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ESSWE Sponsorship Programme for Independent Scholarly Initiatives


In 2016, ESSWE introduced the Sponsorship Programme for Independent Scholarly Initiatives – a modest funding instrument designed to help small-scale, grass-root academic initiatives get off the ground. Grants awarded are typically in the € 200–400 range per project. We are now announcing the 2017 bid, with a deadline of January 31, 2017. Below you may read more about the the programme, requirements, the application procedure, and what can be applied for.



The ESSWE Sponsorship Programme for Independent Scholarly Initiatives seeks to stimulate new activities by allocating funds to grass-root initiatives where a little bit of money can make a big difference. Examples include the organization of workshops (for students and/or researchers), arranging lectures (e.g. in geographic areas where the study of esotericism is not well established), or setting up independent publications or other media outlets (journals, student magazines, web resources). We are especially looking to support projects that are collaborative in nature, and likely to increase the visibility and impact of research and teaching in our field.


Application requirements and evaluation procedure

The sponsorship is awarded on the basis of a submitted budget, a short cover letter explaining the plans and objectives of the initiative (1-3 pages), and a short CV of the main applicant(s) (1 page). The main applicant must be a paid-up member of ESSWE in order to be considered. In assessing applications, the committee will emphasise the initiative’s potential for stimulating new activity in the field – hence it is important that the expenses listed in the budget are directly related to achieving the goals described in the cover letter. Applicants are also encouraged to seek additional funding from other sources.

In order to stimulate new projects the sponsorship may be awarded as an advance. In such cases, accounts and receipts of actual expenses must be submitted to ESSWE no later than the end of the granting year. Unused funds should be returned to ESSWE.


2017 bid: Deadlines and budget

Applications for the 2017 bid should be sent to the committee chair, Egil Asprem (, before January 31, 2017. Depending on the number and quality of applications received, a first evaluation is scheduled to take place in the first week of February. The budget framework for 2017 is 1000 EUR.


 Tips for writing your application

  • The cover letter
Be specific and concise. Say what the project will do, who will do it, when, and where. Explain briefly how your project fits within the framework of this call, and (unless it is obvious) what sort of outcomes you expect. Please also indicate whether you are seeking additional funding.
  • The budget
List all expenses you expect for this project, even if they exceed the budget framework. The committee may propose to fund you in part rather than in full. Expenses should be clearly related to the aims of the project. ESSWE will focus on covering essential costs. For example, if it involves a workshop, the sponsorship may fund room rental or travel expenses, but not a free lunch.
  • CV of main applicant
Make it short (1 page). The committee is primarily interested in seeing evidence of commitment to the field and to ESSWE’s academic values. Documenting any prior experience with the type of project that is being proposed is also a good idea.
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