advancing cultural evolutionary studies

Social Network Analysis Visualization Image Social Network Analysis Visualization Image

Templeton Grant 2021 | Frequently Asked Questions

We actively encourage early discussion of ideas, eligibility or remit etc.  If you have any questions about the awards available please check the existing FAQs below.   If your query remains unanswered, please pose it here (you will receive an email response and the information will be added, anonymously, to this page if appropriate).

We plan to hold virtual pre-application webinars and workshops (details to be announced but please signify your interest in such events here) and, in the mean-time, if you would like assistance in linking up with other academics to achieve or discuss your application ideas please use the ‘research match-making’ form here and we will endeavor to help.  

Finally, if you have suggestions of how we may enhance achievement of our diversity aims please let us know here.  Thank you!

Back to Overview


How did you decide on the topics of the funding scheme?

The research projects call and the applied working groups call were largely informed by the ‘grand challenges’ identified by the 2017 survey of the field (Brewer et al. 2017), and discussions with the current CES executive, with input from the John Templeton Foundation who have generously supported the field for many years. The calls are quite broad and although we provide an outline of the research project topics here, and suggest working group areas here, we will consider any well justified interpretation of the calls.


When are the funding deadlines?

The expected deadlines for the two-stage application process are given here and here.  As soon as we are able we will finalize the specific deadline dates and announce them via CES media (twitter, facebook, newsflash/newsletter).


How do I apply?

Details of how to apply, and what will be required, are given here.  As we approach the first (outline stage) submission deadline (expected to be mid-December) we will create a downloadable proforma for you to complete and submit via a submission portal that will be housed on the CES website.  When this is available we will let you know via CES media (twitter, facebook, newsflash/newsletter).


I am new to the field of cultural evolution and would like to know how I can get advice on the suitability of my project idea?

We are very pleased that you are interested in the scheme and in bringing a new perspective to cultural evolution.  We plan to hold virtual pre-application webinars and workshops (details to be announced but please signify your interest in such events here) where ideas can be discussed in small break out groups that we will arrange. We also offer a ‘research match-making’ service here and will endeavor to help you locate appropriate colleagues to discuss your ideas with. 


Would I fulfill the diversity criterion of extending the geographical reach of CES if I am from a non-Northern American/Western European country but did my PhD in North America or Western Europe?

Evaluation will be made on a case by case basis (using information provided by you at application stage, such as nationality, ethnicity, location of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees).  As an example, were your application ranked equal to another application from an individual that had not already had the opportunity to develop networks in Northern America or Western Europe, we may consider this other application slightly more favourably.


Why are the funded awards only 18 months long?  This is not helpful in terms of career stability and hence diversity in academia.

Whilst we agree that it would be optimal to provide funding for more than 18 months this is the maximum length of funding we can manage given the constraints we are working within.  The overall grant is for 33 months within which we must fit a 2-stage competition with mentoring for applicants, review of applications, creation of contracts for the 20+ funded awards, notice for funded awards prior to start date, and time after the awards end for completion of final reports and the capstone conference.  To make the best use of the funded time, the deadline for the first stage of the funding competition is the day the grant officially starts. Hence, all advertising and applicant advising is taking place in addition to Rachel Kendal's usual academic commitments and prior to grant-associated support staff being in place - your patience is therefore appreciated if responses to queries take a little time.


Is the funding like a postdoctoral position?

Yes, you could think of it this way if you are early career.  However, ideally you would apply in your own right (as the Principal Investigator, or PI) for a research project that you have designed.  Often you would then refer to yourself as an Independent Researcher rather than a Post Doc, and this may be more prestigious and useful for your career.  However, you can most certainly include collaborators or Co-Investigators (Co-Is) in your proposal and may wish to do so if you are early career, or new to the cultural evolution field etc.  Alternatively, a more senior individual may act as the PI but fund you as a Co-I or Post Doc via the award.


Can I apply if between positions (unemployed)?

Yes, we recognise that there are many reasons (e.g. early career, returning to work after illness or caring commitments) why individuals may not be employed by an institution or organisation at the time of applying.  If you are in this position we encourage you to apply whether as PI or Co-I.  If you are invited to submit a full proposal (after the first 'outline' stage of the funding competition) then you will be required to identify the institution/organisation that you would like to host you and provide a letter of support from them highlighting their commitment and ability to administer the funding and provide you with the required facilities.


If I (the PI) want to include a Co-I in the proposal who is currently unaffiliated with an institution/organisation should my institution/organisation host them?

In this situation you should consider what will work best for the project you propose, but also how your decision will influence the diversity aims of the funding scheme.  If the Co-I is based outside of Northern America and Western Europe it would be preferable for them to be hosted by an appropriate institution/organisation in that country.  As indicated above, you would need a letter of support from this institution/organisation confirming their support of the application.  We will work with all identified host institutions/organisations (for all proposals) to ensure we are satisfied with their procedures for due diligence and accountability in financial and ethical matters before creating award contracts.