Request for Proposals

The Consortium for Spiritually Integrated Psychology and Education at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, is pleased to announce a new, three-year RFP project, Enhancing Practice-Based Evidence for Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapies: An Interdisciplinary Big Data Project, supported with funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

Application Procedures

Letter of Intent (LOI) Stage

The LOI can be submitted online through the website. In addition to a contact information cover sheet, the LOI should include the following:

  1. A title for the proposed project (150 characters maximum)
  2. A description of the research (7000 characters maximum)
  3. An explanation of how the proposed project fits within this initiative (4000 characters maximum)
  4. A description of the type of spiritually integrated psychotherapy approach(es) your team expects to study (2000 characters maximum)
  5. information on the project’s methodology and procedures (8000 characters maximum)
  6. The budget required to complete the research (no more than 15% of the proposed budget may cover indirect costs)
  7. Brief biographies about each member of your research team. (10,000 characters maximum)

The LOI is due on March 24, 2017.

Casual inquiries are not invited. The LOIs will be reviewed and evaluated by a scientific review committee that will select the most promising and appropriate of the proposed projects.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with recent scholarship on spiritually integrated psychotherapies by reading key background papers below.

If you have any questions about the LOI or the RFP in general, please contact the project director, P. Scott Richards, PhD, at

Full Proposal Stage

Principal investigators invited to submit full proposals will be notified by April 28, 2017. Full proposals must be received by June 30, 2017, and must follow the format and guidelines below in order to be considered. Further details on the proposal submission process will be communicated to PIs who advance to that stage. Applicants will be notified whether they have been awarded a grant by August 11, 2017.

All proposals must be submitted in English in 12-point Times New Roman font, single-spaced, with 1 inch margins. Proposals that do not follow these font and margin specifications will not be accepted. Completeness and clarity of content should be emphasized. The full proposal must include all of the information specified.

The following documents are required for all full proposal submissions:

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Summary of Project
  4. Description of Project
  5. Description of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy Approach(es)
  6. Timeline for Completion
  7. Plan for Dissemination/Publicity
  8. Description of Multidisciplinary Team
  9. Curriculum Vitae of Team Members
  10. Details of Budget
  11. Narrative of Budget

Timeline for Proposals and Funded Projects

Year One

  1. Letter of intent due on March 24, 2017.
  2. Notification of invitations to submit full proposals will be sent on April 28, 2017.
  3. Participate in an online webinar on May 25, 2017 with the Project Directors to ask questions and receive guidance about the three-year collaborative project and how to prepare and refine proposals.
  4. Full proposals due on June 30, 2017.
  5. Notifications of grant awards on August 11, 2017.
  6. Research teams will participate with project directors in an online webinar on September 15, 2017 to receive training in how to successfully launch the research study and to implement and use the CAAS in their treatment site.
  7. Research teams must submit their first progress report by December 15, 2018.

Year Two

  1. Research teams should begin data collection for their studies no later than January 12, 2018.
  2. Research teams will participate in an online webinar with project directors on January 25, 2018 to ask questions and receive guidance and support for resolving challenges and problems that may have surfaced during the data collection implementation phase of the project.
  3. Research teams submit their second progress report by June 29, 2018.
  4. Research teams end participant (client) recruitment by December 21, 2018.
  5. Research teams submit another progress report by December 31, 2018.

Year Three

  1. Research teams submit proposal requests by February 15, 2019 for big data grants to assist with data analysis of the large data set collected collaboratively by the research teams.
  2. Research teams finish data collection by February 28, 2019.
  3. Research teams begin data analysis for their projects by March 4, 2019.
  4. Research teams submit progress reports and a preliminary manuscript reporting their research findings by May 31, 2019.
  5. Research teams receiving big data grants submit report and preliminary manuscript discussing their findings for the big data analysis by July 31, 2019.
  6. Research teams participate in an online webinar with the project directors on August 30, 2019 to receive support and guidelines for sharing their research findings at the international conference and for preparing to present and publish in other venues.
  7. Research teams submit the proposal for their international conference presentation(s) by September 30, 2019.
  8. Research teams participate in the international conference on spiritually oriented psychotherapies on March 20-21, 2020.
  9. Research teams submit final progress report on March 27, 2020.

Criteria for Eligibility

  1. Research team is composed of a multidisciplinary group, including a researcher, mental health practitioner, pastoral professional/clergy person, and a mental health educator. If necessary, one person can fulfill up to two of these roles if they are qualified in both roles. If a team has difficulty finding a person to fulfill the pastoral professional/clergy role, they can fulfill this requirement by discussing their proposal and research design with a pastoral professional recommended by the Project Director.
  2. Research investigation uses a practice-based evidence research design that monitors treatment outcomes and processes on a regular basis (e.g., each session or once a week).
  3. Research study investigates the processes and outcomes of spiritually integrated psychotherapy in a mental health treatment setting for at least one year.
  4. The spiritually integrated psychotherapy approach that is studied is grounded in either a major religious tradition (e.g., Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism) or a nontraditional spirituality that is clearly oriented toward something of sacred or transcendent value.
  5. Research team agrees to share their data in order to contribute to the collaborative "big data set" by using the CAMOS, CORE-10, and TSC outcome and process measures.
  6. Research proposal includes a plan for adding assessment measures unique to the treatment team’s collaborating treatment setting (up to 12 additional routine outcome monitoring items and one or two pre- and post-treatment assessment measures).
  7. Proposed budget does not exceed $250,000.
  8. Research proposal includes a dissemination plan for sharing findings and influencing stakeholders.

Criteria for Competitiveness


Does the study address an important problem or question about spiritual treatment approaches?

What will be the impact of this project on future research on spiritually integrated treatments?

