advancing cultural evolutionary studies

Map and some data points

Templeton Grant 2021 | Overview


Cultural Evolution Society Transformation Fund

Thanks to the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation we are running a major new funding scheme to address big questions in the field of cultural evolution. After all, how our cultures evolve (including how information is transmitted, how people make decisions, and the interaction with our biology) is a pressing issue in a world in which our cultural activities are causing rapid, and drastic, social and physical changes. 

Through this funding scheme we aim to tackle early career obstacles, western-centrism, traditional disciplinary divides, and division of scientists and public policy makers (see Enhancing Diversity in the field), through:


  • 5 Applied (2-day international) Workshops including academic and non-academic delegates (organised by the applied working groups with CES support).

  • 1 Capstone Conference featuring the research and findings of all research projects and applied working groups funded (following the 2024 CES conference in Durham, UK).

  • 3 co-produced Capacity Building Courses (expected to take place in Ethiopia, Colombia, and Thailand).

  • Diverse Public Engagement and Outreach activities.

The funding competition is led by Prof. Rachel Kendal (Past President of CES) at Durham University, UK with the assistance of the CES Executive Committee and an independent Advisory Board.

The deadline for the first (outline) stage of the funding competition is now extended to midnight Wednesday 5th January 2022 (UK time). Funded awards are expected to begin in December 2022-January 2023.  Further information regarding funding particulars and how to apply is available. 

Submission will be via a grant portal, which is currently under development.  Through the portal you will register your details and have the opportunity to download an interactive form for the project proposal which you will upload as part of your submission.  In the meantime, full details of the requirements for the outline stage project proposals (for Research Projects and Working Groups) are available to download here.  

Do register your interest here if you would like to receive direct email updates regarding the scheme.


Guidance & Assistance

Below you will find a video of a workshop where Rachel Kendal presents the funding scheme, different call areas, the diversity priorities as well as the application and review process, plus hints and tips.

We have now concluded our pre-application workshops. Please get in touch here or by emailing [email protected] with any questions you may have.   

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.  You may also tweet using @CultEvolFunding with #CultEvolTeam and we'll retweet. Specify your area and who you are looking for.  Then check the # and our feed for new people to follow.

We actively encourage early discussion of ideas, eligibility or remit etc.  If you have any questions about the awards available please check the Frequently Asked Questions where you will have the opportunity to pose a question if yours remains unanswered.

Keep up to date via our dedicated TWITTER  @CultEvolFundingFACEBOOK, and LINKEDIN accounts.  Please do use these accounts to help you with building your application.  For example, to request advice from the field and/or in searching for relevant collaborators to complete your research project/working group team.

For specific questions about the funding scheme please contact us by emailing [email protected]