The CSP William James Awards
Funding for Masters' Theses and Doctoral Dissertations
on Primary Religious/Spiritual Experience
As of August 2005, no further applications are being accepted.
If the awards program resumes,
new due dates for applications will appear on this page.
See previous awards
The Council on Spiritual Practices (www.csp.org) offers the William
James Awards for masters' theses and doctoral dissertations focusing
on empirical studies of primary religious experience and its
consequences. Grants are awarded to pay direct expenses of student
thesis research, up to $500 at the master's level and up to $1,500 at the
The awards are offered to encourage the scientific investigation of the phenomenology, determinants, and facilitation of primary
religious or spiritual experiences. Equally of interest are their consequences, individual and social. Primary religious experiences are those involving direct perception of the sacred, also called unitive, peak, and mystical experiences.
To apply, print this application and send three copies of both a one or two page abstract of the proposed study and a one page itemized budget of up to $500 (master's thesis) or $1,500 (doctoral dissertation). Finalists will be selected and asked to submit their full thesis or dissertation proposal for further consideration. Award funds will be released contingent on departmental approval of the proposal. Funds must be for actual research expenditures, not for the student's personal support.
The CSP William James Award committee chair is Ralph W. Hood, Jr. (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga).
Additional William James Award committee members are
William A. Richards, Ph.D. (Council on Spiritual Practices),
Michael Winkelman, Ph.D. (Arizona State University),
and David Wulff, Ph.D. (Wheaton College).