Mini-Grants on Free Market Economics: Scholarship & Teaching

The purpose of this mini-grant program is to enhance the effectiveness in the teaching and scholarship of market economics for faculty at colleges, universities and seminaries across the United States and Canada.

The Acton Institute invites proposals from faculty in one or more of the following broad categories:

  • Course development —specifically adding new courses or strengthening existing courses in the curriculum which address the nature, morality, function, and purpose of free-market economics. This may include courses that deal with religion and economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, political economy, ethics and economics, the history of economic thought, or other related subject areas.
  • Faculty scholarship —identifying scholarly projects which show promise for advancing the understanding of free markets, particularly in light of globalization.

Ideally, these projects should demonstrate how the free market relates to Christian faith and ethics.

Grant Details

  • Selection Process: Shortly after a given deadline, applications are reviewed and recipients selected by the research staff of the Acton Institute. Award decisions by the Acton Institute are final and not subject to appeal.
  • Agreement: Recipients must respond to an award notification within one month and adhere to grant conditions listed below.
  • Grant Amounts: Grants range between $1,000– $10,000 USD.
  • Grant Dispersal: The grant amount will be dispersed at the beginning of the project.
  • Duration: Grants are not renewable or transferrable.
  • Deadlines: To be considered for a grant, applications must be emailed by March 31, 2016.
  • Notification: Grantees will be notified in April 2015 and will have one month to accept the grant.
  • Free Market Forum: There is an expectation that Mini-Grant recipients will attend the 2016 Free Market Forum, date and location to be announced. All associated expenses will be covered by the Free Market Forum and will not be deducted from the Mini-Grant award.

Application Information

Each application shall consist of an overview, a narrative, and an appendix. Only applications submitted via email to scholarships by March 31, 2016 will be considered.

The application overview shall be one page long and shall include the following:

  • Project title; name, position, institutional affiliation(s) and contact information for the Project Director. In the case of a team, all grant-related correspondence from the Acton Institute will be directed to the Project Director.
  • A proposal abstract (maximum of 200 words, single spaced).

The application narrative shall be a maximum of four double-spaced pages and shall include the following:

  • A statement on the proposed theme for the project, including an indication of how the project will be informed by Christian perspectives.
  • A preliminary plan for dissemination to the scholarly community.
  • A proposal for activities to be funded by the grant, with a timeline, and a cost breakdown for each activity.

The application appendix shall include the following:

  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV) for the Project Director, with a maximum length of one page.
  • One letter of reference from a scholar with recognized expertise relative to the proposed project, attesting to the value of the project and the competency of the applicant/team. Letters should be emailed directly to the administration team at scholarships, no later than March 31, 2016.
  • If the home institution(s) of team members is providing collateral support (e.g., faculty release time, student research assistant, etc.), letters of support from appropriate academic officers at the home institution must be emailed directly to scholarships no later than March 31, 2016.

Evaluation Criteria

Successful grant proposals will:

  • Have a clearly defined topic that the project intends to address, and why this is of value to the teaching, scholarship and practice of free-market economics.
  • Have clearly defined objectives for the project.
  • Have a clear project budget directly related to the proposed activities of the project.
  • Demonstrate that the individual and/or team members have related experience, technical knowledge, networks, and other appropriate resources (intellectual, social, financial) that will contribute to the success of the proposed project.
  • Illustrate how the results will be disseminated throughout the larger academy.

Important Notes

  • Award Communication: All award decisions are communicated via e-mail.
  • Application Submission: Applications must be emailed to scholarships.
  • Limited Funding: Since this is a competition in which many worthy applicants participate, no one should presume funding.
  • Performance Assessment: Like the vast majority of universities, scholarship programs, and research institutes, the Acton Institute does not enter into discussions with unsuccessful applicants concerning the particular reasons for their denial.
  • Eligibility: Only faculty working at universities, colleges, or seminaries within the USA or Canada may apply for these grants. The universities, colleges, or seminaries need not be CCCU members or affiliates.

Grant Conditions

If an applicant is chosen to receive a Grant, he or she must comply with the following conditions:

  • Report Due: Submit a 2 page report documenting the activities, research, results and costs of your project.
  • Funds Use: These funds are to be used for the course development or scholarly project indicated on your application. If you are not able to use these funds for the stated purpose(s), all of the grant money must be returned.
  • Acknowledgement: Any published work drawn out of the research conducted during this Grant must be submitted and given by-line acknowledgement to the Acton Institute.
  • Publicity: The Acton Institute may publicize a recipient’s Grant and has permission to identify a recipient as a Mini-Grant recipient.
  • Tax Compliance: Recipients who are United States citizens must submit a W-9 tax form. International recipients must comply with any applicable tax regulations.
  • Free Market Forum: There is an expectation that grant recipients will attend the 2016 Free Market Forum, date and location TBA. All associated expenses will be covered by the Free Market Forum and will not be deducted from the Mini-Grant award. For more information about the Free Market Forum, please contact Anita Folsom.

Legal Information

All qualified individuals will be considered for the Mini-Grant program without regard to race, sex, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, religious affiliation, or disability. Award decisions by the Acton Institute are final and are not subject to appeal.

Download a Fact Sheet Here.

2015 Winners

Restoring Traditionally Defined Moral Merit in Free Market Economies
Timothy Barnett, Associate Professor Dept. of Political Science and PA, Jacksonville State University

A Christian Economics Textbook
Brian Baugus, Assistant Professor of Economics, Finance, and Marketing, Regent University

Investigating Entrepreneurial Solutions to Holistic Poverty in Restricted Access Nations
David Bosch, Southern Seminary and Boyce College

Relating Third-World Poverty Issues Domestically: Applications for the Classroom – The Reading PA Poverty Case Study
William Clarkson, Full Professor and Business Department Chair, University of Valley Forge

A Course in Christianity and Economics
Matthew Huber, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Department of Economics and Business, Erskine College

Liberty of Conscience and Identity in Public Accommodations: Common Law Foundations for the Moral Marketplace
Adam MacLeod, Associate Professor, Faulkner University, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law

How To Be A Dictator: A Primer for Beginners
Mark McKay, Associate Professor, Trinity Western University

Christian Philosophical Realism and Global Free Markets
Tim Mosteller, Associate Professor of Philosophy, California Baptist University

Course Development: ICS105 Introduction to Global Studies
C. Fyne Nsofor, Associate Professor, Intercultural Studies, California Baptist University, School of Christian Ministries

Course Creation in Economic Development
K. Brad Stamm, Professor of Economics, Chair, Division of Business, Cornerstone University

Christianity, Democracy and Free Market Economics in the Work of Michael Novak
Brendan Sweetman, Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Rockhurst University           

Millennial Perceptions on the Way to Wealth: Frugality, Family, Faith, and the American Dream
Julie Szendrey, Professor of Business, The DeVille School of Business, Walsh University, Walsh University

Strengthening an Undergraduate Capstone in Economics: Integrating Christ-Centered Insights in History of Economic Thought
Michael Welker, Professor of Economics, Franciscan University of Steubenville