The Enhancing Life Project

Decisions on the Full Proposal applications will be made by Monday, June 1 and applicants will be notified by email.  The selection process is complicated, and involves many scholars from different fields, from around the world. Given that reality, it is impossible to give decisions before the June 1 announcement date.  We appreciate your understanding and patience.

If you have application issues or questions, you may email us at


Applicants, please read the FAQ below.  We are constantly updating them as questions come in.  Read them right before you apply.

1. Download the Full Proposal Cover Sheet

2. Download the Proposed Project Timeline

3. Gather Your Documents

5. Submit Your Application

Resource Files

Download the Full Proposal Cover Sheet and Proposed Project Timeline templates here.

Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

We have your answers here.

Line by Line instructions for the online application

Please have all information and documents ready to go before you start completing the application.  You are not able to save your work and return later.

May I change my Project Title?


May I change my Project Area?

Only if you received an email instructing you to do so.

What should my Full Proposal PDF include?

The Full Proposal PDF must include:

  • 1. Full Proposal Cover Sheet (download here)
  • 2. Narrative Academic Bio, 250 words
  • 3. Executive Summary of your project, 250 words
  • 4. Project Description, no more than 8 pages, single spaced
  • 5. Project Bibliography, no more than 2 pages, single spaced
  • 6. Project Timeline (download here)
  • 7. Budget and accompanying Budget Narrative, if you wish to revise it (download Budget Summary Template here)
  • 8. Documentation of approval to use human subjects, if applicable and as appropriate:  previous IRB approval and your plan for how and when you will get approval this time; letter from the equivalent governing board for your country; explanation of why you have no documentation and cannot get documentation in your country, and demonstration of your knowledge of general legal regulations regarding research with human subjects; etc.

All documents should be single-spaced on pages 8.5 inches x 11 inches, Times New Roman font, 12 point font, 1 inch margins all around.

All documents (1-7 above) will be submitted as one PDF, uploaded to our website. Please include documents in the order listed above. Each page should have your name in the header: last name, first name. These documents are prepared as PDFs for selection committee members, who sometimes print them out and appreciate being able to order them correctly, if the pages get shuffled.

I have more than 7 documents, if I include a revised budget, a revised budget narrative, and IRB approval documents.  May there be more than 7 documents be in the "PDF of 7 documents"?

Yes.  Please include all documents in the PDF.

I live and work abroad, and propose to do research involving human subjects. Do I need to get IRB approval?

No. Because you are based abroad, you do not need to obtain IRB approval. You need to follow the laws and regulations in effect where you are doing the research. Please write up a statement explaining the scope of the use of human subjects in your project, and what you will do to abide by pertinent laws and regulations. Include this in your project description. Also, please provide a letter from your institution certifying that you have the approval of your institution's ethics committee or IRB-equivalent. N.B. Please check “Yes” on the Full Proposal Cover Sheet, but then skip the next section on Human Subjects Assurance Number, IRB Status, and IRB Date.  Also, please check "Yes" on the online application form.

Who should be the Financial Contact?

The Financial Contact is the person at your institution who will directly monitor the budget, and prepare and send invoices for payment.  The applicant may not be the Financial Contact. 

Who should be the Administrative Contact?

The Administrative Contact is the person at your institution who is very familiar with the grant and its activities, and can serve as a general contact.  The applicant may be the Administrative Contact.

May the Financial Contact and the Administrative Contact be the same person?

Yes, provided that it is not the applicant.

Who should be the Authorizing Signing Official?

The Authorized Signing Official is an authorized representative or administrative official of your institution who, on behalf of the organization, is empowered to make certifications and assurances and can commit the organization to the conduct of a project that the Enhancing Life Project may support.  We need confirmation that your institution knows you are applying and is willing to take on the responsibility of administering the grant money, if you are selected.  Please ask at your institution who this person is for your institution.  At German institutions, for instance, it is the Chancellor (not the Dean).

Do you really need to see an inked signature from the Authorized Signing Official, on the document I upload as part of my PDF?


What should my Project Description include?

In your Project Description, please:

  • 1) explicate the relation of your project to the overall Enhancing Life Project
  • 2) indicate the broader implications of your project to other fields
  • 3) clarify your methodology
  • 4) articulate your hypothesis, thesis or guiding idea
  • 5) make clear your key concepts
  • 6) locate your project in your scholarly field and literature
  • 7) write so your project is intelligible for scholars from other fields

Should I use these as headlines for my Project Description?

No. Just make sure all seven points are covered in the Project Description.

Would you like a description of my outputs in the Project Description?

