Project Grant for Researchers

The Project Grant for Researchers (PGR) supports research, reflection, and writing by academics and pastors concerning Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or religious institutions. Grants of up to $30,000 support a diverse range of projects that may involve independent study, consultations, or collaboration between pastors and academics. Preference given to projects that show potential to generate reliable new data through empirical methods of inquiry and discovery.

No longer accepting 2023 Applications.  Check back april 15 for 2024 information.

Application Deadline: September 1, 2022 *NEW date*

Grant Timeframe: January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024

Grant Amount: up to $30,000

The Project Grant for Researchers (PGR) program offers grants of up to $30,000 to support a scholarly research project about Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, religious trends and movements, Christian and other faith-based institutions, and religion and social issues. Projects may be independent or in collaboration with others, and may be rooted in varied fields such as history, systematic and practical theology, social sciences, ethics, biblical studies, etc., or may be interdisciplinary in nature. Of particular interest to the Louisville Institute are projects with the potential to generate new knowledge that enriches the life of the church in North America. Project grants this cycle take place between January 1, 2023, December 31, 2024.

Download the full 2023 PGR Application Guide

Learn more about previous PGR projects


Who is eligible for a PGR?

Project Grants for Researchers are awarded to scholars in the United States and Canada who have earned a terminal research degree, typically a Ph.D. or Th.D. While most grantees teach in a university, seminary, or theological school, some work for institutes and organizations, in other academic or ecclesial settings, or are independent researchers. 

Students enrolled in Ph.D. or Th.D. programs are not eligible for a PGR but may be eligible for one of our fellowships. Applicants with a professional doctorate such as a D.Min. should apply for a Pastoral Study Project Grant rather than a PGR. More information about eligibility can be found in the Application Guide.

If you have questions about grant eligibility, please email

How do I apply?

  1. Download the 2023 PGR Application Guide. The application guide contains the details you need. Read this document carefully and refer to it as you prepare your materials.
  2. Review the eligibility requirements in the guide.
  3. Create an account. Click on the “Apply” button to create an account and get started.
  4. Prepare your materials. Complete applications require the following:
      1. General application information
      2. Project core question: What is the main question you hope to explore? (100 words)
      3. Project summary/abstract (200 words)
      4. Project snapshot: In one sentence, provide an intriguing, quotable “snapshot” of your project (for use on our website and in publicity materials)
      5. Project narrative (1500 words) that includes:
        • A rationale for why your project should be funded
        • Your study/research plan
        • How you intend to share what you discover
        • The impact you hope your project will have
        • A project schedule/timeframe (between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2024)
      6. Bibliography: a list of primary resources you plan to study, review, or consult (2–3 pages)
      7. Proposal budget (both a line item budget and an explanatory budget narrative)
      8. Curriculum Vitae or résumé (maximum four pages)
      9. Two Letters of Recommendation: one from a colleague who can assess your skills and abilities to carry out the project, and one from a colleague who can assess the feasibility and significance of the project, both due September 8, 2022.
  5. Submit all application materials by the due date: 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 1, 2022. Letters must be submitted by the recommenders by September 8, 2022.

What is the Selection Process?

Each year the Louisville Institute appoints a selection committee to review proposals and award Project Grants for Researchers. Committee membership and deliberations are confidential. All applicants will be notified as soon as possible following the selection process, which usually takes place about 7 weeks after the application due date. 

We are often asked how many applications we receive for our grants. For each of the last several years of the PGR program, we have averaged 80–90 eligible applications, and have awarded about 16 grants.

Is my project idea a good fit for a PGR?

We will not accept feedback requests until after march 1, 2023.   

We are happy to provide initial feedback on your project idea and help you determine if it fits our funding criteria. Before submitting your request to LI, fully review the 2023 PGR Application Guide and share your plan with a few trusted colleagues to get their feedback. Also consider seeking input from persons who might be participants in your research, especially if they are members of vulnerable or underprivileged groups.

To request feedback, please respond to the following questions about your project in no more than 500 words (total): 

  • What is the heart of your project — the question you want to explore — and why is the project important to you, your community, and the church in North America? (2–3 sentences)
  • What is the context in which you hope to carry out your project? (2–3 sentences)
  • How do you plan to conduct your study? Describe research strategies or methods you think you might use and why you think they will be helpful (e.g., interviews, surveys, observation, visits, library records).

Email your answers to these questions to with the subject line, “PGR feedback.” Because we receive many requests for feedback, responses can take several weeks, but we will respond to all feedback requests submitted prior to August 1.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!