Sabbatical Grant for Researchers
The Sabbatical Grant for Researchers (SGR) provides grants up to $40,000 to support academic sabbatical projects 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 rooted in fields such as history, systematic and practical theology, social science, ethics, biblical studies, etc., or may be interdisciplinary in nature. Of particular interest to the Louisville Institute are projects that bridge academic scholarship and the life of the church in North America.
2024 Application information now available
Application due date: November 1, 2023 (11:59 p.m. EDT)
Project grant amount: up to US$40,000
Project timeframe: academic year 2024-2025
OR calendar year 2025
Awards announced: February 15, 2024
Winter Seminar: January 22-24, 2025
What is the Sabbatical Grant for Researchers?
The Sabbatical Grant for Researchers (SGR) is designed to support academic sabbatical leave for projects about Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, religious trends and movements, Christian and other faith-based institutions, and religion and social issues. We are especially interested in projects that demonstrate a desire to bridge the North American church and academy. You can read more about previous SGR grantees and their projects on our website.
The SGR is most often used to supplement an existing semester sabbatical with a second term or semester. Typical applicants are fully employed in accredited academic institutions and are eligible for a full year leave from teaching and administrative responsibilities. Grants awarded in the 2024 cycle will fund sabbaticals taking place during the 2024-2025 academic year or during the 2025 calendar year.
What do I need to know to apply?
- Download the full 2024 SGR Application Guide for all the details.
- Learn about previous SGR projects
- Ready to Apply? Click here or APPLY in the upper right corner. NOTE: Application portal opens June 1, 2023.
Who is eligible a Sabbatical Grant?
- are scholars in the United States and Canada who have earned a terminal research degree, typically a Ph.D. or Th.D.
- are employed full-time in accredited academic institutions and are eligible for up to a full academic year leave from teaching and administrative responsibilities. The SGR is most often used to supplement an existing semester sabbatical with a second term or semester. If you work at an institution that does not grant sabbaticals and/or if you are in a full-time, permanent teaching position that does not include sabbatical leave, you must contact us to discuss your eligibility before applying for this grant: email@example.com.
- may work in various fields such as history, systematic and practical theology, social science, ethics, biblical studies, etc., or be interdisciplinary.
Additional eligibility information:
- Doctoral students are not eligible for a sabbatical grant but may be eligible for one of our fellowship programs.
- Pastoral leaders seeking sabbatical support should apply for our Pastoral Study Project Grant if they are interested in study leave, or for Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs for sabbaticals of rest and renewal. For questions regarding your project and its eligibility, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See additional stipulations below. For questions about grant eligibility, please email email@example.com.
How can I use SGR Funds?
- SGR funds most often buy release time from academic duties, usually to support a full year of academic leave.
- It is common for the total amount of an SGR budget to be designated for salary/benefit replacement.
- If you are requesting sabbatical funds for research materials or assistance, travel, or other resources, you will need to prepare a line-item and narrative budgets).
For questions about grant proposals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Winter Seminar?
SGR grantees are invited to Winter Seminar, a three-day gathering in Louisville, KY, in which award recipients from four different Louisville Institute programs gather to share their projects and engage in valuable collaboration together. Winter Seminar for this grant cycle will take place January 22–24, 2025, and all related expenses for participants are paid by the Louisville Institute.
How do I apply?
- Download the 2024 SGR Application Guide. The application guide contains the details you need. Read this document carefully and refer to it as you prepare your materials.
- Review the eligibility requirements in the guide.
- Create an account. Click on the “Apply” button to create an account and get started. NOTE: Application portal opens June 1, 2023.
- Prepare your materials. Complete applications require the following (see the Application Guide for full details):
- General Application Information
- Project Summary
- Project Narrative
- Line Item Budget & Budget Narrative
- Curriculum Vitae or resume
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Letter of Release
- All application elements are submitted online through our application portal.
- Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT November 1, 2023, and letters of recommendation are due from the recommenders November 8, 2023.
What is the Selection Process for Sabbatical Grants?
The Louisville Institute appoints a selection committee to review proposals and award Sabbatical Grants for Researchers. The selection committee meets about 8–10 weeks after the application due date. In recent years, we have averaged 80+ applications and this year we will award 8 grants. All applicants are notified by email as soon as possible after the selection process. Awards will be announced publicly on or around February 15, 2024.
How can I ask for feedback?
We can provide some initial feedback on your project idea to see if it’s a good fit for our grants. Being specific and focused about your project will yield more helpful feedback from us. Before you submit a feedback request, please run your idea by trusted colleagues to get their thoughts. Additionally, if your project involves other participants (such as church or community members, or others who will be central to your project), please seek their input before asking for LI feedback.
To request feedback, use this link to respond to the following questions:
- What is the primary question you want to explore? (50 words or fewer)
- Why is this project important to you, your community, and/or the church in North America? (100 words or fewer)
- How are you planning to carry out your study? Give a brief overview of where and/or with whom you hope to work, the research methods you might use (e.g., archival research, interviews, surveys, observation, visits, etc.), and why you’ve chosen these strategies (350 words or fewer).
Note: Because we receive many requests for feedback, responses can take several weeks, but we will respond to all feedback requests submitted prior to October 1.
Additional Eligibility Information for all Grants & Fellowships
- You are welcome to apply again for any of our grants or fellowships – in fact, it’s very common! However, you may only apply for one grant or fellowship between June 1, 2023, and May 31, 2024.
- Any previous fellowships or grants from the Louisville Institute must be completed and final report submitted before applying for another LI fellowship or grant.
- Members of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary staff, faculty, Board of Trustees, or student body, or their immediate family members (parents, spouses, or children), are ineligible for Louisville Institute grants or fellowships. Members of the Louisville Institute Advisory Board and their immediate family members are also ineligible to apply.
- Louisville Institute grantees may not simultaneously hold two individual grants from Lilly Endowment-funded organizations that together total more than US$45,000.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us! email@example.com