Accelerating Research on Consciousness: Request for Proposals
Templeton World Charity Foundation is interested in Consciousness as a foundational concept at the center of our experience and interaction with the world. Our Accelerating Research on Consciousness Initiative has made a substantial effort to further the field through best practices in open science and adversarial collaboration. To expand our support, we issued this request for proposals (RFP) to fund a broader range of research projects in the field.
We sought to fund up to 15 projects that will produce new scientific evidence to further our understanding of consciousness.
What We Looked For
We are particularly interested in basic science research rather than developing or testing interventions for physical or mental health. Our interests include generating new evidence to substantially oppose or support existing theories of consciousness, or developing new scientific tools or frameworks to study consciousness.
- Projects must be rooted in a broad understanding of the current academic literature on consciousness. To promote novel ideas, we encourage applicants to integrate or contrast more than one tool, method, or theoretical approach.
- At least some of the project funds must contribute toward scientific research that could contribute new evidence to the field. Each project description must feature a key experimental research question.
- We encourage applicants to contextualize their research questions within a rigorous conceptual framework. A clear operating definition of consciousness should be included in the project description and should be consistent throughout the project.
- All finalists will have to pre-register their project descriptions on the Open Science Framework before an award can be made. By submitting a proposal, applicants agree to do this as required.
- Applicants should exclude their names and affiliations from the project description document. We intend for the external review process to be double-blind, but we will not be able to anonymize these documents once submitted.
Supplemental Information for Applicants
Key features of this request:
- To help applicants with the required pre-registration process, we hosted two webinars featuring information on the Open Science Framework and the preregistration process.
- All proposals were reviewed internally by TWCF staff. Up to fifty leading proposals were sent for external review.
- In recognition that external review scores are a useful but imperfect predictor of project quality, we included the following partially random downselection step: Applications with below-median review scores were declined. Applications above the median have an expected funding rate of 50% and were down-selected randomly before being presented for approval.
Process and Timeline:
- Launch Date: November 22, 2021
- Webinar Exploring Scope and Application Process: December 8, 2021
- Webinar for Last Minute Questions Regarding Submission: January 18, 2022
- Submission deadline: UPDATED: Jan 30, 2022
- Announcement of finalists: March 22, 2022
- Announcement of awards: June 6, 2022
- Earliest start date: August 6, 2022
- Project duration: 12 - 24 months
- Maximum award amount
- $200,000 direct costs + $30,000 indirect/overhead (This can contribute to direct costs if allowed by the institution.)