advancing cultural evolutionary studies

Map and some data points

Templeton Grant 2021 | Overview

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 expected to be 10th December 2021 and funded awards to begin in December 2022-January 2023.  Further information regarding funding particulars and how to apply is available. 

Guidance & Assistance

We plan to hold virtual pre-application webinars and workshops (details to be announced but please signify your interest in such events here). 

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.  

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.