Sabbatical Grant for Researchers
ANNUAL APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 1
The Louisville Institute’s Sabbatical Grant for Researchers Program enables ecclesially-engaged academics and scholarly religious leaders to conduct a major study that can contribute to the vitality of Christianity in North America. Grants of up to $40,000 support year-long research projects that address Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or religious institutions.
The Sabbatical Grant for Researchers program is open to both academic and pastoral leaders who are based in the United States or Canada. While pastoral leaders are eligible to apply to the SGR program, their proposals will likely be more competitive in the Pastoral Study Project program.
Applicants must have earned the terminal degree in their chosen vocation. For pastors, this is typically the Master of Divinity degree; for academics it is usually the Ph.D. or Th.D. Note that grant funding does not support tuition or degree program expenses. All applicants must demonstrate a capacity to complete the proposed project in a timely fashion. Applicants may only apply to one Louisville Institute grant program within the same grant year (June 1-May 31).
Proposed projects may employ a variety of methodological perspectives, including, but not limited to, historical, systematic and practical theology, the social sciences, history, ethics, or biblical studies. They may also be interdisciplinary in nature. All applicants should make clear how their project will contribute to the life of the church in North America.
Questions about eligibility may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Application and Selection Procedure
We prefer that you send application materials by uploading documents through our website in either *.pdf or *.doc format. Assemble all required documents and email addresses prior to beginning the online application process – which will prompt you to upload and submit your materials in one session. All digital documents must be submitted by the annual November 1 deadline. If you encounter problems with online submission contact Keri Liechty at email@example.com.
If you choose to send your entire proposal in hard copy, please assemble it in the order listed above (using paper clips, not staples) and mail to the Louisville Institute office, postmarked by the November 1 deadline. Note: all applicants must complete the online Applicant Information and Project Summary Form.
Applications should 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).
Letters of Recommendation: When uploading your application materials for online submission, you will be asked to provide email addresses for your two recommenders. After you submit your application, the Louisville Institute will immediately email those persons with instructions for submitting their documents online. You will be notified via email as each person successfully submits a document. We advise applicants to contact their two recommenders well in advance to explain procedures and guidelines (below) so that completed letters can be promptly uploaded when requested by the Institute.
- Letter of Recommendation from Colleague — The recommender will be instructed: After reviewing the applicant's plans, craft your letter (on letterhead, if applicable) as a colleague. Provide your candid assessment of the applicant's reliability and capacity and to carry out the proposed project. Describe how the applicant's previous work demonstrates skills needed to conduct this study. In what ways might this project strengthen the church in North America?
- Letter Assessing Project Feasibility — The recommender will be instructed: After reviewing the applicant's plans, craft a letter (on letterhead, if applicable) providing your candid assessment of the need for this project, the feasibility of this project, and the distinctiveness of this project in light of what others are doing or have already done. Tell us how the applicant is well-suited to undertake this study and why the proposed project has relevance for the church in North America.
Duration of Award and Stipend
Research periods supported by this grant may range from nine months to one year. The grant amount requested should not exceed $40,000. Normally, the Louisville Institute will pay the grant directly to the institutions of those selected. The Louisville Institute allows up to 10 percent indirect costs based on the total direct costs of the project.
Generally applicants should be released from all professional duties during the grant period. Academic applicants eligible for a sabbatical leave and/or a release from all teaching responsibilities during the grant year should indicate that fact in their proposal. Pastors should be released from all employment duties during the entire grant period. Academic and pastoral applicants who cannot be released from all professional duties should indicate in their proposals how they plan to devote sufficient time to the proposed project. In many cases, for example, this may require a course buyout or some other reduction in teaching load or a buyout of a certain number of Sundays for pastors. Louisville Institute grantees may not simultaneously hold two grants from Lilly Endowment-funded organizations that total more than $45,000.