Research Grants



Research Projects

One of the ways to address the mission of the Control Research Foundation Fund is through research. Seed money of up to $10,000 per project/investigator to support research efforts related to the principles and practice of Control Therapy is available. to outstanding graduate students, postdoctoral students, and junior faculty at nationally or internationally accredited universities in the fields of psychology and/or related health and healing disciplines. The first heading below provides EXAMPLES OF FUNDING AMOUNTS AND PRIORITIES; the second heading provides an APPLICATION FORM. The third heading provides RESOURCES that may be helpful. A forth link is offered for those who may wish to peruse some philosophical comments about control and our shared journey on planet earth

These amounts are given not as absolutes but are suggestions and guidelines  based on the relative importance and difficulty of the study. Most of the research projects on Control Therapy  listed in 1 below will be from investigators at   nationally or internationally accredited schools in the fields of psychology,  the health and healing sciences (e.g. Psychology, Nursing, Medicine and other allied health fields).The second grouping (2) may also include applicants in Education departments ; the third grouping (3)  discusses smaller funding for the SCI: e.g. facilitating Cross Cultural Research: (e.g., departments of Anthropology);  and for the fourth grouping (4) may involve applicants from Political Science, Social Sciences and Philosophy/Religious Studies departments . and non profit think tanks.  Collaborative research among and between departments and investigators is always encouraged

The main priority is for comparative group studies of Control Therapy (CT)  with specific clinical populations, first “compared” to a placebo control then with other “treatments”. The most difficult studies logistically involve interventions using Control Therapy (e.g., training clinicians, [e.g., cross reference  the Control Manual: Adherence Checklist to determine therapist competency and skill development in Control Therapy]). Also, any study using Control Therapy will necessarily involve 8-12 weeks of therapy with subjects. Even more logistically complicated would be comparison with another treatment protocol, such as CBT. Therefore, these types of projects should have the highest finding priority and amount. The Founders recommend awards of $5,000; however for truly exceptional projects, grants of up to $10,000 can be made. Applicants should demonstrate familiarity with the principles and practices of Control Therapy. This may be obtained through a careful perusal of the website materials ( particularly the Control Therapy Training Manual. The book Control Therapy and the SCI (Shapiro Control Inventory) Manual including test reliability and validity studies are also available at no charge at the website . Priority will be given to those proposals that show evidence of having wrestled thoughtfully with the ideas of Control Theory and Therapy, including those embodied in the SCI, the book Control Therapy, and the Control Therapy Training Manual and has an intervention modeled on this work.

NOTE: All results should be disseminated. Research funding is not being awarded in an effort to “prove” the efficacy of Control Theory and Therapy, (e.g. for a specific clinical population, compared to other therapeutic approaches, etc.) but to improve and refine it. The goal is to help alleviate suffering and increase mental and physical wellbeing for study populations as well as the larger public however this can be best achieved.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Eating disorders
    • Other
    • Breast cancer
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Other
    • Lifestyle and self-regulation (exercise, eating,)
    • Increasing gratitude
    • Service
    • Compassion
    • Self-care
    • Habits

ADDITIONAL TOPICS: The Founders want others to wrestle with the work and would take delight in their improving and going beyond it. Additionally, the Founders would like to encourage the application of Control Theory and Therapy to issues not only in the Control Therapy book (e.g. psychological health, DSM disorders, physical health, interpersonal health), but also topics not specifically covered in depth  (e.g. child rearing, parent child relationships,  applications in classrooms and teacher training programs. The founders are also interested in research exploring what might be the nature of  optimal healthy control  for humans—in mind, body, emotions, interpersonal—the further reaches of our human potential for  positive psychological health and wellbeing. The scope of possible funding may also include applications of Control Theory, principles and practice, on the societal level to the political level as well as to views of the nature of the universe: the religious/spiritual/existential/philosophical level.  Several possible areas of further research involving the “Control Profile”: sense of control, desire for control, modes of control, and agency of control are described in the in the sections below,

Each of these is discussed briefly below:


CT is based on an educational model of learning and seeks to affect individual psychological health and well-being—not only in the therapeutic setting, but with non-clinical populations as well. Therefore, research proposals to assess the effects of teaching the principles and techniques of CT to learners in training or educational settings are also encouraged. Such studies might look at assessing the effectiveness on the learners (using the SCI and other measures as appropriate pre and post training) of programs that do the following:

