The 2023 BICS Challenge

After a massive international response judged by a panel of outstanding experts, the 2021 Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS) essay contest established that there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt for the survival of consciousness after permanent physical death. Building on that success, the 2023 BICS Challenge will fund research into contact and communication with post-mortem or discarnate consciousness leading to the reception of higher order information of benefit to humankind with the allocation of a grand total of up to $1 million in grants.

Up to $50,000 will be awarded to 12 projects and up to $100,000 will be awarded to a further 4 projects, exclusively in the field of the survival of consciousness after death. (BICS reserves the right to determine the value of each project and the final amount awarded.)

As a general guide, historical examples of such contact and communication with “the afterlife” have included: Emanuel Swedenborg; Allan Kardec; William Stainton Moses; Edgar Cayce; and Jane Roberts.

Historically, the methods used have been wide-ranging, including, but not limited to, automatic writing, dreams, visions, veridical hallucination, trance, hypnosis, direct voice, mental mediumship, physical mediumship, so-called spirit boards, instrumental transcommunication (ITC), etc.

Applicants are free to decide on their approach, but projects must address the hypothesis that valid higher order information, generally classed as “wisdom,” can be received in communication with post-mortem or discarnate consciousness through the use of robust methodologies.

In the first instance, applicants should submit a preliminary proposal with professional bio, or bios of all team members, showing their qualifications and experience in this field. Individual applicants may apply. In addition, BICS encourages researchers to form teams or consortia, ideally, but not necessarily, with a host entity.

Preliminary proposals should be precise and succinct, and include an abstract, a thorough budget breakdown showing how payment instalments will be tied to research deliverables (“milestones”) over the course of the project, and a clear demonstration that the project design is novel and will stand up to academic scrutiny.

Preliminary proposals are invited from November 1st, 2022, to January 1st, 2023, with selected applicants being invited to submit full proposals from January 1st, 2023, to April 1st, 2023. Grants awarded will run from August 1st, 2023, to May 1st, 2024 (9 months).

Preference will be given to new and innovative studies. BICS will not enter into discussion or “coaching” of proposed projects. Further terms and conditions can be found at bigelowinstitute.org.

Submit your preliminary proposal from Nov., 1st, 2022, until Jan., 1st, 2023, to Dr Colm Kelleher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Submissions will be considered and approved on a rolling basis, therefore applicants should submit as early as possible.

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