The Foundation is currently accepting Online Funding Inquiries for its Core Funding Areas. In the charter establishing his Foundation, the late Sir John Templeton set out his philanthropic intentions under several broad headings. These Core Funding Areas continue to guide the Foundation's grantmaking as it works to find world-class researchers and project leaders to share in its pursuit of Sir John's dynamic, contrarian, forward-looking vision. A number of topics - including creativity, freedom, gratitude, love, and purpose - can be found under more than one Core Funding Area. The Foundation welcomes proposals that bring together these overlapping elements, especially by combining the tools and approaches of different disciplines. Overview of Core Funding Areas
1) Science & the Big Questions -Sir John Templeton stipulated that most of the Foundation's resources would be devoted to research (and disseminating the results of research) about the "basic forces, concepts, and realities" governing the universe and humankind's place in the universe. What did he mean by "basic forces, concepts, and realities"? Sir John's own eclectic list featured a range of fundamental scientific notions, including complexity, emergence, evolution, infinity, and time. In the moral and spiritual sphere, his interests extended to such basic phenomena as altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose. These diverse, far-reaching topics define the boundaries of the ambitious agenda that the Foundation calls the Big Questions. Sir John was confident that, over time, the serious investigation of these subjects would lead humankind ever closer to truths that transcend the particulars of nation, ethnicity, creed, and circumstance. The Foundation has honored Sir John's vision of the Big Questions by supporting a wide range of research projects, as well as other activities of a more practical or educational purpose, in the following areas:
a) Mathematical & Physical Sciences - The Foundation supports innovative projects that focus on foundational questions in mathematics or that seek a deeper understanding of the nature of reality within the realm of physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, or other physical sciences. Projects that are unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources are especially encouraged.
b) Life Sciences - The Foundation supports projects investigating the evolution and fundamental nature of life, human life, and mind, especially as they relate to issues of meaning and purpose. Projects are welcome from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including the biological sciences, neuroscience, archeology, and paleontology.
c) Human Sciences- The Foundation supports projects that apply the tools of anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology to the various moral and spiritual concepts identified by Sir John Templeton. These include altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose.
d) Philosophy & Theology - The Foundation supports projects that attempt to develop new philosophical and theological insights, especially (but not only) in relation to advances in scientific understanding.
e) Science in Dialogue - The Foundation has a strong interest in projects that bring one or more scientific disciplines into a mutually enriching discussion with theology and/or philosophy, whether for a scholarly audience or the public at large.
The Foundation's engagement with this Core Funding Area is still in its early stages, and they are not currently accepting unsolicited proposals on genetics. The only current opportunity for support in this area is through our Funding Priority, "Can Genetically Modified Crops Help to Feed the World?" The Foundation's initial investments in genetics can be seen in the grants listed below, and they look forward to developing a broader grant portfolio, in keeping with Sir John's great hopes for the field, in the years ahead.
The Foundation strongly prefers to fund projects that are affiliated with an institution (typically a university, research institution, or other non-profit organization). The Foundation encourages individuals to find appropriate institutions to administer their grants. When this is not practical or possible, the Foundation will make a grant directly to an individual.
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