EVAs: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is included under 'contemplative practices'? 

The term 'contemplative practice' is meant in a broad sense to include a wide range of diverse phenomena such as meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer, prostration, tai chi, etc.

Are the European Varela Awards open to international applicants?

Yes. European Varela Awards are not limited to residents of Europe. We encourage worldwide applications.

Can I apply for both Varela Awards if I have attended both the US and European Summer Research Institutes?

No. Applicants may only apply for one Varela Award each year. If you have attended both the US and European Summer Research Institutes in the last 5 years, you must choose which award you would like to apply for.

Would I be eligible if my work is based in the public sector, rather than a university? 

Applicants need to be affiliated with a research institution (such as a university), especially in order to obtain IRB/ethics approval. Clinicians or others not affiliated with such an institution should partner with an eligible applicant who can provide access to research resources.


Can I submit two applications for different projects, or different aspects of the same project?

We do not accept two separate grant proposals from the same applicant, or from different applicants for two aspects of the same project.


Can I submit a proposal if I'm a current awardee?

While it is possible to be funded more than once through a given grants program, applicants must not be currently funded through any MLI/MLE mechanism. Current Mind & Life grantees must submit a final report and budget reconciliation for existing grants before applying for a new grant.


What is included under 'research costs'?

Research costs can include participant payment, experimental costs (e.g., MRI scans, lab equipment and supplies), project-related services, training for the PI, travel necessary for research/field work, etc. Grant funds may not be used for salaries or remuneration for the PI(s) or project collaborators. When funds are used to pay outside individuals, they can cover: consultants for statistical analysis; meditation teachers; dedicated lab support such as a research assistants; or services, including participant scheduling, data entry, transcription, etc. Please clearly explain all such costs in the budget section of the application form. Grant funds also may not be used for conference attendance (e.g., registration, travel, etc.).

Does EVA cover indirect costs?

Grant funds may not be used to cover indirect costs. If a grant is awarded, the grantee's institution must agree to waive all overhead and administrative fees, and further agree that the funds will be used solely for research purposes conducted by the grantee.


Can I apply with a co-PI and/or Co-I?

Up to two people can be listed as PIs and up to three people can be listed as co-Is on the application. All applicants must meet all eligibility criteria for the given grant. If one applicant does not meet criteria, that person can be listed as a collaborator but would not receive funds. In the case of Co-PIs, one of the applicants must fill out a single application form for the whole project, and upload the CVs for all co-applicants (Co-PIs and/or Co-Is).

Note that funds will be disbursed to the submitting applicant's institution. If funds need to be distributed to a co-PI and/or co-Is, that must be handled by the submitting PI and their institution.


Can my PhD supervisor/Line Manager provide a reference if he/she is a co-applicant?

No, the PhD supervisor/Line Manager can only provide a reference if he/she is not named as either a co-investigator or collaborator as this presents a conflict of interest. He/she can be named as a scientific adviser in the application.


Can I upload Word or Excel files?

All application materials must be in PDF format.


Who receives the grant money?

Grant funds will be sent to the grantee's institution. Grants cannot be given directly to an individual. If funds need to be distributed to a co-PI, that must be handled by the primary PI and their institution.


Do I need an Ethics Approval?

Yes. Payment of the award will not be made until the institutional ethics review approval confirmation (Institutional Ethics Review Board approval or IRB for the US institutions) has been received. The ethics approval should be in place within six months of the date of notification of the grant award.


What if I need more than two years to complete the project?

The length of the grant is two years from the date of the notification of grant acceptance. A request for an extension must be submitted to the EVA office on VarelaAwards(at)mindandlife-europe.org using a 'Change in Status' form. It will then be sent to the chair of the EVA review panel for approval.


>> Return to European Varela Awards.