The Ian Ramsey Centre has awarded eleven research grants under the broad topic of ‘Perspectives on the Life, Persons, and the Cosmos’. The IRC received research proposals at the intersection of science, philosophy, and theology. The call for applications is now closed.
You can see the awarded projects here.
The primary aim of the project awards is to promote scientifically-informed research pertinent to philosophical issues that also have theological relevance. By including interdisciplinary and inter-institutional co-operation as factors in the assessment of proposals and project implementation, the IRC hopes to foster a long-term community of scholarship.
Aim and summary
The Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion (IRC) at Oxford University is pleased to offer four grants of up to U$S30,000 and six grants of up to U$S15,000 each to individuals or research groups based at recognised Latin American institutions of higher education to conduct interdisciplinary research on one or more focused questions with the themes of life, persons, and the cosmos.
Grant award winners will have up to twelve months to complete their work and the IRC will pay an additional allowance to enable one representative of the team to attend and present their work at a final international conference in Santiago de Chile in July 2017. Grants will be awarded by competitive evaluation on the basis of project proposals. These proposals will need to be sent to the IRC no later than 30 September 2015.
Themes and key questions
Research projects can focus on topics across a broad range of possibilities at the intersection of science, philosophy and theology, and the IRC encourages creative applications. A list of research questions is available to stimulate ideas for applications, but this list is not exhaustive and high quality applications for project awards on alternative topics will be considered. Favourable consideration will be given to clear, focused research topics and questions, with the potential for broader implications. If you have any doubt about whether an idea for a project would be suitable, please contact the IRC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The project awards will be divided into four larger awards of up to U$S30,000, with the balance in terms of smaller awards of up to U$S15,000.
The projects themselves will run for up to twelve months through February 2016 and June 2017. Projects are expected to last for up to twelve months. All projects must be finished by 30 June 2017.
Individual scholars or existing or new interdisciplinary research teams based at recognised Latin American universities may apply for these grants, providing that the research proposal engages with issues at the interplay between science, philosophy and/or theology and the themes are broadly included in the IRC project theme “Perspectives on Life, Persons and the Cosmos”. Individual scholars should be top-level researchers in their countries and at their institutions, with a proven strong research and publication record. Interdisciplinary teams should be led by a tenured professor or full time faculty member, should involve at least one more junior scholar, and have institutional support.
Deadlines for proposal submissions are:
- 31 July, 2015 for Letter of Intent – Extended to 31 August, 2015
- 30 September, 2015 for Full Proposal
The projects will run for up to twelve months through February 2016 and June 2017. Projects are expected to last for up to twelve months. All projects must be finished by 30 June 2017.
Prospective applicants should send Letters of Inquiry (a letter or email stating an applicant’s intention to apply, the proposed title of the subproject, and the name and institution of the Principal Investigator) to Dr Silva no later than July 31, 2015. This deadline has been extended to 31 August, 2015.
For the final proposal, which must be received no later than September 30, 2015, applicants are required to submit, in English, Spanish or Portuguese, the following documents:
- A proposal form
- An institutional support form
- A CV of the principal investigator or team leader
- Short CVs of other team members (if applicable)
- A budget
Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Ignacio Silva well in advance of the submission deadline for informal queries about possible research projects. Should you require further information about the application process, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below.
Proposals will be rated by a panel of IRC members and external assessors in the United States and Europe. The proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:
- Precisely focused research questions with clear and explicit broader implications for foundational issues
- Engagement with up to date developments
- Quality of planning
- Prospects for dialogue across disciplines, institutions, and confessions (treating also ‘atheism’ in this context as a confession)
- Prospects for effective academic outcomes leading to changes
- Prospects for broader public impact
The assessment will also look favourably on applicants that demonstrate the potential for longer-term success that will maximise the benefit of the investment. This potential will be assessed principally by the practical, entrepreneurial vision expressed in the longer-term plans for the project and its team, and prospects for the broader HEI that will host the project. Applicants should explain in the project description how their proposed projects meet these criteria.
Successful applicants’ obligations
Successful individuals or research teams will be required to:
- Carry out the research and activities described in the project description;
- Prepare a brief autobiographical statement or group description in English andSpanish/Portuguese for the IRC project website;
- Submit a half-term report;
- Submit a final report;
- Attend the 2017 final conference of the IRC’s project.
Stages of the application and approval process
- Download the request for proposals and proposal form and check carefully the detailed criteria.
- Send a letter of intent indicating the intent of applying for the grants before 31 July, 2015. This deadline has been extended to August 31, 2015.
- Submit documents before the deadline: 30 September, 2015.
The IRC will inform all applicants of the outcome of the assessment process by 30 November, 2015.
All correspondence and submission of application documents should be sent to Dr Ignacio Silva at email@example.com.
Request for proposals and other documents
For more detailed information download RFP here.
Download the documents for your application:
For completing all forms you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe website.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who can apply?
Individual scholars or existing or new interdisciplinary research teams based at recognised Latin American universities.
2. Can the project last longer than twelve months?
Large grants (of up to U$S30,000) are expected to last no more than twelve months, while smaller grants (of up to U$S15,000) are encouraged to last no more than ten months. In exceptional cases, larger grant could request for a more extended grant period in their application. The IRC will consider this on a particular basis. Please let Dr Silva know if you are considering applying for a longer grant period in your Letter of Intent. Once awarded, grants cannot be extended.
3. Is there a minimum duration for the project?
There is no set minimum duration for the project, but grant awards cannot be used to fund projects with just one meeting or event, such as a single conference on its own. The expectation is that the project will be carried out over an extended period.
4. Can the budget for my project be less than U$S15,000?
Yes, although we encourage projects to benefit from the full amount available. In any case, you should prepare a grant budget which is appropriate to the length and proposed products and activities of the project.
5. When is the deadline?
The deadline for submissions is 30 September, 2015.
6. Who should provide the institutional support?
The proposal form should be signed by an authority of the Faculty where the host individual or research group is based, or by any appropriate authority of the host university that is able to provide evidence of institutional support.
7. Which topics are acceptable?
Research projects can focus on topics across a broad range of possibilities at the intersection of science, philosophy and theology, and the IRC encourages creative applications. Projects focusing on fine-tuning, theistic evolution and the like are welcome, although the IRC will not consider projects on creationism and/or intelligent design, in the anti-evolutionary sense in which these terms are usually understood.
It is important to remark, however, that the IRC is interested in projects falling under the general theme of life, persons, and cosmos. Prospective applicants should visit the project’s website for a detailed list of possible research questions. Favourable consideration will be given to clear, focused research topics and questions, with the potential for broader implications.
8. Can I submit a project proposal if I have received other grants from the IRC or I have participated in other activities of the IRC project?
Yes. There are no restrictions arising from participation in other activities of the IRC project.
9. When should the project begin?
Projects can begin and finish any time between November 2015 and April 2017. We suggest you make early arrangements to allow sufficient time for money allocation and organisation of events.
10. How will the grant be disbursed?
It is expected that the host institution will receive half the amount of the grant around a month before the commencement of the project, and the balance half-way to the end, upon reception of a short research and financial report.
11. Should my university contribute to the project in any way?
Host universities are not expected to incur in any extra expense to run the project besides providing work space and facilities to the project team members. However, we encourage universities to collaborate in any other ways they find fit, and applicants should express this collaboration in the budget narrative.