The promotion of research is one of the most important functions of the Society. The SPR has two grant funds, the SPR Research Fund and the Survival Research Fund (which incorporates the Tate Fund).
The SPR Research Fund
The SPR possesses a modest Research Fund, the proceeds of which are available to support research in any generally recognized area of psychical research, except those specifically related to survival. Survival related applications should be directed to the Survival Research Fund (see below notice).
Applications are considered and grants awarded by the Society’s Research Grants Committee and applications should be sent to the Chairperson of the Committee, c/o the Society. Applications will be considered on an annual basis, with the deadline for receipt of proposals being 1 June of each year. Application forms can be obtained from the SPR Secretary or on-line via the Society’s website. Applications should include: a description of the proposed research, including its rationale and hypotheses/anticipated outcomes; a general description of the methodology; costing of the research (i.e., the amount being requested should be itemised against specific costs); a short CV and the names of two referees. Normally grants do not exceed £7,000. If the research is being funded by multiple sources, specific information should be provided about the source of other funding, the amount being received and a general indication of what aspects of the proposed research this other funding is covering. Note: Details of the research being proposed, its rationale and methodology should ideally not exceed 1500 words.
Normally an applicant /co-applicant will only be awarded funding for one research project per annum. It is a condition of the grants that a report of the completed research is sent to the Chairperson of the Committee. No further awards will be made to an individual until reports have been received for any previous grants obtained from the Research Grants Committee.
Deborah Delanoy, Chair of the Research Grants Committee
The Survival Research Fund (incorporating the Tate Fund)
The SPR’s Survival Research Fund supports scientific research into the fundamental question of whether some aspect of consciousness or personality survives the death of the body. It supports projects that aim to generate new evidence for survival, that collate, analyse and/or disseminate relevant evidence, that draw on such evidence for theory development, or that generate theoretical frameworks for relevant theory building. Of particular interest are projects that stimulate thinking and debate about the kinds of research that could potentially shed light on the survival question. With a focus on the truth of survival claims, the fund is unlikely to support research into psychological or sociological aspects of belief in survival.
Examples of relevant research are:
- Projects that collate survival evidence, e.g. retrospectives, bringing scattered data together, aligning disparate strands of evidence;
- Projects that generate new survival evidence, e.g. replicating kinds of evidence generated in the past, or new work with prominent psychics;
- Projects that make use of survival evidence, e.g. for theory building, or integrating survival evidence into current scientific knowledge;
- Projects that generate the theoretical frameworks for theory building, e.g. philosophical concepts, theoretical virtues;
- Projects to stimulate thinking about the kinds of research that could potentially shed light on the survival question;
- Projects to disseminate evidence, analysis and results of research.
The submissions deadline for project proposals is 1st June each year. Typical awards are in the order of £3,000 and are unlikely to exceed £5,000. The Survival Research Committee also accepts applications for smaller grants, up to £1,000, at any time of year. Proposals should be no more than three pages, outlining the project’s tasks, cost breakdown, outputs, strategic promise and relevance to the aims of the Fund. The proposer should demonstrate familiarity with relevant methods in survival research and place the proposed work in the context of prior research. Investigators’ CVs and the names of two referees should be included. Proposals should be addressed to the Chairman of the SRC, at the Society’s address.
Marian Barton, Chair of the Survival Research Committee
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