      • train therapists and clinicians in the use of CT
      • teach medical students or nursing students’ basic concepts and techniques of CT
      • expose parents and their children to basic concepts and techniques of CT
      • integrate aspects of CT in educational settings, including K-12 and undergraduate classrooms
  1. ADDITIONAL AREAS OF RESEARCH; e.g Translations, additional normative data;

Encouraging translations: The SCI has now been translated into simple Chinese (Shinzili) available at It has also been translated into Korean (Sung Hyun Park & Seoung Yun Sung); and currently in preparation are a traditional Chinese version (Mei-Rong), a Spanish version (R. Santibăňez;), a Hebrew version (A.H. Zohar), and a Farsi version (Zohreh Sepehri Shamloo). Funding may be designated to encourage the completion of those translations (as well as translation into other languages). The standard would be sophisticated translation with reliability; test retest; factor analysis; etc.

      • Facilitating Cross Cultural Research: Once translations have been done, it would be beneficial to seek to facilitate research among the investigators on the nature and role of CT cross culturally. Depending upon the study, this could be an important focus of the funding.
      • Generating Additional Normative Data $2500 (if it is an exceptionally ambitious project, a larger award may be granted): It is important to have funds available to build the database of “normative” populations (age, gender, cross cultural, etc.) for the SCI data bank. Based on the results, this would need to be coordinated with an updated Website version of the SCI “Clinical Report.”
      • A one-time “snapshot” (or pre/post) study using the SCI $1,000: This is a lower funding priority and can be adjusted depending on what is appropriate at the time. This is a lower funding priority. If a proposal is submitted that is unique, funding at $1,000 level may be awarded. It is important to note that while additional studies using the SCI are important, there have already been a substantial number produced so another potentially “confirmatory” study (without any extending of results from previous studies) should not be a funding priority.

A note on funding priorities re: 1.3 : Although some funding for additional studies with the SCI can be made (e.g., support for translations, enlarging the normative base [e.g. gender, age; cross cultural]), the Founders want to encourage that the majority of the yearly funding is awarded for research on CT (item 1.1. and then to non clinical setting (1.2)


Although the primary focus of my work and that of  my colleagues has been on the individual therapeutic aspects of Control Therapy, as well as its applications in educational (classroom) settings,  the principles and practice of Control Theory and Therapy can also be  explored in terms of their implications for the political/social/cultural  level as well as the existential/spiritual level.

Therapy doesn’t occur in a vacuum, and political and religious beliefs issues can not only shape and motivate clients, but also create the cultural context in which we live. In the SCI, there are questions related to gaining a sense of control from others, including family and friends, government and society, and from a higher power, God, religion, spiritual beliefs (Other control).    Therefore,  broader control related research proposals in either of these areas will also be eligible

The hope is that,  control-related research findings may shed light on ways to create more understanding, respect, tolerance, and dialogue in these domains. We would like to encourage excellent  research proposals in either of these areas be considered for funding. Please see the links below for further discussion.

Links for further information can be found below.
  1. POLITICAL, SOCIAL/CULTURAL ISSUES-- beliefs about the role if individual agency and control and “other” control.;  see p 287-288
  2. EXISTENTIAL/RELIGIOUS SPIRITUAL. ISSUES Self-control and other/Other control.  see p. 288-291

Application for  Research Grants from

“The Control Research Foundation”

At The Orange County Community Foundation

FUNDING of up to $10,000 is available for research on the principles and practice of Control Therapy as described in the link FUNDING AMOUNTS AND PRIORITIES above.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY To be eligible for this funding, an applicant must hold an advanced degree and be a graduate student, post doc, or  have an academic appointment at an accredited college or university; and/or be a licensed health care professional.  The applicant should demonstrate in the application knowledge and background familiarity with Control  Therapy. (see RESOURCES in the next link below).

Applications are due March 1st and September 1st with award notices issued June 1st and November 1st. Refer to the Grant Guidelines below for further information.

Application for Small Research Grant from "The Control Research Foundation"

Download the PDF version of the Grant Guidelines.

Download the Word DOC version of the Grant Guidelines.

