Continuing, expanding, and sustaining the impact of the International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology (ISSEP)
TWCF Number
Project Duration
December 1 / 2023
- November 30 / 2026
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded

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Kenneth Vail
Institution International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology

In nearly every moment of every day, people around the world grapple with existential issues of “being” and “becoming.” Existential psychology focuses on questions and psychological phenomena concerning awareness of mortality, self-determination and the challenges of authentic and inauthentic choices and actions; experiential isolation, existential loneliness, and sense of shared reality; the search for meaning and purpose in life; many aspects of religious and spiritual experience; and occasions for personal growth, especially following traumatic or significant life experiences.

The psychological significance of such concerns, and their far-reaching impact on everyday thought and behavior, are increasingly coming within the scope of scientific investigation.

The International Society for the Scientific Study of Existential Psychology (ISSEP) was founded to encourage and support scientific discovery, communication, and application of research findings in this field. Since its launch in 2021, ISSEP has been growing as a beacon for interested researchers and scholars to organize, communicate, and learn about existential psychology theory, research, and application.

This grant will provide funding to further cement the work of the ISSEP by extending its existing programs and activities over the next three years. Funding will contribute towards supporting 33 seed grants and 21 annual awards, some of which will specifically focus on cross-cultural and international existential psychology research and researchers from underrepresented regions of the world. It will also support three annual conferences, establishment of a peer-reviewed journal and a longer term financial plan for the organization. This funding also aims to increase the volume of curated information and resources on the website for scholars, and help create up to 45 new articles and interviews about research on existential psychology aimed at non-specialist audiences.

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