The work of RENSEP is guided by a scientific committee which convenes two times per year. The role of the scientific committee is to discuss and determine a yearly research agenda that allocates RENSEP’s limited research funds to projects, stipends and prizes related to the study of esoteric practices. The scientific committee evaluates the quality of applications, requests external reviewers, if needed, and decides on the allocation of funds. Work in the scientific committee is honorary. Apart from the director who holds a long-term honorary position appointed by the board of trustees, members of the scientific committee are elected for one year, with the option of yearly prolongation for up to five years in total.
The composition of the scientific committee is intended to guarantee wide interdisciplinarity, with experts in the history of religion, anthropology, psychology and art; cross-cultural expertise, with experts in Euro-American, African, Islamic, and Indian esoteric practices; as well as gender symmetry.
The scientific committee is currently constituted as follows.
- Director of the Scientific Committee: PD Dr. habil. Bernd-Christian Otto, scholar of religion and magic, Research Coordinator at CAS-E (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany): https://cas-e.de/teammembers/otto-bernd-christian/
- Prof. Conerly Casey, currently Senior Research Fellow at CAS-E (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany) and Associate Professor of Anthropology (Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA): https://societyhumanities.as.cornell.edu/conerly-casey
- Prof. Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Associate Professor of Islamic History (University of South Carolina, USA):
- Dr. Suzanne Newcombe, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies (Open University, Milton Keynes, UK): https://www.open.ac.uk/people/shn44
- Prof. Judith Noble, Associate Professor and Head of Academic Research (Arts University, Plymouth, UK): https://www.aup.ac.uk/people/judith-noble
- Dr. Dean Radin, Experimental Psychologist and Chief Scientist at IONS (Institute of Noetic Studies, California): https://noetic.org/profile/dean-radin/