Research Initiatives

Soaring Spirits International (SSI) values high-quality research, and recognizes the need for more research about and for widows and widowers.

SSI Community: Soaring Spirits is an inclusive, secular organization. Any widowed person regardless of age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation will be welcome to attend any Soaring Spirits program. Our programs are not focused on the losses our community has experienced, but rather on the life they still have ahead of them.

Anyone who would like to conduct research should write a letter of application. Proposals will be reviewed on a quarterly basis (On 4/1, 7/1, 10/1, and 1/5 of each calendar year) and applications will be evaluated based on the quality of the project’s design, the alignment of the project with the goals and mission of Soaring Spirits International, and the potential for the project to benefit the participants and/or the widowed community.

Projects should

  • Align with the mission of SSI
  • Focus on ways to improve the lives of widows and widowers
  • Focus on improving access to information for widows and widower
  • Identify a clear target audience

Projects should not

  • Be designed to make a profit
  • Be designed to advance a particular political party or candidate

To apply submit the following to Carrie L. West, Ph.D. at

Submit an abstract of the project, no more than 500 words. Also submit a brief summary of the project including the following:

  • Your name and name of your organization
  • Contact information
  • Objectives of the project
  • Your role – E.g. Graduate student, nonprofit professional, or other.
  • Research Questions
  • Status with IRB if application has been submitted
  • Benefit to SSI
  • Reason for choosing SSI
  • Expected timeline
  • Number of participants needed
  • Participant requirements (Participation must be voluntary, and either anonymous or confidential)
  • Type of data collection (survey, face-to-face interviews, etc.)
  • Estimated time commitment for each participant
  • Potential risks and benefits to participants
  • Anticipated date of final summary report (required for all projects)