Yes.  You may find it helpful to correlate this description with the outputs you have listed in your Proposed Project Timeline: courses, major publication and its attendant steps, other publications (essay, article, blog post), lectures and talks that you might give related to Enhancing Life.  We realize you can't pinpoint the timing of these over the next two years, but describe what you plan to do.

Will my institution get any indirects, in addition to my prize of $50,000 or $100,000?

No. Indirect costs are those above and beyond the award amounts, which are sometimes granted to institutions as overhead, to pay for administering the award.  We are unable to send additional indirect costs to the institutions of award recipients.  

May I include an administrative fee for my institution, for the cost of administering the grant?

The award issued to your institution will be for the amount of either $50,000 or $100,000, which should be used to benefit the project as required by your institutional policies.  You may include an administrative fee.

In what format should my Word documents be?

All documents should be single-spaced on pages 8.5 inches x 11 inches, Times New Roman font, 12 point font, 1 inch margins all around. Each page should have your name in the header: last name, first name. These materials will be used to compile a booklet of all 35 awardees; since our timeline is so short, we are collecting materials from applicants at this stage.

In what format should be my recent photo be?

JPG, roughly 500kb in size and no more than 1mb.

When are Full Proposal applications due?

Applications are due Monday, April 20, 2015, by midnight Central Time.

How will I know I have successfully submitted my application?

If you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive a message on the screen that thanks you for your application.  You may have to wait a moment until your documents are uploaded.

What if I don't get the Thank You message on the screen?

Your application did not go through.  Please change browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox) or change your browser settings and try submitting your application again.  

General Questions

If selected as an Advanced Career Scholar, when would I need to be in Banff?

Sunday, July 26, 7:00pm. Banff is in the Mountain Time Zone. Sunday is a travel day, with an opening dinner scheduled to start at 7:00pm. When looking at flights, please keep in mind that the Banff Centre is 80 miles from the Calgary Airport.

If selected as an Early Career Scholar, when would I need to be in Banff?

Tuesday, August 4, 7:00pm. Banff is in the Mountain Time Zone. Tuesday is a travel day, with a dinner for all Early and Advanced Career Scholars scheduled to start at 7:00pm. When looking at flights, please keep in mind that the Banff Centre is 80 miles from the Calgary Airport.

What airline expenses does the Project pay?

The Project pays for Scholars to travel via Basic Economy Class.  For reimbursement from the Project, you will provide documentation for the flight in Basic Economy Class.

If I am selected, how soon would I have to make my flight reservation?

By Friday, June 12.  We announce decisions by June 1, and the seminar starts July 26 or August 4, so we will need scholars to book their airfare very soon after the decision.

How would I get from the Calgary Airport to the Banff Centre?

The Banff Airporter has regularly scheduled shuttle departures from the Calgary airport to Banff (allot 1.5 hrs). All of their rates and schedules can be found online at

Who pays for the Banff Airporter?

The Project picks up the costs for scholars; scholars may pay for family members with their prize money.

Will the Project pay ground transportation costs to and from my local airport?

Yes. We will pay for ground transportation for scholars round trip from your home or office to your local airport, provided it is a standard taxi, shuttle service, bus or train.  We will not reimburse for private livery service.

During the residency seminar days, what are my obligations to the Project?

You are required to attend the daily seminar sessions, 4-7pm.  You are required to have dinner with other scholars, 7-9pm. During the rest of the day, we expect scholars to find ways for mutual engagement, to pursue their own project, and to find time for relaxation.

What might my significant others and family members do, 4-9pm?

We encourage significant others and family members to take excursions during the work time of the conference.  Banff is set in beautiful country, right in the Canadian Rockies, and the Banff Centre will be hosting the Banff Summer Arts Festival while we are there.  Depending on how many families are in attendance, Project staff will assist in organizing outings. The middle weekend, August 1 and 2, will offer additional time for Advanced Career Scholars and their family members to take excursions.

What are the Project requirements of me on Sunday, August 9?

The Project offiically ends with a closing dinner on Saturday, August 8.  On Sunday, August 9, there will be breakfast available, but attendance is optional. The rest of Sunday is a travel day.

Will the Berlin residency seminar have similar daily schedules, meaning they are primarily for travel, on Sunday, July 24, Tuesday, August 2, and Sunday, August 7?


Will the Chicago residency seminar have similar travel days for the start of the residency seminar on Sunday, July 23 and Tuesday, August 1?


What’s different about the travel date at the end of the Chicago residency seminar?

The capstone conference for the Enhancing Life Project is Saturday, August 5, 2017 and Sunday, August 6, 2017. These are full days, with events open to the public. The travel date to end the Chicago residency seminar is Monday, August 7.