Sarah Estep Research Fund

cbutler2001_sarah_estepby Tom and Lisa Butler


Sarah Estep’s daughter Becky has made a memorial donation to Association TransCommunication that enabled the Association to establish a small a research fund. All of the donations that were made to the ATransC in honor of Sarah will be included in this fund. The Association is actively seeking additional funding for the Sarah Estep Research Fund (SERF). If you wish to support this initiative, be sure to let us know that your donation is intended to be added to the Sarah Estep Research Fund.  Remember that all donations are tax deductible!


Contact the ATransC for details



A few modest research grants have been issued by other organizations specifically for ITC research. The ATransC has issued two research grants but no others will be issued until The Energy Profile of Transform EVP has been funded.



The typical relationship between funding agency and researcher is for the agency to agree that the proposed research is within their scope of interest, the award of research funds and acknowledgement of the final report. In most cases, there are no further requirements placed on the researcher. A project might take a year or more, many projects are done in secret making collaboration amongst researchers impossible and the final results are too often seen by a relative few with archived material being accessible by even fewer. By most measures, the intended results held by the granting agency is not achieved.

This field is evolving at a breathtaking rate, and under current circumstances, research is not able to keep pace. In an effort to promote collaboration amongst researchers, and to assure that research reports remain available for public access, Association TransCommunication will us a different model. The Association will function as both the granting agency and as a research coordinator to assure minimize replication of effort and assist with public relations. In no way will ATransC make a claim of ownership of any of the resulting work, other than to assure that it is available to the public.

Once a grant has been issued, researchers will be expected to be available for consultation about the project with other researchers. It is not intended that every last detail of the project be public. The objective is to encourage collaboration and reduce replication of effort. Under the conditions of the grant, as researchers learn, they are expected to teach. If there is a concern that the project will be “scooped” by other researchers, ATransC can offer some assurance that the public record on will document originality.

Subjects of interest

The objective of the SERF is to further humankind’s understanding of transcommunication and survival of the personality. Transcommunication includes EVP/ITC, spontaneous after death contacts, possible “hauntings” phenomena and such mental modalities as mediumship and energy healing. The study of survival of the personality includes the relationship of the person to the etheric and trans-etheric influences, the nature of the etheric and the nature of survival.

The Association TransCommunication is aware of several areas where research could advance our knowledge of ITC. For instance:

  • Improvements in audio recording technology for EVP.
  • A study of how humans hear sound intended to develop ways to avoid false positives in EVP.
    See The Online Listening Trials report for an example.
  • Techniques for teaching people how to hear EVP.
  • Using EVP with other trans-etheric communication modalities, such as clairvoyance and photography for phenomena analysis and verification.
  • Techniques for using transcommunication for information gathering, including locating lost people.
  • Relationships of different forms of environmental energy including electromagnetic, thermal, static electric, biofield (auric?) and etheric, and how they relate to trans-etheric influences.
  • Orb behavior in a controlled environment.

These are just examples. It is important that ATransC is not seen as limiting areas of research. The only real requirement is that the research must have something to do with survival of consciousness.

Researcher Qualifications

Anyone who can show a reasonable base of applicable experience, and is able to provide a well-considered proposal, may be a candidate for research funding. Proposals will be evaluated by the SERF Advisory Panel, based on the proposed experimental protocol, the candidate’s perceived ability to complete a usable project report and his or her willingness to subject that report to peer review.

A research candidates need not be a member of Association TransCommunication.


Funded research will be formal research. This maxim should lead SERF grant candidates to understand the basic elements of a research project, including definition of the question, experiment design (protocol), results analysis and peer-reviewed final reporting. It is a good idea to contact ATransC with a query letter before spending very much time developing a proposal; however, actually writing a proposal as outlined below will help the person better understand the research question and how that question might be studied.

Survival studies and trans-etheric influences (collectively “Etheric Studies”) is not currently supported by peer reviewed journals. The organizations that do touch on this subject are primarily focused on psi studies and human potential, but they do sometimes entertain etheric studies related articles if they are well-written. Results of SERF funded research is expected to be published in a peer reviewed journal. However, if the author is unable to gain acceptance in one, publication in the ATransC Journal is acceptable, and the Association will coordinate peer review.


ATransC is not considering new projects at this time

A well-considered proposal is required to help the SERF Advisory Panel make an informed decision. The proposal will also be used to seek funding, so while it need not become a public record, ATransC will require permission to discuss it with potential contributors. The proposal should include:

  • Project title
  • Author’s name and contact information
  • Researcher’s name(s) and qualifications as related to this project
  • Other funding and or sponsors
  • Brief explanation of the project including why it is important and what is expected to be accomplished, including a discussion of assumption
  • Statement of the research question(s)
  • Experimental protocol, including logistical and human resource considerations (availability what supporting people are expected to do and their required qualifications)
  • Discussion about why the protocol is appropriate
  • Discussion of “off-the-shelf” technology and material and what may need to be developed for the project
  • A discussion of how results will be characterized (criteria for success)
  • How results will be reported (journals, peer review; it is possible to use the ATransC Journal)
  • How the public will benefit from completion of this project. (For instance, new technology, device design, technique, clarification of hypothesis?)

After Receiving the Proposal

  1. The proposals will be reviewed by the SERF Advisory Panel, and if found to satisfy the basic requirements (described above), the author(s) will be contacted to discuss possible questions and logistical concerns. This will include a schedule of deliverables and estimated phases of the project to support progress reporting and contingent funding.
  2. If sufficient funding for the project is not available, Association TransCommunication will cooperate with the authors to seek additional funding from perspective donors. (From previous experience, having a specific, well-documented project for which funding is asked is more apt to have a favorable response than simply asking for money to support research.)
  3. Once funding is available, a grant will be issued and paid out in phases as agreed to in step 1.
  4. Progress reports will be made as agreed to in step 1. These will be evaluated by the SERF Advisory Panel subsequent further funding. The author should be aware that the SERF Advisory Panel may ask for additional work and/or reporting before further funding the project.
  5. However the final report is published (other organization or by ATransC), a version suitable for publishing by the Association in the NewsJournal and/or on the website will be required.
  6. The author/researcher(s) will retain ownership of all material resulting from the funded project. The report, hardware and software developed for the research and that is funded by the SERF will be licensed via Creative Commons with the intention of making SERF funded research reports, hardware and software designed for a SERF funded project available to other researchers. Such documents will include the statement “Available for public application under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.” The effect will be that the material will remain the creative property of the researcher(s), subsequent use of the material will be credited to the scientists, but it will otherwise be freely available for subsequent development and/or research.


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