The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life seeks proposals from Columbia University faculty for Joint Projects that aim to understand the role of religion in the contemporary world and its historical roots. Joint Project funding may be applied to research projects, seminars, conferences, working groups, and other programs that bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars.


Joint Projects are open to full-time officers of instruction at Columbia University, Barnard College, the Union Theological Seminary, and Teachers College.

Strong Joint Projects will include an interdisciplinary group of faculty members. Third parties may be part of the Joint Project team as long as the principal investigator is a faculty member at Columbia University or its affiliates listed above.

IRCPL Joint Projects will fund projects up to $15,000 for travel, materials, and other expenses related to the design/implementation of the project, although funding of up to $20,000 may be considered under exceptional circumstances. IRCPL encourages the use of this grant for primary research, including access to archives, travel and lodging. The grant cannot be used for salary, stipends, teaching-assistant wages or technology purchases. Strong proposals will include funding from other sources and partnerships between multiple faculty members.

Applications must be submitted by a faculty member with the authority to serve as a principal investigator, who will assume primary responsibility for the project at Columbia University.

Eligible projects could include:
• Field research
Faculty working groups
Thematic workshops with students and faculty
Conferences, seminars, and speakers series

Applicants are encouraged to speak with Walid Hammam (IRCPL Associate Director) about their projects prior to submission.


Joint Projects will be managed by IRCPL and the faculty/scholars involved in the project. Part of our intention is to facilitate work on the study of religion and public life for colleagues who do not have institutional support (or limited funding options). Joint Projects are an opportunity for Columbia faculty to engage directly with IRCPL and work with the Institute in managing projects and research. As such, IRCPL will not transfer money to external departments.

As part of the application process, the project proposal must lay out the project planning timeline. These timelines are flexible to the needs of the project and the faculty/scholars involved. However, all program activities must be completed within the fiscal year for which they are allocated. In general, Joint Projects are intended to begin the following academic year (roughly 12 months after submission).

Proposal Submission

Application required documents must be sent in English to as a single PDF document in the following order:

1. Cover Page including the project title, e-mail, telephone number, and affiliation of each principal investigator.

2. Abstract (two paragraphs maximum) outlining the Joint Project.

3. Project Narrative (five pages maximum) describing the research question, theoretical foundations, existing literature, empirical and methodological facets, and relevance to the mission of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.

4. Curriculum Vitae of project investigators.

5. Budget (one page) detailing the cost allocation of the joint project with amounts specified by category (travel, accommodation, catering, books, etc.) and a provisional timeline. Please indicate if there is funding from other sources or if you will seek additional funding. Please note that the Joint Projects Grant will not cover any types of salary, stipends, per diem, teaching-assistant wages, or technology purchases. The only salary we will cover is for Columbia University student Research Assistants. Any major budget alteration must be approved by the IRCPL Associate Director.

6. Project Timeline detailing the planning and execution phases of the joint project.

7. Letters of Support (as appropriate) from, partnering faculty, external collaborators, other institutions or investigators, and from other external funding sources.

Application Deadline: Monday, March 4th, 2019, at 12pm.