofar as necessary to bring the sabbatical year salary up to the grantee’s
full salary level. Although the Louisville Institute First Book Grant
Program for Minority Scholars has no residence requirement, in the year of their
award, all grantees are expected to participate in the Louisville Institute's
two-day Winter Seminar. Travel and lodging expenses for the Seminar will
be covered by the Louisville Institute.
Please note that Louisville Institute grantees may not simultaneously hold two
grants from Lilly Endowment-funded organizations that total more than $45,000.