Request for Proposals

V. Grant Eligibility and Requirements

The 15 advanced career researchers must have a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and be affiliated with an accredited college or university (or be affiliated with another major public or private research institution). They must have a second book publication (monograph), recent excellent publications, experience in interdisciplinary inquiries, and a proven track record of successfully carrying out ambitious research projects.

The 20 early career scholars must have a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and be affiliated with an accredited college or university (or be affiliated with another major public or private research institution). Their previous and current research must show outstanding academic promise. The grant is intended to advance exceptional research beyond the PhD Dissertation.  An early career scholar is one whose dissertation (revised or unrevised) or first academic monograph is published, no more than eight years ago.

Applicants can have their name on only one proposal for this competition. Proposed projects are encouraged but not limited to scholars in the disciplines of 1) religious studies/theology/philosophy, 2) philosophy of biology/of science/of technology, 3) social sciences (e.g., anthropology/law/political science/sociology), and 4) communications and media studies. The project must be accomplished within the two-year time span of the grant.

All applications must be submitted in English and all payments will be made in US dollars. Non-U.S. residents are eligible for all awards.

Funded researchers are required to participate in three gatherings across the life of the grant, which will provide an opportunity to examine concepts of enhancing life, foster collaboration between researchers of different disciplines, and provide a framework for collaborative work, research, and writing. Advanced career researchers will be asked to attend 3 two-week residency seminars. Early career scholars are expected to participate in 3 five-day round-up seminars which will overlap with the end of the residency seminars, and will enhance interactions between colleagues at all career stages. The first gathering will be held Sunday July 26 – Sunday August 9, 2015 at the Banff Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada and will include residency and round-up seminars. A second meeting will be held Sunday July 24 – Sunday August 7, 2016, near Berlin, Germany and will include residency and round-up seminars. Researchers will conclude their two-year grant projects with a summer meeting Sunday July 23 – Sunday August 6, 2017, which will include residency seminars with advanced career researchers, round-up seminars with early career scholars, and a final capstone conference with all researchers in Chicago, IL, USA. Barring emergency extenuating circumstances, all awardees are required to attend the seminars and capstone conference.

The format of the seminar days with advanced and early career researchers will include 1) a block of time dedicated to writing in the morning or in the afternoon depending on the optimal timing for each participant; 2) a late afternoon session discussing presentations by the awardees as well as a text(s) selected by the co-leaders; and 3) a shared evening meal to be followed by free time to build community and informally exchange ideas. Full participation in the seminars is a mandatory component of every research project.

All 35 grant recipients will be required to produce a major contribution within the emerging field of The Enhancing Life Studies in the form of a monograph or another major form of publication. To encourage the widest dissemination and impact, researchers will be required to publish research in English. At the end of the project period, awardees will also be asked to provide a final report with lay-accessible summaries of their results, including the most significant findings, and in relationship to the other research projects and overarching aims of The Enhancing Life Project. Over the life of the grant, each recipient will also be asked to contribute one post on The Enhancing Life Project web blog. Finally, funded researchers will be required to teach at least two courses during the time of the grant or within a year after grant completion, broadly related to the topic of enhancing life. Extensions on projects will not be available to awardees. These combined efforts will increase visibility of the scholarly work in academic and public spheres.