SSH Rate

Templeton Foundation Grants

Core Funding Areas

  • Science and the Big Questions
  • Character Virtue Development
  • Individual Freedom & Free Markets
  • Exceptional Cognitive Talent and Genius
  • Genetics

Human Sciences

The Foundation supports projects that apply the tools of anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology to the various moral and spiritual concepts identified by Sir John Templeton. These include altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose.

Philosophy & Theology

The Foundation supports projects that attempt to develop new philosophical and theological insights, especially (but not only) in relation to advances in scientific understanding.

Science in Dialogue

The Foundation has a strong interest in projects that bring one or more scientific disciplines into a mutually enriching discussion with theology and/or philosophy, whether for a scholarly audience or the public at large.

Grant Making Process

The John Templeton Foundation is interested in your ideas for projects related to our Core Funding Areas. The first step in our application process is creating an Online Funding Inquiry. If the Foundation approves your Online Funding Inquiry, we will ask for a more detailed Full Proposal. Please note that Full Proposals are by invitation only.

Only institutions can apply. Non-U.S. institutions are eligible.

The Online Funding Inquiry (OFI) is a brief form that asks for basic information about your proposed project. It is the required first stage of the Foundation's application process. If you are interested in receiving funding, or if you are trying to determine whether the Foundation would consider supporting your project, please complete and submit an OFI.

If our program staff determines that the project described in your OFI represents a realistic, strategic, and potentially successful opportunity to advance the philanthropic vision of Sir John Templeton, you will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. All other Online Funding Inquiries will be declined via e-mail.

In 2012, the Foundation approved 178 new grants with an average size of $970,000. In 2013, the Foundation again approved 178 new grants with an average size of $886,000. Individual grants vary greatly in amount. Our smallest active grant is about $30,000 and our largest is just over $10 million.

The grant duration is often up to three years. In rare instances the Foundation may support a project for up to five years. The Foundation will not fund any project for more than five years.


The Foundation invites you to submit your project ideas for consideration by completing an Online Funding Inquiry (OFI). OFIs are reviewed during specific times of the year. In some years, OFI deadlines are tied to the size of the financial request.

Small Grants

Small Grants are defined as requests for $217,400 (USD) or less. The threshold for small grants was established by the Foundation’s Charter and is adjusted periodically for inflation. The final small OFI deadline for 2016 is November 30 with decisions communicated by December 30. The small OFI deadline for 2017 is August 31 with decisions communicated no later than the end of September. Please note that while the Foundation is committed to providing a decision by the specified dates, we may review and decision an OFI early depending upon staff workload.

The Full Proposal stage for small grants is not governed by any specific calendar. Instead, staff will invite Full Proposals with customized due dates that are influenced by the project’s anticipated start date, the internal workload of staff, and budget considerations.

Large Grants 

Large Grants are defined as requests for more than $217,400 (USD). The threshold for large grants was established by the Foundation’s Charter and is adjusted periodically for inflation. The large OFI deadline for 2017 is August 31 with decisions communicated no later than the end of September.  

The Full Proposal for all large grants will be due by January of the following year. All funding decisions for large grants will be communicated by early June.

Application date
31 Aug 2017
Normally 3 years
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities Anthropology, Ethnology and Folklore Social sciences Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
Small: up to US$ 217.400; large: US$ 217.400 minimum