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Metanexus Institute Program Grant

Metanexus Institute Program Grant 

Submission Deadlines:
January 1, 2003
April 1, 2003
July 1, 2003
October 1, 2003

Metanexus Institute Program Grant Request for Proposals
The Local Societies Initiative provides three-year grants to fund start-up costs for dialogue groups exploring the dynamic interface between religion and science. While focused on colleges, universities, and seminaries, the program also welcomes applications from a wide spectrum of interested parties in other venues worldwide.

Each grant is for $15,000 paid over a three year period. The applicant must be able to match the grant with $15,000 in additional funding over this three year period. There will be a number of supplemental grants of $10,000 each awarded annually to those projects that are particularly innovative, creative, and effective. Thus each group is eligible for $30,000 in additional funding over the three year grant period. Funds may be used for society events, speakers, the purchase of books for group study, communications, publicity, outreach, public forums, and travel directly related to the project.

A panel of three judges will select the winners of the grant and supplemental grant awards. The list of recipients will be published on http:www.metanexus.net/localsocieties

Science can inspire greater reverence, wonder, and awe. It also poses critical religious questions of meaning and purpose, of virtues, and values. Science provides a continuous stream of remarkable insights into the nature of reality across a wide range of domains. By giving rise to astonishing technological transformations, science changes both our world and our worldviews. As the pace of scientific discovery and technological innovation accelerates, there is an urgent cultural need to reflect thoughtfully about these epic changes and challenges in constructive dialogue involving science and religion.

The Local Societies Initiative seeks to encourage thoughtful and dynamic exploration of the interrelationship of science and religion, to promote greater appreciation of these issues, and to enhance increased cooperation between science and religion. This three-year project is designed for established or newly formed groups to be catalysts for progress in diverse communities worldwide. The program seeks to create long-term networks for vibrant and broadly significant exchange.


Program Goals

  1. To promote the study of science and religion in local societies and organizations around the world and the development of a network of such groups.

  2. To encourage a greater appreciation of the religious and spiritual significance of science and of the value of religious insights for science and society.

  3. To broaden the participation of individuals and groups involved in the constructive dialogue between science and religion.

  4. To exemplify a spirit of a “humble approach” in the quest for understanding, which links the progress of scientific inquiry with metaphysical, religious, philosophical, and moral concerns in a coherent, intellectually responsible, and collaborative manner.


Criteria for Applications

  1. The applicant must demonstrate a commitment to a balanced and exploratory exchange between religious and scientific views.

  2. The applicant must be a group, existing or newly created for this purpose, of persons formally or informally affiliated. Such groups could include committees of faculty, campus ministries, student organizations, interdisciplinary programs or departments, groups of clinicians and students in the practice of medicine, seminary faculty and students, denominational bodies, rabbinical and clerical groups, professional and civic associations, employee groups in science and technology industries, private and public secondary schools, teacher associations, and organizations specifically incorporated to advance the dialogue between science and religion. Applications will not be accepted from individuals.

  3. Funds must be used to develop new programs.

  4. The applicant that receives funds must operate as, or be under the auspices of, a nonprofit organization.

  5. The group must hold regular meetings for conducting study, discussion, and business.

  6. The applicant must have a commitment to engage in outreach through free and well-publicized public events. Speakers should represent expertise in the fields of both science and religion.

  7. The applicant must send at least one delegate to the Annual Convention of Local Societies to be held in Philadelphia in June each year. The first convention will be held in June 2002. The estimated cost of the convention is $650 for registration, room, and board not including travel. All costs are the responsibility of the local group and may be funded from the grant or matching funds. Some travel stipends are available for international delegates.

  8. The applicant must include a brief resume or curriculum vita of the chairperson of the local group.

  9. The applicant must have a commitment of $15,000 in matching funds over the three years, payable in the amount of $5,000 annually. In special hardship circumstances consideration will be given to matching funds being in-kind rather than in funds.

  10. The applicant must submit a satisfactory written annual report to qualify for ongoing funding of the grant.

  11. The applicant must designate a contact person for the administration of the grant, including name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address.

  12. Five (5) copies of the printed applications must be submitted by mail. Online applications will not be accepted.


Additional Criteria of Merit

Additional criteria of merit include:

  1. The potential of the program for broad public outreach.

  2. Evidence of innovative and creative approaches to the subject matter.

  3. The quality and cost effectiveness of the project.

  4. The potential for the long-term viability of the local group beyond the three-year period.

  5. The intellectual and spiritual content of the program.

  6. The ability of the local group to leverage other funding and resources.


Additional Funding Opportunities
A limited number of supplemental $10,000 grants will be awarded annually, based on the annual reports, to programs that demonstrate particular innovation, creativity, and effectiveness. There is no matching fund requirement for these supplemental grants, but the ability to leverage additional resources is also a criterion of merit. Thus, over the three years of the project, a local society is eligible to win an additional $30,000 in funding.


Application Procedures

  1. Applications deadlines are January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year through April 1, 2005. Up to fifty grants will be awarded each year.

  2. The application should include five (5) copies of the following:
    – a cover letter signed by the chairperson
    – a maximum 200 word description of the host organization
    – a maximum 200 word description of the program
    – a proposed budget, with appropriate notes
    – evidence of commitment of the $15,000 matching funds
    – a three-to-five page proposal narrative detailing the content and programs envisioned
    – a brief Curriculum Vitae or resume of chairperson of local group

  3. Single copies of supplemental materials are welcome with the application, including short biographies, resumes or curricula vitae of the group participants, and copies of relevant publications, institutional brochures, and press clippings.

  4. We do not have the capacity to receive applications or annual reports that are not written in English. However, the project may be conducted in any language.

  5. Five (5) copies of the application packet should be submitted by mail to:

    Eric Weislogel, Ph.D.
    Associate Director
    Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science
    3624 Market Street
    Suite 301
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    Tel.      215.789.2200
    Fax:     215.789.2222
    Email: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Applicants are invited to reapply in the event they are not selected.

The Local Societies Initiative is a project of the Metanexus Institute with special funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

The Metanexus Institute advances research, education, and outreach on the constructive engagement of science and religion. We seek to create an enduring intellectual and social movement by collaborating with persons and communities from diverse religious traditions and scientific disciplines. In a spirit of humility and with a deep concern for intellectual rigor, the Metanexus Institute promotes a balanced and exploratory dialogue between science and religion. While mindful of the complexities of this endeavor, we work to develop integrative approaches that enrich the domains of both science and religion.