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The Lindbergh Foundation Believes that Innovative Science and Technology Hold the Key to Addressing Humanity’s Environmental and Productivity Challenges

Read important letter about the LF grants program
by Greg Maryniak, Chairman of Grants Committee, Lindbergh Foundation Board of Directors

Questions Regarding the Grants Program

Is this a financial aid/scholarship program?

No. Funds may not be used for tuition. You MUST be working on a "research or educational project".

Are there any geographical restrictions on where a project may be conducted?

No.

Do I need to be a U.S. Citizen to apply?

Citizens from all countries may apply.

What kinds of projects does the Foundation fund?

We are interested in funding a variety of innovative research and educational projects which focus on the Lindbergh's vision of balance between the advance of technology and preservation of the natural/human environment. We recommend that you review the descriptions of previously funded grant projects.

Describe what the Foundation means by "balance".

The Foundation seeks to support present and future generations in working toward the Lindbergh's vision of balance, that we may "...discern nature's essential wisdom and combine it with our scientific knowledge..." (Charles A. Lindbergh) and "balance power over life with reverence for life" (Anne Morrow Lindbergh).

Simply stated, we are not an organization that believes that saving the environment at all costs is always the best approach, nor is the continual advancement of new technologies without regard for nature. We focus on the use of technology to preserve the environment, keeping in mind that sometimes going back to the traditional ways of doing things (or the lack of the use of technology) can also bring about balance. We believe that the best overall quality of life will result from a balance between development and preservation.

Another source of information on the Lindberghs' philosophy of balance is their writings. Please visit our bookstore for descriptions of the following titles: Autobiography of Values, Earth Shine, and Of Flight and Life.

Questions Regarding Application Process

When are applications due?

Applications must be MAILED by the deadline . All applications should be received within a few weeks of that time allowing for foreign mail delivery.

When does the funding start?

Funding is generally available in July, the year following receipt of the completed application form.

How long is the grant good for?

We prefer that grants begin in June and finish the following May. We realize, however, that circumstances such as planting seasons, migration and temperatures, etc. may make this 12 month time frame inadvisable. The Foundation does not want time constraints to affect the validity of a project and/or its findings.

When will I know if my project has been selected for funding?

Applicants are MAILED letters of notification during the year, but no later than April 15 of the year following submission. Those selected to received grants are generally notified by telephone a few days prior.

How are the applications reviewed?

We have a 5-level review process: (1) The Foundation staff reviews the applications for completeness and general appropriateness. (2) Remaining applications are then sent for 2 "balance reviews". This review panel, made up of members of our Board of Directors, staff, and former recipients of our grants, answers a two-part question on their review form, "Does this project seek to promote a balance by improving the quality of life through a balance between nature and technology? Why or why not?" (3) Those applications receiving at least one positive balance review go on to the technical review portion of the process. This panel, which would be considered the "peer review" portion of the process, focuses on evaluation of the more technical portion of the application. Each application receives 3-4 reviews at this level, with scores out of 100. These scores are averaged, and the top 25-30 go on to the 4th level of review. (4) The grants committee of the Foundation's Board of Directors reviews the top applications and selects approximately 8-10 projects for funding. (5) The full Board acts on the Committee's recommendation at its meeting.

How many applications do you receive in a year? How many are funded?

The average over the past few years has been 200. We generally award 8-10 grants each year.

Questions Regarding Application Form

Do I need to fill out the application form?

An incomplete application will either be removed from consideration or will be greatly reduced in its chances for funding. The more closely you follow the requested format, the better your chances are for funding, as applications are evaluated in each area (sections 10-18) according to the criteria outlined in the application.

Do I need to abide by the page lengths you suggest?

From experience, we know that the longer the application, the more reviewers tend to skim the material. A concise application is more difficult to prepare, but tends to have better results in the review process as the objectives remain clear. In the review process we do not deduct "points" per se for the number of lines over the suggested limits on a particular section. Simply use good judgment. Ask yourself how much you would like to read if you were the reviewer.

Is there a particular format/style to follow when completing the application?

Please complete the application using the format outlined in the application. We have no requirements for font. However, we recommend that you use an easy to read style. Please use at least a 12-point font size and number the sections and pages.

Can I send just one copy of the application and have the Foundation copy the rest?

Five copies and one PDF of each application are required. An application that completes the process to the point of funding is reviewed by seven different individuals and one copy is kept for the office file. An application that comes without the required number of copies can be disqualified from consideration. The ONLY exception to this rule would be an application which was being faxed "from the field" with no mail/copying access.

What languages are acceptable for the application?

Only applications written in English are accepted. We recommend professional translation for a more favorable review.

When will I receive confirmation that the application has arrived in your office?

As stated in the application, letters of notification are MAILED by July 15 (providing you send in the requested self-addressed stamped envelope with your application). If you want confirmation that your Endorser's Reports have arrived, you must make arrangements with your Endorser to mail it certified mail, etc. If you do not receive a confirmation letter from the Foundation by July 31, you should assume that your application did not arrive and should contact our office as soon as possible.

What are the categories and how many can I apply for?

