Advisory board

The Advisory Board will provide general oversight of the project. Its members act as critical friends while holding the project team to account. They will enhance the longer-term impact of the projects through their experience and networks. To ensure transparency, all proceedings will be recorded, with minutes circulated for approval regarding accuracy and ethics of confidentiality before posting on the grant website.  

The Advisory Board includes a mix of academic, government, business and third sector members, to cover specialists in the John Templeton Foundation aims, ethics, finance, bureaucracy, legalities, working with colleagues in low to middle income countries (LMICs), as well as public engagement.  Attention has been paid to the gender balance, geographical representation (whilst avoiding international travel to reduce the carbon footprint), and sector representation. 

Terms of reference

A Critical Friend

The advisory board will advise on the general strategy of the grant in order for it to achieve its objectives. The entire Board will meet face-to-face once per year to hear reports on current plans and research activity and to hear from Board members about their views on this and on future priorities, as well as key issues in policy and practice.  Further consultation will take place in an adhoc manner with individuals or smaller groups to pursue particular avenues for support or advice.  Here, virtual communication will be relied upon as much as possible.

Holding The Project Team to Account

The Board will contain members independent of Durham who may hold us to account in meeting our specified aims in an efficient and ethical manner.  In particular these members will provide independent scrutiny and approval of funding decisions. Any Durham members will be independent of the grant, and the field of cultural evolution, and provide perspectives with regard to running large grants and/or institutes at the University. 

Enhancing Impact 

The advisory board will act as a critical friend in relation to the overall shape, direction and policy relevance of the overall grant programme and will advise on potential overlooked opportunities for longer-term impact of the funded research as well as on publications and other outputs. Board members may also act as ambassadors on behalf of the grant, in particular networking with key players/audiences on the grant program. Likewise, members may support the awarded research projects or working groups by offering advice on communication plans as well as supporting dissemination of outputs and providing pathways to key audiences and potential users of the research.


All proceedings will be recorded, with minutes circulated for approval regarding accuracy and ethics of confidentiality before posting (as appropriate) on the grant website.