(CLOSED) Henry Luce Foundation: Advancing Public Knowledge on Race, Justice, and Religion in America

Sponsor Name: 
Henry Luce Foundation
$250,000 to $750,000
Description of the Award: 

The Henry Luce Foundation’s Theology Program invites new inquiries for projects seeking to advance public knowledge on the topic of race, justice, and religion in America.

The Luce Foundation encourages the submission of letters of inquiry from seminaries and divinity schools, colleges and universities, and other institutions and organizations committed to enriching public discourse on this topic.

Due no later than February 15, 2021, inquiries must be submitted through the Foundation’s online portal. Grant amounts of $250,000 to $750,000 will be considered, and approved grants will typically fund projects that can be completed in less than five years.

Through competitively-awarded grants, the Luce Foundation aims to support collaborative, experimental, and field-shaping initiatives that enliven the practice of public scholarship on—and promote public understanding of—race, justice, and religion in America. We invite inquiries for projects that seek to rethink received understandings of religion and race in America, to imagine alternative possibilities, and to alter the terms of public discourse.

The Foundation welcomes inquiries for public scholarship projects that:

  • Revisit and interrogate accepted histories of race and American religion
  • Critically examine connections between religion, racism, and white supremacy
  • Strengthen understanding of the role of religion in movements for racial justice
  • Work across religious, racial, cultural, disciplinary, and/or institutional boundaries
  • Draw on diverse knowledge communities and amplify underrepresented voices
  • Attend to transnational movements, flows, engagements, and influences
  • Deepen and extend efforts to build a more just, equitable, and democratic future

Grants may fund a wide range of possible activities, including (but not limited to):

  • Public-facing humanities and social science scholarship
  • Media initiatives and other forms of public and community engagement
  • Support for early career scholars and emerging public thinkers
  • Creative uses of digital technologies and new publication platforms
  • Multi-institutional collaborations and partnerships of various kinds

Collaborative engagement across sectors and contexts—including religious, academic, media, policy, activist, and/or art communities—is particularly encouraged, and special consideration will be given to proposed projects involving such partnerships.Collaborative engagement across sectors and contexts—including religious, academic, media, policy, activist, and/or art communities—is particularly encouraged, and special consideration will be given to proposed projects involving such partnerships.

Please see the Luce Foundation's grants database for the eleven projects funded through the Theology Program’s 2017 and 2018 RFPs for research universities.

For further information on Theology Program’s thematic emphases, see the overview and history of the program.

Additional Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions:

  • Multi-institutional collaborations are welcome and partnerships with non-academic organizations are especially encouraged. The lead grantee and administrative base for the proposed project must be an eligible doctoral degree-granting university.
  • Only one Letter of Inquiry may be submitted per institution.
  • Funded projects may begin no earlier than January 1, 2022.
Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Feb 15, 2021
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jun 15, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should send the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_Luce_2021) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  • Cover Page:

    • Proposal Title
    • Principal Investigator’s (PI's) names and departmental affiliation
    • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
    • A list of possible participating organizations (if applicable)
  • Project Proposal (no more than 2-pages ), to include:

    • a description of the project—its goals, significance, contribution to the field
    • anticipated outcomes
    • the anticipated timeframe
    • roles of team members
    • the project's total budget
    • the amount requested from the Foundation and other existing or potential sources of funding
  • CV for lead PI (no more than 2-pages)

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Font/size: Times New Roman (11 pt.)
  • Document margins: 0.75” (top, bottom, left and right)
  • Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

The Office of Foundation Relations is the designated institutional contact responsible for communicating with the Foundation and is collaborating with Limited Submissions on the internal downselect process. Questions concerning the application process and other foundation-related questions should be directed to Holly Lowe, Assistant Director of Foundation Relations (hal5220@psu.edu).

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 4:00pm
No Applicants