There are 14 categories. (See "category" section of the Grant Application Form.) Please do not select more than 2 categories. The purpose of selecting a category(ies) is to help our staff to select proper reviewers for your application. If you think your project would be best reviewed by teachers and writers choose "Humanities/Education," if it would be best reviewed by doctors and biomedical researchers, pick "biomedical research." You might find it helpful to look up the names, titles, and affiliations of last year's reviewers in the Grants section under Review Panels.

Can I apply for more than one project?

Yes, you may. However, please consider how that might affect a reviewer's impression of your commitment to a particular project.

Who can be a Principal Investigator?

We request that the primary individual working on a particular project be the P.I. In the case of a graduate student working on Ph.D. research, we prefer that the student be the P.I. We consider the P.I. to be our main contact for all questions, reports, and administrative matters related to the project. Our desire is to give credit where credit is due.

Can there be more than one Principal Investigator?

We ask that only one person be identified as the Principal Investigator. This is primarily for the ease of managing application materials and tracking of each application through the grants process. If your project is selected for funding, more than one P.I. can be recognized for publicity purposes.

What are the educational requirements for who can be a Principal Investigator?

We do not have any minimum requirements. However, an applicant should be prepared for the rigorous review process that each application goes through. Many applicants are working on Masters or Ph.D. level research.

How many applications can come from one institution?

The Foundation does not limit the number of grant proposals which may come from an institution.

Who is an appropriate "official of affiliated institution"?

It would depend upon the institution. (If you are listing an affiliation in section 3 of the application, you must have a signature in section 8.) Typically, this is signed by an organization's executive director or a university's department head or by someone in the dean's or president's office. Please be aware that some institutions may have requirements that you will need to follow. We are most interested in knowing that your "institution" is aware that you have applied for this grant, that they approve of your proposed project, and that they are committed to providing any support (in-kind, salary, lab and equipment use, etc.) stated in the "budget" section (14) of your application.

Who can be an Endorser?

We suggest that someone who knows you and/or your work be an Endorser, similar to a person you would ask to be a job reference. We do suggest, however, that you do not choose someone as your Endorser who would benefit from the grant funding as this could be viewed as a conflict of interest. We typically recommend that you choose one Endorser who knows you and your work well (a colleague, advisor, etc.) and then someone doing work in your field from another institution.

Do I have to do a complete review of literature?

Most researchers do an exhaustive literature search when researching a particular area of study. We are interested in a textual summary which describes research that has already taken place, the most recent advances made in your area of study, and how your proposed work will contribute. Please provide a listing of any of the literature that you cite in your summary. (We do NOT want a computer print-out of a library-type search.)

Can I be reimbursed for past expenses if I receive the grant?

No.

Can I use the grant to pay myself a salary?

Yes, providing you are NOT a faculty member of an institution where you receive a salary, or if your salary is already provided for in any other way. As our funds are limited, they are designed to provide funding where no other funds are currently available.

Can I use the grant to help start a program at my university?

Funds can not be used for overhead costs of institutions or ongoing institutional programs. However, funds may be used for the development/start-up costs of new programs/curricula. We are particularly interested in programs that could be replicated elsewhere. (See "budget" section 14 on page 2 of the grant application.)

What kind of employee benefits are allowed in the budget?

Most typically this is used to pay for health insurance for graduate students.

What kind of supporting materials can I send with my application?

A LIMITED amount of supporting materials can be sent along with your application. If you want each reviewer to see the materials, eight copies must be sent. These materials cannot be returned. Supporting materials may include: newspaper articles, papers, photos, letters of support from collaborators, and other visuals. Please do not send large items such as video tapes unless they are vital to your project (such as a film-type project). Keep in mind that if you send a large amount of supporting material, the reviewer will pick and choose what they want to read or review. Simply stated, enclose only material that is critical to your application.

Other Questions

It seems like the odds of receiving a grant are not very high, how can I increase my chances of receiving funding?

  1. Follow directions. Your application will be reviewed according to the criteria laid out in the application form.
  2. Make sure that your project clearly relates to "balance" as stated in our application and other information sources.
  3. Be sure that sections 10 & 11 are written in NON-TECHNICAL terms. Be clear and direct about what you plan to do. These sections are weighed upon heavily in the final stages of the review process by members of our Board of Directors.
  4. Have a couple of people review your application before it is submitted. We recommend that you choose a colleague in your field and then someone not in academia (who can give you an honest evaluation).
  5. Make sure that your budget adds up.
  6. Follow-up with your Endorsers and make certain they submitted a report.
  7. Be sure to address what we call the "so what" factor...What is the important, timely problem this project seeks to address?...What brought about the need for this work?...So what will your research/educational project accomplish that will make a difference in our world today or in the future?

How big is your staff?

The Foundation has a very small staff.  We have a President and Chief Executive Officer, Director of Communications/Awards Program Administrator, and Staff Accountant/Grants Administrator. We take much pride in the careful handling of all those who communicate with us by various means. Unfortunately, because of our staff size and the large number of requests we receive, we are unable to respond to written requests for preliminary reviews of applications or requests for written reviewers comments.

What should I do if I have additional questions?

Please read the Lindbergh Grant Application Form and other portions of this web site, carefully, before directing your questions to the Foundation office.
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