Academic Seed Funding Program


The Contemplative Studies Centre’s (CSC) mission is to build a truly inclusive community of novice and adept practitioners, scholars and academics, clinicians and researchers, and secular, spiritual and Indigenous leaders and changemakers who are focused on using these profound practices to transform not just individuals but the entirety of human society, through greater connection and compassion.

The CSC is focused on developing teaching, research, and engagement projects with the aim of:

  • Facilitating and fostering truly interdisciplinary, evidence-based research into contemplative practice and methodology. The Centre will apply rigorous evaluation of mindfulness and meditation policy and programs to ensure authentic and efficacious contemplation-based offerings in Australia.
  • Developing and leading the delivery of outstanding education and lifelong learning to encourage the pursuit of knowledge for the wellbeing and flourishing of society.
  • Delivering a world-class engagement program and forum for the transfer of knowledge, new ideas and discussion.

To serve these aims, the CSC has opened the first round of our Academic Seed Funding Program (ASFP). The ASFP is open to academics from across the University of Melbourne, and the funding is aimed at small to medium sized academic projects of all kinds that advance the interest, capacity, and impact of contemplative studies and practice at the University of Melbourne and in the broader community.

We will provide between $2,000 and $20,000 to projects that meet the selection criteria and comply with the ASFP Rules. In exceptional cases, we will consider requests for more than $20,000.

Funding principles

We encourage applications for projects that:

  • are interdisciplinary, creative, collaborative, and impactful
  • partner with contemplative practice communities, networks or individuals including practitioners, students or providers.
  • have a clear and effective knowledge translation strategy
  • have a feasible scope and budget, and a rigorous method
  • are led by early- and mid-career researchers (EMCRs)
  • For proposals over $10k: are able to scale and likely to obtain future funding

Applications for small to medium sized projects across the breadth of academic activity are encouraged, including but not limited to:

  • research projects
  • developing/finishing academic works including Performing or Fine arts projects
  • developing/undertaking community outreach/engagement
  • developing novel educational offerings
  • undertaking field work (e.g., sociological, anthropological, qualitative interviews)
  • participating in and/or developing academic workshops/events

A list of sample projects is available below to show the breadth of possibilities across different disciplines and academic divisions.

Selection criteria

  1. Clear evidence that the project will advance interest and capacity in contemplative studies at the University of Melbourne.
  2. Collaborative and interdisciplinary:
    We are looking for creative and impactful projects that reach across traditional disciplines.
  3. Access, practice and policy impact:
    We want to know how the findings of the project will be used, how they will be made available and accessible, and what impact they will have on contemplative practice in society and related policy making.
  4. Methods, scope and strategy:
    We are looking for projects that use methods appropriate to the question and are feasible in the time frame and with the resources available.
  5. For proposals over $10k: We are also looking for evidence of a plan for future sustainability, including significant potential for future funding by the NHMRC, ARC, Philanthropic orgs, or commercial entities.

Key dates

  • All applications will be reviewed by the ASFP selection committee whose decision is final.
  • Successful applications will be announced by mid-May 2022 and first tranche funding is expected to be disbursed by the end of May 2022.
  • Projects are to be completed no later than one year after receipt of first tranche funding, with final reports due within four months of project completion.

How to apply

  • All applications must adhere to the ASFP Guidelines & Rules and be made using the dedicated ASFP Application Form.
  • Round 1 applications closed at 11.59pm Friday 18 March 2022.
  • All applications will be reviewed by the ASFP selection committee whose decision is final.



For questions or feedback about any aspect of the ASFP, please contact Centre Manager, Luke Hambly at