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 business and economics faculty at Christian colleges, universities and seminaries across the United States and Canada. Approved grants will allow for significant collaboration between faculty from different universities, as well as allow future leaders to emerge, strengthen and expand the existing network of scholars within the field.

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, purpose and practice of free-market economics. This may include courses that deal with 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. These projects ought to demonstrate how they relate to the broader academy and “marketplace of ideas”, as well as to lay audiences who might benefit from such scholarship.

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– $5,000 USD.
  • Grant Dispersal: 75% of the grant amount will be initially dispersed and the remaining 25% will be dispersed upon receipt of the final report.
  • Duration: Grants are not renewable or transferrable.
  • Deadlines: To be considered for a grant, applications must be emailed by March 31, 2014
  • Notification: Grantees will be notified in April 2014 and will have one month to accept the grant.

Application Information

Each application shall consist of an overview, a narrative, and an appendix. Only applications submitted via email to scholarships by March 31, 2014 will be considered.

The application overview shall be two pages long and shall include the following:

  • Page 1: Cover page specifying project title; name(s), position(s), institutional affiliation(s) and contact information (from all applicants). In the case of a team, all grant-related correspondence from the Acton Institute will be directed to the Project Director.
  • Page 2: A proposal abstract (maximum of 400 words, single spaced) summarizing the focus, significance and approach of the project.

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

  • A statement on the proposed theme for the project, including an indication of how the project or research will be informed by Christian perspectives.
  • A short summary of previous research related to proposed topics for future research.
  • 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.
  • A bibliography of works cited in the narrative, if applicable.

The application appendix shall include the following:

  • A Curriculum Vita for each applicant, and in the case of a team submission, for each member of the proposed team, with a maximum length of five pages per CV (include activities and publications most pertinent to the proposed project).
  • Letters of reference from two scholars 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 than March 31, 2014.
  • 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, 2014.

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 well-defined project budget which is directly related to the proposed activities of the project.
  • Demonstrate that the individual and/or team members have related experience, technical knowledge, scholarly and/or business community networks, and other appropriate resources (intellectual, social, financial) that will contribute to the success of the proposed project.
  • Demonstrate the potential to improve understanding of free market principles.
  • 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 Christian universities, colleges, or seminaries within the USA or Canada may apply for these grants. The Christian 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 report (2 page minimum) 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.

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.

2014 Winners

Catholic Social Thought: Pro vs. Anti-Market Interpretations

Nicolas Capaldi, Legendre-Soulé Distinguished Chair in Business Ethics and Director of the Center for Spiritual Capital, Loyola University New Orleans

Entrepreneurship Directed Study Course

Hona Amer, Adjunct Professor, Evangel University

Eveline Lewis, Nonprofit Business and Social Enterprise Program Coordinator and Adjunct Professor, Evangel University

ES 492 – History of Economic Thought

Stephen P. Barrows, Associate Professor of Economics, Aquinas College

Expanding the Reach of Integrative Scholarship: Designing and Delivering a MOOC titled, “Market Economics and the Christian Theological Tradition”

Paul Oslington, Professor of Economics and Dean of Business, Alphacrusis College

Andrew Yuengert, Professor of Economics, Pepperdine University

Paul Williams, Director of the Marketplace Institute, Regent College

The History of Economic Thought

Miren Ivankovic, Associate Professor of Finance and Economics, Anderson University

Moral Idealism and Market Principles: Bringing Lessons in Economics to Gordon College’s Honors Program and Enriching the Economics/Business Major

Bruce Webb, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Gordon College

Tal Howard, Director of the Center for Faith and Inquiry, Gordon College

The Morality and Solutions of Free-Market Principles to Improve Society

Bernard J. Mauser, Assistant Professor, San Diego Christian College – Rivendell Sanctuary Program

PovertyCure Seminar Onsite and Online Course Development

K. Caleb Chan, Dean and Professor of Business, Gainey School of Business, Spring Arbor University

Wealth & Justice

Travis Ricketts, Professor of History and Government, Bryan College

Paul Boling, Professor of Christian Thought and Philosophy, Head of Christian Thought and Philosophy, Bryan College

Why Economic Growth Matters: The Economic and Theological Case

Edd S. Noell, Professor of Economics, Westmont College

Stephen L.S. Smith, Professor of Economics, Gordon College