DOD

Minerva Research Initiative Announces FY 2021 Funding Opportunities

The Minerva Research Initiative, the signature social science research program within the Department of Defense (DOD), has announced research opportunities for fiscal year (FY) 2021 and listed several target research topics for the program. Minerva aims to apply social science research to critical national security questions and inform broader DOD decision-making based on this research. The following nine topics have been listed as key areas of interest for research to address: Social Implications of Environmental Change Resource Competition, Social Cohesion, and Strategic Climate Resilience Security Risks in Ungoverned, Semi-Governed, and Differently-Governed Spaces Analysis of Foreign Influence Operations in Cross-Cultural Perspective…

Defense Authorization Bill Goes to Conference with Minerva Funding Intact

The House and Senate are set to begin negotiations on the annual authorizing legislation for the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House passed its bill on July 21, with the Senate following suit on July 23. As previously reported, the bills passed by both chambers included language to prevent the elimination of Defense-wide funding for DOD’s basic social science research program, the Minerva Research Initiative, as has been proposed in the Administration’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2021. The agreement on funding for Minerva in both bills is a positive sign that funding…

Funding for DOD Social Science Research Restored in House and Senate Defense Authorization Bills

Both the House and Senate’s drafts of the annual authorization bill for the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), include language preventing the elimination of funding for DOD’s basic social science research program, the Minerva Research Initiative, as proposed in the Administration’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2021. Both bills propose a total of $17 million in the Defense-Wide funding line for the Minerva initiative, which if enacted would be a sizeable increase over the $11.4 million the program received in FY 2020. While the Minerva Initiative receives some funding from the Navy and Air…

Bipartisan Bill Would Mandate DOD Fund Social Science Research

On June 5, Reps. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced the Social Sciences Protect Our Nation Act (H.R. 7106), a bill that would require the Department of Defense (DOD) to maintain a basic social sciences research program. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, joined as an original co-sponsor of the legislation. The bill was introduced in response to DOD’s plans to cut Defense-wide funding for social and behavioral science research, including the Minerva Research Initiative, a university-based social science research program, in the coming fiscal…

Administration Plans to Eliminate DOD Social Science Research Program

While the majority of the details of the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget request were made public the week of February 10 (read COSSA’s analysis), full details for some agencies and departments—including the Department of Defense (DoD)—were delayed until the following week. The DoD budget request reflects over $5 billion in cuts made as a result of the FY 2021 Defense-Wide Review. The FY 2021 Defense-Wide Review is a major DoD initiative led by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper “to improve alignment of time, money, and people to [National Defense Strategy] priorities,” including finding budget cuts at DoD. The…

Defense Health Program Releases Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program

On  January 10, the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) of the Defense Health Program at the Department of Defense released a pre-announcement of its fiscal year (FY) 2020 anticipated funding opportunities and topic areas. Topic areas include eating disorders, resilience training, and sleep disorders, among others. PRMRP supports research projects to improve the health, care, and well-being of all military service members, veterans, and beneficiaries and grant proposals must address at least one of the pre-determined topic areas. More information can be found on the Defense Health Program website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Academies Releases Review of Minerva Initiative

The National Academies of Sciences’ Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences released Assessing the Minerva Research Initiative and the Contribution of Social Science to Addressing Security Concerns, a consensus study report assessing the impact, procedures, and direction of the Minerva Research Initiative. The Minerva Research Initiative is a grant program of the Department of Defense (DOD) that funds unclassified, university-based, basic research in the social sciences relevant to national security. The report discusses the program’s challenges and successes and offers recommendations to strengthen the program’s structure and help broaden its reach and usefulness. The report includes recommendations for both…

Minerva Initiative Releases 2019 Funding Opportunity Announcement, Topics of Interest

The Minerva Research Initiative, the social science research program administered jointly by the Office of Basic Research and the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, has released its 2019 funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and its 2019 topics of interest. The Minerva Research Initiative supports university-based, unclassified research in areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. Research topics of interest for 2019 include: peer/near-peer statecraft, influence, and regional balance of power; power, deterrence, and escalation management; alliances and burden sharing; economic interdependence and security; economic viability, resilience, and sustainability of logistics infrastructure; multi-domain behavioral complexity and…

Minerva Initiative Releases 2018 Funding Opportunity Announcement, Topics of Interest

The Minerva Research Initiative, the social science research program administered jointly by the Office of Basic Research and the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, has released its 2018 funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and 2018 topics of interest. The Minerva Research Initiative supports university-based, unclassified, research in areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. Research topics of interest for 2018 include: sociopolitical (in)stability, resilience, and recovery; economic interdependence and security; alliances and burden sharing; fundamental dynamics of scientific discovery; adversarial information campaigns; automated cyber vulnerability analysis; and security risks in ungoverned and semi-governed spaces. White…

National Academies Calls for Nominations for Committee to Assess the Minerva Research Initiative

The Board of Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced a new project funded by the Department of Defense to assess its Minerva Research Initiative. The Minerva Initiative is a Department of Defense-sponsored university-based social science research program that supports basic research to better understand the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape the world, including international conflicts. BBCSS is seeking applications for committee members who will lead this assessment. More information can be found here, and applications for committee membership can be submitted here. Back to this issue’s table…

Federal Agencies Clarify Programmatic Goals and Specific Interests for Multiscale Modeling Initiative

In December 2016, seven federal agencies–National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Army Research Office (ARO), Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR)–released a notice (NOT-EB-16-011) clarifying the programmatic goals and specific interests of the interagency funding opportunity announcement Predictive Multiscale Models for Biomedical, Biological, Behavioral, Environmental and Clinical Research (PAR-15-085).  See the notice for full details. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

DOD Seeks Candidates for Associate Director for Social Science Research

The Department of Defense (DOD) Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research is seeking candidates to fill the position of Associate Director of Social Science Research. This position includes direction of the Minerva Research Initiative. The Minerva Initiative was launched in 2008 as a university-based social science research program. The position will be filled through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act process, so applicants must be the employee of state, local, federal, or tribal government; an institution of higher education; or another eligible nonprofit, and agree to serve a set term in the position. Demonstrated experience with large program…

Funding Opportunity Announcements

DOD: Minerva Research Initiative (WHS-AD-FOA-16-01) Department of Education, Office of International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE): Fulbright-Hays Group Programs Abroad, Short Term/Long Term (January) Fulbright-Hays, Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (January) Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (April) American Overseas Research Centers (May) NIH Opportunities: NCI:  Feasibility Studies to Build Collaborative Partnerships in Cancer Research (P20) (PAR-16-084) NIA: NIA Clinical Research Project Planning Grant Program (R34), (PAR-16-085) NIH: Education and Health: New Frontiers (R21) (PAR-16-078), (R03) (PAR-16-079), (R01) (PAR-16-080),  [OBSSR, NCI, NIA, NICHD, NIDA] NIH: International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development Award (R25) (PAR-16-081), [FIC, NHGRI, NIAID] NIH: International Bioethics Research…

DOD: 2015 Minerva Deadline Extended

As previously reported, the Office of the Secretary of Defense within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has issued the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the 2015 Minerva Research Initiative, DOD’s signature social science research program. DOD recently extended the deadline for the 2015 competition. White papers are now due November 10 and full proposals are due February 10. See the BAA for full details. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

DOD: 2015 Minerva Funding Opportunity Released

The Office of the Secretary of Defense within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has issued the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the 2015 Minerva Research Initiative. Established in 2008, Minerva is DOD’s signature social science research program that seeks to “improve DOD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the U.S.” It awards grants to university investigators and teams and funding is derived from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Army Research Office (ARO) and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Proposals are sought across…

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