ACSF Grants

Lindsay Jones Memorial Research Fund        

The Lindsay Jones Memorial Research Fund (LJMRF) was established in 2021 through a generous gift from the late Lindsay Jones. Lindsay was a groundbreaking scholar of Mesoamerican architecture most known for his two volume The Hermeneutics of Sacred Architecture, and as editor of the second edition of Mircea Eliade’s fifteen-volume Encyclopedia of Religion. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and taught for most of his career in the Department of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University. A longtime member of ACSF and frequent presenter at ACSF symposia, Lindsay is remembered for his highly-regarded, original research and courage for taking the road less travelled. His legacy lives on in the advancement of rigorous, innovative research supported by this fund. For Lindsay’s full biography see the In Memoriam section of the ACSF website.

Scroll down to see this year’s award winners.

What we Fund

We fund research on the meaning and significance of the built environment. The LJMRF is intended as seed funding to support long-term scholarly agendas. We encourage applicants and proposals from a range of built environment disciplines (e.g., architecture, landscape architecture, sacred arts, urbanism, interior design, environmental psychology, material culture, phenomenology, etc.). Project proposals should identify one of the four principal areas of the fund: scholarly research, practice, service, or teaching. Successful applications might propose projects in a range of venues and media including, but not limited to, scholarly writing, film or other broadcast media, built works or projects, community engagement programs, or educational innovation.

We are especially interested in projects that advance the ACSF Mission and its vision that the design and experience of the built environment can assist in the spiritual development of humanity in service of addressing the world’s most pressing problems. We welcome applicants from anywhere in the world. We only fund individuals, not institutions or organizations. Funds may not be used for overhead or operating costs, academic coursework or tuition, or attending the ACSF symposium for presenting final results

Application and Grant Period

Grants are awarded every year and should be completed within a two-year period. After one year grantees submit a written report on progress to the LJMRF Awards Committee. At the conclusion of their research project grantees submit a final report and present at the next annual ACSF symposium, which become part of the ACSF open source research archive.

Award amounts

Grants typically range from $2,000 USD – $5,000 USD

Evaluation Criteria

Project proposals are judged according to the following:

  • their alignment with the Mission and vision of ACSF and the goals of the LJMRF,
  • potential to make unique, influential contributions to the field,
  • capacity to reach broad audiences though publication and other dissemination means,
  • clarity of topic, workplan, budget, and intended outcomes, and
  • how the grant will support long-term scholarly goals.

Review Committee

The LJMRF Review Committee comprises ACSF board members and ACSF members. Committee decisions are final.


Applications for the LJMRF are submitted on-line and include the following:

  • Title
  • Name(s) of project leader(s)
  • Contact information (physical and electronic addresses and phone number)
  • Partnerships or collaborators (if any)
  • One sentence description
  • Abstract (150 words) that summarizes the project
  • Project Statement (1000 words max, can be shorter) that outlines the project’s topic, subjects, principal sources, rationale, methodology, intended outcomes and role(s) of project leader(s)
  • Short bibliography (NTE 15 sources)
  • Plan for dissemination of outcomes (200 words)
  • Budget, including amount requested and other funding sources (if appropriate)
  • Work plan and project timeline (200 words)
  • CV (2 pages max per individual)
  • (2) references (to be contacted only for finalists).



February 1      Submission opens
April 1             Submission closes
June 1             Grantees notified

2021 Lindsay Jones Memorial Research Fund Awards

Dignified Spaces: Religious Minorities’ Aspirations in Diverse Urban Environments        

Dr. Martin Radermacher       

Award amount: $3,590USD

This project will investigate how urban built environments contribute to dignified spaces. It will focus on migrant and minority religions in cities around the world and their aspirations for recognition and representation. I propose to use this funding to initiate a larger networked project in collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines, including architecture, theology, and urban design. It is one of the pressing social issues in the face of growing diversity to understand how urban spaces provide or lack dignity for religious migrant and minority groups. The research will adopt the assumptions that: dignity is among the constitutional values of contemporary societies,  the design and experience of built environments is a crucial aspect for the spiritual identity and development of these communities, and diverse post-secular societies need to understand much better the relevance of dignified places for believers of various faiths.

Toward (Re)-Capturing the Sublime, Recovering previous understandings of the Sublime for their use in contemporary architecture practice           

Victoria L V Schulz-Daubas

Award amount: $5,000USD

The aim of this project is to examine the concept of the sublime in relation to architectural practice, with the objective to identify factors that play a role in a place being experienced as ‘sublime’ or ‘awe-inspiring,’ and ‘transcendental’. I also aim to establish how these factors can be translated into practice, and also made tangible to the point where they can be shared with other practitioners and a wider audience. I propose that the sublime, with its capacity to shift thinking and help us to see connections, may result in more joined-up thinking in order to coordinate better solutions to the pressing issues we are confronted with, and the fact that architecture and the society it derives from are two inseparable matters.

Review Panel

Thomas Barrie FAIA (Ex Officio), Chair ACSF

Tammy Gaber, ACSF Board member

Kevin Ladd, Professor of Psychology, University of Indiana South Bend

Brigitte Shim, Partner: Shim Sutcliffe Architects