Cost effective

Is a strong rationale justifying the proposed budget provided?

Is the projected number of sessions and the projected number of therapists and patients that will participate in the study commensurate with the proposed budget?

Is the monetary request for handheld devices (e.g., iPads, Kindles) for data collection less than 10% of the total budget?

Approach and methods

Is the practice-based evidence design adequately developed and rigorous for the purpose of the study and commensurate with the research question(s) addressed?

Do the researchers have a solid commitment of participation from a mental health treatment site that has practitioners who practice spiritually integrated forms of treatment?

Will the study seek to explore and/or link processes and outcomes of spiritually integrated treatment?

Have the researchers specified criteria for judging the effectiveness of the treatment approaches (e.g., effect sizes, clinical cutoffs, benchmarks)?

Do the researchers include a plan to assess the spiritual outcomes of treatment, along with other important outcomes?

Do the researchers have a plan to address religious and spiritual aspects of diversity in the design of their study?

Do the researchers plan to conduct long-term follow-ups (3 – 12 months) of treatment outcomes?

Potential Influence

Do the researchers have a plan and track record for publishing their findings in mainstream scholarly journals?

Capacity for success

What are the qualifications of the investigators?

Have the investigators described a convincing plan for carrying out the project in a timely manner?

Have the investigators explained their plan for effectively disseminating their findings to both academic and nonacademic audiences?

Allowable Expenses

When needed, grant applicants may wish to write into their budget monies for any or all of the following:

  1. Salaries or stipends for research team members.
  2. Stipends to provide practitioners and treatment sites some compensation for their time and contributions to the research.
  3. Student wages.
  4. Statistical consultation and data analysis fees.
  5. Travel and lodging expenses to attend the international conference in March 2020 (for a maximum of 4 research team members).
  6. Fees for process and outcome assessment measures unique to your research team (there is no charge for using the CAMOS and TSC measures).
  7. Handheld devices for clients (and if necessary, therapists) to assist with data collection (e.g., Kindles, iPads). Because the online assessment system can be used with multiple devices (e.g., desktop computers, laptop computers, smart phones, etc.), we encourage research teams to ask treatment sites and therapists to use devices that are already available to them. No more than 10% of the budget should be used for handheld devices, unless a strong justification is provided for exceeding it.
  8. Office and research supplies (e.g., books, copy paper, postage).
  9. Institutional indirect costs (no more than 15%). The budget cap for all grants includes any indirect costs (i.e., the budget cap is the total amount of money awarded).
  10. Other essential expenses.

Key Background Papers

Below are some seminal articles and books relevant to the science of spiritually integrated psychotherapies and practice-based evidence research.

American Psychological Association. (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist, 61, 271–285.

Barkham, M., Hardy, G. E., & Mellor-Clark, J. (2010). Developing and delivering practice-based evidence: A guide for the psychological therapies. Wiley-Blackwell.doi:10.1002/9780470687994

Barkham, M., Stiles, W. B., Lambert, M. J., & Mellor-Clark, J. (2010). Building a rigorous and relevant knowledge base for the psychological therapies (pp. 21-61). In M. Barkham, G.E. Hardy, & J. Mellor-Clark (Eds.). Developing and delivering practice-based evidence: A guide for the psychological therapies. Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9780470687994

Castonguay, L., Barkham, M., Lutz, W., & McAleavey, A. (2013). Practice-oriented research: Approaches and Applications (pp. 85-133). In M. J. Lambert (Ed.), Bergin and Garfield's handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (6th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

Hook, J. N., Worthington, E. L., Davis, D. E., Jennings, D. J., Gartner, A. L., & Hook, J. P. (2010). Empirically supported religious and spiritual therapies. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66, 46–72.

McMinn, M. R., Chaddock, T. P., Edwards, L. C., Lim, B. R. K. B., & Campbell, C. D. (1998). Psychologists collaborating with clergy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 29, 564-570.

Oppenheimer, J. E., Flannelly, K. J., & Weaver, A. J. (2004). A comparative analysis of the psychological literature on collaboration between clergy and mental-health professionals—perspectives from secular and religious journals: 1970-1999. Pastoral Psychology, 53, 153-162.

Pargament, K. I. (2007). Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred. New York: Guilford Press.

Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (2005). A spiritual strategy for counseling and psychotherapy (2 nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of psychotherapy and religious diversity (2 nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Richards, P. S, Sanders, P. W., Lea, T., McBride, J. A., Allen, G. E. K. (2015). Bringing spiritually oriented psychotherapies into the health care mainstream: A call for worldwide collaboration. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 2, (3), 169-179. DOI: 10.1037/scp0000082

Richards, P. S., & Worthington, E. L. Jr. (2010). The need for evidence-based, spiritually oriented psychotherapies. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41, 363-370.

Sanders, P. W., Richards, P. S., McBride, J. A., Lea, T., Hardman, R. K., Barnes, D. V. (2015).

Processes and outcomes of theistic spiritually oriented psychotherapy: A practice-based evidence investigation. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 2 (3), 180-190. DOI: 10.1037/scp0000083

Sperry, L. & Shafranske, E. P. (Eds.) (2005). Spiritually oriented psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Worthington, E. L., Jr., Hook, J. N., Davis, D. E., & McDaniel, M. A. (2011). Religion and spirituality (pp. 402 – 419). In J. C. Norcross (Ed.), Relationships that work (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Additional Resources

The Bridges website

Literature Review:

Jackson, R., Richards, P. S., Crowton, S., Sanders, P. W., & Allen, G. E. K., & Smith, T. B. (2016). Spiritually oriented psychotherapies: A 20-year review and proposed research agenda. (Unpublished manuscript that is available on the Bridges website)