I. The Grant Projects
Brief History of Lewis Foundation
This research foundation was organized in 1958 as a separate, non-profit entity by senior medical staff of Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital and several of their close friends in the Dallas business community. For about a decade it was a dispensing foundation, providing small grants to support various research projects and training programs. In 1967 it was converted into an organization that conducted its own research and for the next 30 years produced a series of longitudinal projects in two general areas. The first area involved program evaluations of adolescent inpatient psychiatric treatment, substance abuse treatment, halfway house programs, parenting programs, and a variety of other social service programs. The second primary area of research involved studies of healthy or well-functioning couples and families.
In 1998, we decided to go back to the future and once again become a dispensing foundation. The Announcement of the Availability of Grants describes the type of projects we support and offers detailed instructions for those wishing to make grant applications.
Overview of Grant Projects
The Foundation dispenses grants three times a year, in January, May, and September (Application Deadlines).
The Active and Completed Grant Projects and Summary Table lists offer information concerning each project funded by the Foundation. The projects cover a wide variety of topics and include both university-based and agency-based research.
We have listed the most frequent characteristics leading to the rejection of a grant application in Table 1. Prospective applicants are encouraged to study this list. Exemplary applications are available for review.
By far the most common problem leading to the rejection of grant applications is the failure to follow application guidelines. As a result, we will focus on this area in detail under II. The Application. Other items in Table 1 covered in II. The Application or III. Evaluation of the Application include projects not within our mission area; procedures that are unlikely to work; absence of clear scientific or practical benefits; educational or service project with no integral research component; and research alliance with a for-profit entity.
A few words about the other leading causes of application rejection are in order here.
Some research applications have involved questionnaires, scales, or other measurement devices that have been demonstrated in the literature to be unreliable or invalid. Be sure any measures you plan to use have well documented reliability and validity studies.
Multi-grantor funding involves so many possibilities for failure that we are unwilling to participate.
Finally, it is clear in some grant applications that the applicants are essentially requesting funds to pay current operating costs; that is, basic salaries, rent, utilities and other costs of doing business rather than requesting funds earmarked for a specific research project. The Foundation does not fund overhead or administrative costs.
Projects We Would Like To Support
Our Announcement of the Availability of Grants emphasizes that we are interested in research projects that shed some light on interpersonal relationships and that we are particularly interested in couple, parent-child, and family system relationships. We like to receive applications for scientific evaluation of relationship-centered service and educational interventions and programs. We like to see projects involving close collaboration between members of two or more professional disciplines, and we are most interested in creative or innovative projects that promise meaningful advancement in the science of interpersonal relationships.
We look with special fondness on any project that involves the use of the Timberlawn Couple and Family Evaluation Scales (TCFES). These scales are designed to be used in clinical practice, research, program evaluation, teaching, and self-assessment of couple or family relationships.
Applicants desiring a deeper understanding of our view of the science of interpersonal relationships might wish to obtain Disarming the Past: How an Intimate Relationship Can Heal Old Wounds . This book explores factors that prevent or impair intimate relationships as well as practical techniques for resolving relationship problems and obtaining the benefits of interpersonal intimacy.
Jerry M. Lewis, M.D. Mental Health Research Foundation