Resources that maybe helpful in obtaining familiarity with the principles and practices of Control Therapy include  the Control Therapy Training Manual, including Appendix 6 on Research, e.g.,  6.2  Flow Chart Model for Doing a Control Therapy Research Project;  6.3  Therapist/trainee selection and orientation; and 6.5  Human Subjects Consent Form involving Control Therapy; 6.6 An Example of a Permission to Videotape Form. Please see also  Appendix 1, “Adherence checklist to determine therapist competency and skill development in Control Therapy. The book Control Therapy and the SCI (Shapiro Control Inventory Manual) including test reliability and validity studies are also available  at the website

Grant Applicants may also wish to peruse the other articles/writings on Control Therapy at the following links on the website: other writings:;  professional interests (by topic, country and language); and other readings noted in the grant application form.

Finally, here are list of past Topics and Grants Funded

Name Institution - Country Title of Study Link to study Funds Applied To
Beth Soucar Temple University; USA The effectiveness of control therapy as a treatment for depression and anxiety in African-Americans Click Here Purchase of equipment, subject recruitment, and compensation, hiring consultant for data analysis, travel to conference
Nerissa Li-Wey Soh University of Sydney; Australia Psychological control and acculturation in women with and without eating disorders across cultures Click Here Travel to present findings at scientific conference
Kirsty Weir University of Wellington New Zealand How does gender role, sense of control, and coping style affect depression in preadolescence? Click Here Purchase statistical software, subject recruitment and compensation
Orit Roiz Ben Gurion University of the Negev; Israel Control & illness: blessing or curse – sense of control, modes of control, and quality of life of patients with chronic diseases Click Here Data entry, statistical analysis, purchase of study materials
Rita Fierro Temple University; USA Empowering African women in non-African agencies: voices of African American women on the path of reuniting with their families Click Here Data entry, statistical analysis, conference travel
Megan Ragg University of Canterbury Locus of control in chronic fatigue syndrome : Does it matter? Click Here
Anne Christie   Griffith University Australia Trust and control: the role of emotion. Click Here

THE LIMITS OF HUMAN CONTROL, THE IMPORTANCE OF TRYING, COMPASSION AS A CONTEXT.  If we take a few steps back, look at the stars and galaxies, and imagine the earth rotating on its axis around the sun, it’s amazing that we have the chutzpah to believe we have any control at all in the world! It’s important to remember that in the process of therapy—and life itself—we are small creatures on a small planet in a small solar system in a small galaxy. This is not a reason for fatalism and helplessness. But it is a reason to honestly and compassionately face our limits.

On the one hand, we want to “practice what we preach,” striving to become exemplars of optimal control in each of the domains of life. In Zen, as we have discussed, the instruction is “When you walk, walk; when you sit, sit; above all don’t wobble.”  We want to follow Gandhi’s advice to “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  The Gita says, “Let there not be a hair’s breadth between will (what you decide) and action (how you act).” This applies to being centered and calm, and also to acting in the ways of the world. The Gita integrates these two skills by saying that one who can “see action in inaction” (even while calm and centered, as in meditation,  recognizing that blood is coursing through the body, the heart is beating, the mind is awake); and “inaction in action”  (even while we act, we attempt to stay centered and calm), “that person is wise among all.”

This is all sage advice yet, as you have probably experienced for yourself (in other aspects of your life, and perhaps even more consciously during your work with this manual), there is no such thing as “perfect” self-control.  There are limits to our ability to stretch and grow in a positive assertive sense just as there are limits to how much we are able to yield and accept.  We are human, after all! And we do wobble. There are times in life when we simply don’t know the correct course of action. As noted, we think a footnote to the Zen saying might be needed: “When you wobble, wobble well!” (Or as best you can).

FACING SUFFERING—WITHIN AND WITHOUT. Further, as the Buddha pointed out, each of us eventually will have to face the three messengers of aging, illness, and death in our own lives, as well as in the lives of loved ones.  All of us have, or will have wounds, places where we’ve been broken, and at times feel crushed.

