Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/18/2022

RFI: Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing

Templeton World Charity Foundation has launched a new strategy to support new scientific research on human flourishing and to translate related discoveries into practical tools. Over the next five years, the Foundation will support a range of projects across three distinct stages: discovery, development, and launch. We hope that this commitment will lead to the development of innovative solutions and the launch of new practices that make a lasting impact on human flourishing. 

Before picking a focal point for the discovery stage of this five-year strategy, we plan to gather new ideas through an open-submission process. To achieve this, we’ve issued this Request For Ideas (RFI) to gather input as broadly as possible. We invite researchers across disciplines to participate in an initial phase of idea generation and development. Ideas selected will be used by the Foundation to shape its priorities for scientific discovery. This has the potential to lead to several new portfolios of grants. We seek bold ideas and rigorous experiments that use new conceptual frameworks to move past age-old debates and lead to significant breakthroughs.

Any qualified respondent with substantial research experience who is employed full time at an academic or research institution may submit an idea through our portal. Please read the rest of this document carefully if you are interested in submitting an idea.

We expect to invest approximately $40,000,000 through the Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing. Priority will go to interdisciplinary scientific research on humans’ cognitive, affective, social, and spiritual well-being. 

We are particularly interested in capacities that can be enhanced to promote human flourishing. We are also committed to the use of open science practices, such as the preregistration of hypotheses, replication studies, and data sharing.

Submission Deadline: November 11, 2020

Areas of Interest

We are looking for ideas that can lead to new multi-grant research portfolios on human flourishing. We are particularly interested in ideas for interdisciplinary scientific research towards discoveries that can promote physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. We welcome ideas that bridge gaps between empirical science and the humanities. Such ideas may include (but are not limited to): 

  • Experimental testing of philosophically grounded models of human flourishing;
  • Research on biological complexity in humans, including genetics, epigenetics, and microbiome research;
  • Investigation of key psychological, neuroscientific, or human developmental concepts, such as (but not limited to) altruism, creativity, imagination, narrative, and meta-cognition;
  • Research on cognitive, affective, or social capacities of individuals or groups;
  • Studies of human biological or cultural evolution.