Request for Proposals: Contemplative Communities in Higher Education Grant Program

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Request for Proposals: Contemplative Communities in Higher Education Grant Program

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

 Visit the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society for more information and to apply

In partnership with the Fetzer Institute, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society is pleased to announce the Contemplative Communities in Higher Education Grant Program for 2016. These grants are designed to provide seed funding to develop just, inclusive, and compassionate communities in academia: educational communities which share a commitment to the transformation of higher education and society through the use of contemplative practices and methods.

The Center has funding for five (5) $4,000 seed grants, which will be awarded to individuals, groups, or centers on college and university campuses to fund projects beginning in the Fall 2016 semester. Grants will be awarded through a competitive application, review, and selection process.


For the past 20 years, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society has been committed to working with higher education faculty, staff, administrators and students to deepen learning, stimulate creativity, and cultivate personal and social awareness through contemplative practices. We believe that reflective, contemplative approaches are a powerful complement to analysis, critique, and more conventional forms of pedagogy, as well as a powerful means of promoting connection and collaboration across many forms of difference: across the disciplines, offices and sectors of academia, and religious and spiritual beliefs, among many others.

Over our organization’s history, we have witnessed the growth, deepening, and diversification of contemplative practices and methods in higher education settings. Our Contemplative Practice Fellowship Program, which ran from 1997 through 2009, fostered the development of courses and programs (read a report on the fellowship program here). Many schools now have established centers, faculty learning groups, degree programs, and annual events devoted to the exploration of contemplative methods in teaching and learning. Descriptions of some of these efforts can be found on our website.

This new grant program is a result of our recent partnership with the Fetzer Institute to explore the assessment and evaluation of contemplative practices in higher education; the building of contemplative communities on campuses; and the role of contemplative practices in supporting students’ ability to address complex social issues and personal challenges.

Contemplative Communities Grant Program Description

Through the Contemplative Communities in Higher Education Grant Program, we seek to support the development of communities situated in higher education and centered around contemplative methods and social change. The following examples are among the activities and values of such communities:

  • Engaging in group processes that foster inclusiveness across disciplines, roles, and/or social identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation);
  • Supporting the integration and retention of students, staff, and/or faculty who have traditionally been marginalized in higher education (low-income students, first generation students, students with disabilities, etc);
  • Emphasizing the interconnectedness of individuals, groups, and environments on campuses and in local communities;
  • Demonstrating openness to contemplative methods and practices from a variety of traditions, systems, and disciplines;
  • Creating spaces and opportunities for inquiry into meaning, purpose, spirituality, and the sacred;
  • Fostering capacities that are needed to meet the challenges we currently face, on local to global levels.

This list is not definitive, and is not meant to be exhaustive or required of all grant-funded projects.

Grants may be awarded to communities in many different stages of development, from small, informal groups of individuals (e.g., faculty, staff, and/or students) to larger consortiums that include multiple institutions and communities in a region.

Guidelines & Eligibility Requirements


Timeline & Grant Requirements

  • Grant proposals will be accepted through July 1.
  • Awards will be made in early August.
  • In early September, we will host an online meeting for recipients to connect with each other and introduce their projects.
  • Grant-funded activities must begin in the fall semester of 2016 and all grant funds must be used by May 15, 2017. However, activities and projects initiated by the grant may continue indefinitely.
  • An interim report will be due January 15th, 2017.
  • A final report on all activities and outcomes of the grant-funded project(s) will be due June 15, 2017.

 Visit the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society for more information and to apply

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