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The Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Award

Request for Proposals

Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL) 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 will be presented annually.

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 IEL, 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 IEL is seeking dedicated and creative scientist-practitioners in the early stages of their careers who have the support of an experienced research mentor to work directly with the applicant on the proposed project, and who have personal experience in the practice of yoga.

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 IEL 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 IEL are especially interested in supporting underserved populations who can benefit from the gifts of yoga, including adolescents, educators, health-care providers, and organizational leaders.

Letters of Intent

Applicants should provide a two-page letter of intent (by e-mail only, postmarked no later than March 13, 2015, to

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, and evaluation plan, as well as potential impact.

Project Criteria

If their project is selected, the applicant will be notified by March 20, 2015, and invited to submit a full proposal by May 8, 2015.

The ideal project will demonstrate

  • Visionary thinking on the potential of yoga
  • Demonstration of positive impact in society
  • Demonstration of feasibility, including model demonstration project, curriculum, or research experiment
  • Replicable, creative, innovative protocol
  • Sound and rigorous research design
  • Demonstration of potential impact to the field of yoga research.

Full Proposals

Invited proposals should include the following:

  • Proposal overview (see below)
  • Budget (including no more than $10,000 from the Hanser Award)
  • Applicant’s CV
  • Mentor’s CV and letter of support
  • Two recommendation letters addressing the following:
    • 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.

The proposal overview will be a maximum of five pages and include the following:

  1. Title
  2. Rationale indicating the need or purpose for the project
  3. Related research (background and literature)
  4. Impact statement (how this project will make a difference)
  5. Research methodology
  6. Expected outcomes and next steps in research plan
  7. Next steps for social impact.

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.