The Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Research Grant is intended to fund projects that are comprehensive in scope, budget and impact. 


The projects supported by this grant program are expected to address some aspect of the current crisis that will serve the U.S. and global Church, whether understanding its history and causes, ensuring safe environments for minors and adults, study of possible reforms and deepening the Church’s sense of shared responsibility by all its members. 


Full-time regular members of the University of Notre Dame faculty, including tenured and tenure-track faculty, research faculty, library faculty, and special professional faculty, are eligible to serve as Principal Investigator (PI) on proposals to the program. Research fellows and visiting faculty cannot serve as PIs, but are encouraged to join teams led by eligible faculty. Funding may be used to support research at other universities and partner institutions, but the PI must be from Notre Dame.

Grant Period

The grant period is two years. A one year, no-cost extension may be approved with satisfactory progress on the project.


The grant application is closed.

Review Process

Research Grants will be awarded through a two-step review process:


1. Concept Paper

The first step is a review of concept papers, of two (2) pages in length or less, single-spaced. These papers should contain the following items:

  1. Project title.
  2. The name and email address of all PIs with the lead PI listed first.
  3. An outline of the project that (i) defines the problem, (ii) explains why the problem is important, (iii) summarizes key prior work (if any) on the problem and the limitations of that work that motivate continued effort, (iv) describes the proposed research, (v) outlines metrics for judging the degree of progress on a solution, and (vi) provides an approximate project budget including any budget augmentation provided by Colleges and Departments.
  4. No budget information is required with the concept paper unless the projected budget is expected to be greater than $50,000.

The concept paper submission should be a single PDF document with naming convention of “<LEAD PI NETID>_SAC Concept<YEAR>.pdf” to


The Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Research Grant proposal review committee will read each submitted concept paper and invite submission of a full proposal for a subset of the concept papers. Feedback on these decisions will be provided. The committee may, if warranted, recommend discussions and/or potential collaborations between teams that are working in related and complementary ways.

2. Full Proposal Content & Formatting

Given the review panel will contain members from across the University, applicants should write the proposal in clear, non-technical language suitable for a general audience.

Each proposal must include the following items in the order listed:

  1. Cover page with the following information: Proposal title, name of program (“Church Sexual Abuse Crisis”), and the name, department and/or center/institute affiliation, phone number, and email address for each listed investigator with the lead PI listed first.
  2. Abstract of the proposed project (one page maximum, single-spaced).
  3. Description of the proposed project (four pages maximum, single-spaced):
    • The objective of the project.
    • Background, previous work, and/or motivation as appropriate.
    • The project approach and methods.
    • The anticipated outcomes, including anticipated future research that will result from this project.
    • The anticipated time schedule.
  4. Discussion of how the project will address program priorities.
  5. A statement that explains the relationship between the proposed project and existing sponsored research projects and/or projects with pending proposals for extramural support.
  6. Description of any project budget augmentation (e.g., cost-sharing) from the proposers’ department(s) and/or college(s).
  7. Budget and budget justification:
  8. Current and pending grant support:
    • List all current and pending proposals.
    • If applicable, list startup/capitalization and discretionary funds available to the PIs and other faculty participants.
  9. Current curriculum vitae (two pages maximum) for each faculty member listed on the cover sheet as an investigator. CVs for external collaborators may be included if integral to the proposal. If postdoctoral research associates, graduate students, and/or undergraduates are included in the project as collaborators, describe their qualifications using a maximum of one page for all such collaborators.
  10. For projects involving human subjects, a human subjects protocol plan that includes statements regarding the eligible population of subjects, the subject recruitment strategy, the data to be collected and the means of collection, the risks, and the data management and data security strategy to be used.

The submission should be a single PDF document with naming convention of “<LEAD PI NETID>_CSAC Research Proposal<YEAR>.pdf” to Proposals that do not comply with format and content guidelines may be rejected without review.

Proposal Review Criteria

  • Alignment with the objectives of the statement.
  • Contribution: The proposed work should seek to make a discernable, positive contribution to advancing understanding and taking positive steps to addressing the current crisis. 
  • Excellence/Rigor: The program of research, scholarship, or creative endeavor must be of the highest quality. 
  • Collaboration: Preference will be given to collaborative and/or interdisciplinary projects.
  • Qualifications of Project Personnel: The committee will consider the ability of the researcher(s) to carry out the proposed project based on the record of past work and/or evidence of future promise.
  • Budget: All funding requests will be evaluated on their level of appropriateness in relation to the proposed research.
  • Diversity: When appropriate, proposal will be evaluated on the extent to which the proposed work reflects and incorporates/addresses diversity in a broad sense, including diverse disciplines as well as gender, ethnic/racial, socio-economic, and other kinds of diversity of the research team and proposed research participants.  Proposals that address elements of diversity are particularly encouraged.

Budget Requests

Grants from this program will typically be for $50,000 or less. Grant funding may support the following categories of expenditures:

  • Graduate research assistant and postdoctoral research associate stipends and benefits.
  • Conference or workshop expenses that are part of the research program, including travel costs as required.
  • Equipment and supplies necessary for the research.
  • Research travel for conduct of the proposed effort.
  • Undergraduate student support.
  • Partial summer salary for faculty (up to one-ninth of academic year salary for faculty on nine-month appointments and up to one-twelfth of annual salary for faculty on twelve-month appointments).
  • Payment to human subjects.
  • Book or article publication costs.

The following expenditures will not be supported by grant funds:

  • Faculty academic year course reduction or academic year salary.
  • Travel for the purpose of presenting research results at conferences.
  • Library acquisitions.

Proposers requesting support in categories not mentioned above (e.g., sub-awards to collaborating organizations outside of the University) must carefully describe and justify the expense.

Acceptance Conditions

In accepting an award, the awardee agrees to:

  • Conform to established practices and procedures concerning sponsored program activity.
  • Submit a final report to Notre Dame Research no later than three months after the end date of the award. The report should summarize the activities funded by the award, list the significant results achieved, and list any press coverage related to the project. It should also include reprints or preprints of papers arising from the research project that have been published, have been submitted, or are in preparation.
  • Act in accordance with the policy that all permanent equipment purchased, in any, is the property of the University unless otherwise specified when the grant is approved.
  • Awards will be contingent upon approval of any protocols for research involving the use of live vertebrate animals, recombinant DNA molecules, and/or human subjects. Please obtain guidelines and policies affecting these types of projects from Notre Dame Research Compliance.

Need More Information?

Please direct general questions about proposal formatting and submission to