Acton Institute Travel Grants to Present on Religion & Freedom

Deadline: rolling, but applications should be received at least six weeks before the planned travel date
Open to: seminarians or graduate students in theology, philosophy, religion, economics, or related fields who have been selected to present, at an academic conference, research relevant to themes promoted by the Acton Institute
Grant: do not exceed $3,000, but typically range from $500-$1,000


The Calihan Travel Grants provide financial assistance to students who have been selected to present, at an academic conference, research relevant to themes promoted by the Acton Institute. Such themes include the integration of theological ideas with principles of limited government, rule of law, religious freedom, and economic liberty. Grants are also open to students who need to travel to, and perform research at, archives or libraries or to attend educational conferences that involve the above themes.

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

  • Report Due: Submit a 1-2 page report documenting the activities, research, and results of your travel. The report should include comments for the scholarship’s donors about how the grant influenced you, your education, and your career.
  • Funds Use: These funds are to be used for the research or travel purposes 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 your travel must be submitted and given by-line acknowledgement to the Acton Institute and the Calihan Fellowships.
  • Publicity: The Acton Institute may publicize a recipient’s travel grant and has permission to identify a recipient as a Calihan Fellow.
  • Tax Compliance: Recipients who are United States citizens must submit a W-9 tax form.
  • Agreement: Recipients must respond to an award notification within one month and adhere to fellowship conditions listed below.


  • Grants open to seminarians or graduate students in theology, philosophy, religion, economics, or related fields.
  • Strong academic performance is essential.
  • Candidates must have a demonstrated interest in the themes of the Acton Institute.
  • Candidates must display the potential to contribute to the advancement of a free and virtuous society.
  • Awards are open to all qualified persons irrespective of age, race, sex, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, religious affiliation, or disability.

Scholarships are typically not extended to those students who are not future religious leaders or scholars, or whose work is not connected to the mission of the Acton Institute. Those students whose work is closely tied to that of the Acton Institute have a greater likelihood of receiving a fellowship.


Travel grants do not exceed $3,000, but typically range from $500-$1,000. Grant amounts take into account the costs of travel, lodging, registration, and other associated conference or research expenses. Other sources of funding are also considered.

Travel grants are not renewable but recipients are eligible to reapply.


The Travel Grant selection process is ongoing. Applications must be received at least six weeks prior to the travel date. No application will be considered for funding retroactively.

A completed travel grant application form includes the following information:

  1. Stated purpose of travel
  2. Abstract of paper/research (if applicable)
  3. Description of how one’s conference paper, research travel, or conference attendance is connected to themes promoted by the Acton Institute
  4. Disclosure of educational history
  5. Two academic references
  6. Estimated conference expenses:
    • Travel
    • Room and Board
    • Registration Fees
    • Other expenses directly related to the conference/research
    • Disclosure of additional sources of funding

All award decisions are communicated via e-mail. No faxed or mailed entries will be accepted. The online application should be in English.

Applying for or receiving a grant does not guarantee that you will be provided with a travel visa. Nor should a scholarship notification be used as a substitute for a visa for entry into another country. You may, however, use a grant letter as a supporting reference in applying for the appropriate visa from the relevant consulate or embassy.

All inquiries should be sent to:

Acton Institute
Awards and Scholarships
98 East Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
fax: (616) 454-9454

For further details, please see the official website HERE.

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