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The Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Award

Request for Proposals

The Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living is seeking applications for the Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Award. This is the first grant targeted specifically to advance innovations in yoga research, furthering the goal of making yoga more accessible and accepted throughout society as a means for creating health and well-being. A single award of up to $10,000 is presented.

This award honors the spirit and vision of Samuel B. Hanser, a practitioner of the healing arts, who believed that every person holds the wisdom and power to lead a happy and healthy life. Sam’s holistic approach to health integrated meditation, yoga, energy healing, massage therapy, integral psychology, somatic psychotherapy, reiki, and tantra. After his death at the age of 28, Sam’s family established the Samuel B. Hanser Memorial Trust and, in collaboration with the Institute, now seeks to support like-minded visionaries.

The Hanser Award is a Mentored Research Award, requiring applicants to partner with seasoned professionals who have the resources, research expertise, and experience to guide and support the research process. To this end, the Institute is seeking dedicated and creative scientist-practitioners in the early stages of their research careers that have the support of an experienced research mentor to work directly with the applicant on the proposed project. Applicants and mentors are ideally affiliated with an academic institution.

Kripalu’s mission is to empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga. In service to that mission, the Institute promotes the acceptance and use of yoga, including asana, pranayama, and meditation throughout society, particularly in the education and health-care sectors. Rigorous scientific understanding, including evaluation and measurement, is a critical part of this mission. Kripalu and the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living are especially interested in supporting at-risk and underserved populations who can benefit from the gifts of yoga.

Letters of Intent
Applicants should provide a letter of intent e-mailed by February 12, 2016 to

The letter of intent should be a maximum of two pages in PDF file format with half-inch margins in 11-point Arial font with the filename:

[last name][first name]HanserLOI2016.pdf.

The letter of intent should state

  • The applicant’s qualifications and rationale for receiving this award
  • The mentor and their commitment to support the research process
  • A brief description of the proposed project, including the rationale for this investigation, and the methodology, including participants, space, resources, procedures, training environment for the researcher, evaluation plan, as well as potential impact.

Project Criteria

If their project is selected, the applicant will be notified by March 15, 2016, and invited to submit a full proposal by May 6, 2016.

The ideal project will

  • Demonstrate visionary thinking on the potential of yoga
  • Have broad impact on the field of yoga research, including potential understanding of mechanism
  • Demonstrate feasibility, including model demonstration project, curriculum, or research experiment
  • Be a replicable, creative, innovative protocol which may serve as a pilot for an expanded study
  • Have a sound and rigorous research design and
  • Make a positive impact on society, particularly for at-risk populations.

Full Proposals
Invited proposals should include a proposal overview that is a maximum of five pages in PDF file format with half-inch margins in 11-point Arial font with the filename:

[last name][first name]HanserProposal2016.pdf.

Full proposals include:

  • Title, background and significance, literature review and scientific rationale indicating the need and innovative nature of the proposal (one-and-a-half pages)
  • Study aims (half a page)
  • Research strategy (detailed research design methodology including population characteristics/criteria, research protocol, intervention, outcome measures, statistical analysis plan, etc.) (two pages)
  • Applicant qualifications and career objectives, mentoring plan, qualifications of mentors and collaborators, research environment, facilities and equipment available (half a page)
  • Expected outcomes, impact statement, and future steps (half a page)

Proposals should also include

  • A one-page detailed budget with a narrative budget justification (including no more than $10,000 from the Hanser Award)
  • NIH format biosketches for the applicant, mentor, and any co-mentors or collaborators (please adhere to the instructions on the website.)
  • A letter of support from the primary mentor
  • Two recommendation letters addressing
    • Description of creative accomplishments of applicant
    • Evidence of peer recognition of previous work
    • Examples of creative products, research, and achievements related to the proposed project.

Permissible expenses (covered by the award) include

  • Salaries
  • Materials and supplies
  • Equipment (essential to project; not to include computer)
  • Travel (to/from sites)
  • Fees (rental fees, etc.).

Non-permissible expenses (not covered by the award) include

  • Indirect costs
  • Travel (unrelated)
  • Conference attendance.

Questions can be directed to