We all know the challenges of overcoming our individual selves and connecting with others.  Yet, no matter how well we do the “tai chi dance” of relationship, no matter how well we forgive, and dialogue successfully, from one perspective, in this earthly plane, all such efforts end: marriage ends either in divorce, or, even with the most devoted love, in death. Our bodies, no matter how well we care for them, are doomed to decay and fail. It is the irony recognized by the playwright Chekov, a physician who knew that even as you try to cure a patient, it is only a temporary reprieve. We humans have awareness of the suffering of life. Part of our task is to learn how to cope, deal with, and come to terms with   necessary losses that are part of life.  This involves mourning, grieving, and ultimately trying to come to some kind of peace and equanimity with the “10000 sorrows.”

Yet, it is said “10000 sorrows, 10000 joys.”

We also can have awareness of life’s beauty and preciousness. This is all we have. How can we keep our focus on what is important and valuable in life?  Like the person in the Zen tale faced with the fierce, teeth-baring tiger above and the sharp, jagged rocks below, we have the ability to pause, make a choice, and taste the “sweet” strawberry in the here and now.  We also have the choice to courageously move forward with our lives. We can recall Hemingway’s Old Man saying, “Man can be destroyed, but not defeated.”  We can learn to adapt, to grow, and, as best as possible, learn to find ways to let the “light shine through the cracks” of places where we have been wounded and broken.

We have the opportunity to learn the lesson that Miriam taught, after the Israelites had crossed the Red (Reed) Sea after leaving the slavery of Egypt. Egypt (mitzrayim in Hebrew) means “narrow places.”  Crossing the sea can represent, metaphorically, leaving our internal “narrow places” where we are enslaved, and crossing into a higher sea of consciousness.  Yet, as we know the story, the Israelites still had forty years of wandering in the wilderness to face in order to reach the “Promised Land.”  Miriam’s lesson? She led the Israelites in dance.  We have the choice to take a break from effortful focus on difficulties, hard times, and suffering, to pause and celebrate, to dance in our hearts and minds along our journey.

We also have the capacity to face mindfully and directly difficult and challenging aspects of reality; and, without avoiding or denying, to choose “how we want the story to end.” Recall the story of the parents of a murdered child, shared in Module Three, who didn’t want evil, negative thoughts to have the last word. They model for us how it is possible to face a horrendous event—the meaningless, senseless death of a loved one – with courage, intention, and seeking to find meaning.  Rather than letting their daughter’s terrible murder be the final word, they created a sense of control  by choosing to determine the ending of her story--an  honoring and celebrating of a meaningful life.

This is not to say that facing such challenges and adversity is easy. Rather, it may be impossible to face all the challenges life sends us with perfect self-control. Sometimes we’ll wobble, but we should try to wobble as well (and compassionately) as we can, and choose as healing and wise a response as we are able.

HEALING THE WORLD. In addition, just as our smallness and vulnerability in the universe can produce feelings of helplessness and being out of control, so too can the pervasiveness of suffering in this world. If we look around at poverty, homelessness, war, and disease, it is impossible not to be aware of the world’s suffering. Once we break through denial, it is understandable that we can become overwhelmed at the enormity of this suffering. There is suffering in this world that is part of the human experience, and no amount of control efforts can ever completely ameliorate that.

However, as many spiritual traditions suggest, while it is not entirely up to us to solve the problems of the world, it is our responsibility to make some contribution toward solving these problems. One way to address this is through the metaphor of yoga stretching. If we do not stay slow and centered in a stretch, we can push too hard and injure ourselves. From a centered place, however, each of us may be able to find ways to stretch toward one or two degrees more involvement with the posture (and with life’s suffering). In dealing with the messengers, each of us may be able to develop one or two degrees more of acceptance.  Each of us has to find the balance between acceptance (quadrant two) and stretch (quadrant one) that feels wisest and most compassionate to us.

Simply because we are limited in our ability to exert positive control in each mode does not mean that the effort is not worthwhile. If we can only improve two, three, or four degrees, that can make a substantial difference in our lives and the lives of others (e.g. Think of the difference a few degrees makes in our body temperature: e.g., 98.6 to 102)

It seems to us, as co-authors,  there must be some part in each of you reading this manual (and in us writing it) that is basically optimistic about our ability as humans to change and grow in positive ways, or else we wouldn’t be in the health and healing professions.  We seek to affect positive control and reduction of suffering in ourselves and others wherever we can.

We are all fellow travelers on a temporary journey through the hourglass. Compassion and love are needed as a context for our efforts to teach, learn, and practice positive control in our lives.