John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation is a philanthropic organization that funds inter-disciplinary research about human purpose and ultimate reality. It is usually referred to simply as the Templeton Foundation. It was established in 1987 by investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton; his son John Templeton, Jr. took over the presidency until his death in 2015. Heather Templeton Dill became president in June, 2015.

According to the Foundation, it gives away about $70 million per year in research grants and programs.

The Foundation restructured its grant making process in January 2010. It is divided into five core funding areas which include:

  • Science and the big questions
  • Character development
  • Freedom and free enterprise
  • Exceptional cognitive talent and genius
  • Genetics

The Foundation accepts online funding inquiries each year. If the initial inquiry is successful, applicants are invited to make a full proposal. Typically, grants are approved in a process that incorporates scientific peer review. The Foundation funds many high-level scientific research projects, usually by means of international competitions to which research teams from large universities apply.

In addition to its central activity funding scientific studies, the Foundation awards the annual $1.5 million Templeton Prize to a ‘living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works’. The Templeton Prize was first awarded in 1973. The monetary amount is adjusted to be always slightly higher than the Nobel Prize. In 2010 the prize was $1.5 million.

  • Fund individual research
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Institution type
Foreign Institutions Foundations (public/private)