Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

A number of funding sources are of potential interest to researchers interested in religion. Click the title to read details about the opportunity.


Louisville Institute Grant Programs

Founded in 1990, the Louisville Institute seeks to nurture inquiry and conversation regarding the character, problems, contributions, and prospects of the historic institutions and commitments of American Christianity. It does so by making grants to individuals and non-profit organizations and by convening selected groups for consultations on important and timely issues.

Research proposals should identify an important and fresh research problem that is significant for the churches and American Christians and should state clearly how the project will contribute to American religious life.  In addition to research grants, the Louisville Institute also makes grants to pastors, religious institutions, and others to support projects intended to contribute to the revitalization of American church life.


The mission of The Louisville Institute is to enrich the religious life of American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the work of the other.

Competitive Grant Programs

The Louisville Institute offers funding through six competitive grant programs that address different issues and support different groups of grantees.

Summer Stipends

Offers grants to academics and pastors engaged in summer research projects pertaining to American Christianity, especially those related to the priorities of the Louisville Institute.

Christian Faith and Life Grants

Supports research projects by academics and pastors designed to make more accessible to religious believers the themes of Christian faith in relation to the realities of their contemporary lives. Research periods may range from nine weeks to nine months.

Religious Institutions Grants

Supports research projects by academics and pastors designed to encourage reflection on the nature of and challenges to religious organizations and institutions in the contemporary world. Research periods may range from nine weeks to nine months.

Dissertation Fellowships

Supports the final year of Ph.D. or Th.D. dissertation writing for students engaged in research pertaining to American religion. Preference will be given to those proposals that address the current program priorities of the Louisville Institute.

First Book Grant Program for Minority Scholars

Assists junior, non-tenured religion scholars of color to complete a major research project on an issue in American Christianity related to the priorities of the Louisville Institute.

General Grant Program

The Louisville Institute also offers a modest general grant program that supports a limited number of individual and collaborative projects by academics, pastors, or other religious leaders on current program priorities of the Louisville Institute: Christian faith and life, religious institutions, and pastoral leadership. Such grants, for example, might enable a seminary professor to consult with a group of pastors about a research project or cover the costs of convening a research team exploring the nature of pastoral leadership today.

To receive further information about any of these programs, please contact The Louisville Institute at the address below.

The Louisville Institute
1044 Alta Vista Road

Louisville KY 40205-1798

Telephone: (502) 992-5432

FAX: (502) 894-2286



Society of the Scientific Study of Religion Research Awards

Jack Shand Research Award:

The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion offers an annual research awards competition, for which members are invited to apply. A generous bequest from Jack Shand, a long–term member of SSSR until his death in 2001, has made it possible for SSSR to offer Jack Shand Research Awards to support research in the social scientific study of religion. Each year the SSSR gives research grants in two categories, small and large. Applicants in either category must have finished the Ph.D. degree and must be members of the SSSR. In the case of co–authored requests, one author must be a member. Applicants may not submit proposals to both programs.

Visit the SSSR site for information about this and additional awards and grants

Association for the Sociology of Religion

Joseph H. Fichter Research Awards

The Association for the Sociology of Religion will make available $23,000 this year for promising research on gender issues, women and religion, and feminist perspectives in the study of religion. Applicants must be members of the ASR at the time of application. Dissertation research is included within the purview of the award. Those who have recently earned the doctorate are especially encouraged to apply.

A proposal of not more than five double-spaced, typed pages should outline the rationale and plan of research. A detailed budget should be attached, as should a vita. Deadline: 1 March postmark.

Further information is available on the ASR Web site at

The Lilly Endowment

The goals of the Lilly Endowment’s Religion division are to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians, primarily by helping to strengthen their churches; to support the recruitment and education of a new generation of talented ministers and other religious leaders; to encourage theological reflection and religious practices that recover the wisdom of the Christian tradition for our contemporary situation; to support scholars and educators who seek to help the American people to better understand contemporary religion and the role it plays in our public and personal lives; and to strengthen the contributions that religious ideas, practices, values and institutions make to the common good of our society. In all these ways, the Lilly Endowment Inc. seeks to support people and organizations striving to generate knowledge, communicate insights, nurture practices, and renew and sustain institutions that provide the religious resources upon which a flourishing and humane society depends.

For further information:

The Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

Lake Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

The mission of Lake Institute on Faith & Giving is to foster a greater understanding of the ways in which faith both inspires and informs giving by providing knowledge, education, and training. The Lake Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship supports emerging scholars studying subjects related to faith and giving in a variety of academic fields. Fellows:

  • Receive three stipend payments totaling $22,000;
  • Attend a meeting of the Lake Institute Advisory Board and meet with its Research Committee;
  • Are invited to special research-focused Lake Institute engagements;
  • Have the opportunity to take advantage of the Lake Institute’s resources and expertise;
  • And share their research through information on our website and citations in our seminars.

Applicants must:

  • Be candidates for a Ph.D. degree at a graduate school in the United States;
  • Fulfill a pre-dissertation requirement by December 31 of the year applying, including approval of the dissertation proposal with the expectation that the dissertation will be completed no later than July of the year following the fellowship grant year;
  • Have not received a similar grant or fellowship for writing of the dissertation.
  • Submit application and other requested documents by January 31st