Initiatives & Events

Purpose of the grant

The Pathways to Character project will hold a funding competition for $2 million in total in 2017.

We hope to identify the most promising research projects related to the examination of whether and how adversities, challenges or failures lead to growth in character strengths and virtues and demonstrates high quality and feasibility in being carried out. These include questions about conceptual development, appropriate research designs for assessing character growth following adversities, challenges or failures, moderating or mediating variables associated with this process, and intervention strategies. This funding competition aims to identify research projects that are in the position to begin to address the most foundational (and most “actionable”) research questions related to this topic.

We plan on focusing on the brightest young scholars who have amenable research programs to work on questions related to whether adversity, challenges or failures lead to character growth; targeting innovative groups of scholars (including interdisciplinary teams of scholars from psychology, philosophy, and theology) in the discussion of key conceptual questions on the strengthening of character through challenges and failures; and highlight and promote best research practices when studying character growth through adversity, challenge or failure. The RFP will support projects that span 2 years in duration, with the maximum allotted for total costs being $250,000 ($300,000 will be considered for multi-site projects). We anticipate supporting 10 research projects.

  • Examine growth

    Examine whether and how character growth is possible following adversity, challenge, or failure

  • Highlight research

    Highlight and promote the best research on character growth following adversity, challenge, or failure

  • Generate discussion

    Involve innovative groups of scholars in the discussion of key questions on the strengthening of character