Foreign Policy Research Grants

Foreign Policy Research Grants

A government’s most important task is to secure the rights and liberties of its citizens—in part, by providing for the common defense. For this reason, the United States should maintain a strong military to keep America safe, prosperous, and free.

In recent decades, the United States has pursued an approach to foreign policy known as primacy or liberal hegemony.  This foreign policy has required active and aggressive U.S. military engagement around the globe that has undermined our safety and imperiled our prosperity and liberties.

The Foundation supports scholars and institutions interested in challenging the current approach, providing alternative visions for U.S. foreign policy, and engaging in research that can bridge the gap between ideas and policy. The Foundation is especially interested in foreign policy research projects from political science, international relations, history, or economics. However, proposals from all fields will be considered on their merits.

Grant Description

We are especially interested in research that:

  • Explores topics and issues related to a grand strategy of restraint.
  • Examines the role of values and ethics in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.
  • Addresses the unintended consequences of U.S. military actions abroad and explores the costs and impact of engagements in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and other places where significant counterterrorism efforts have been conducted.
  • Considers the impact of U.S. military engagement abroad on American society—for instance, the effect of our foreign policy decisions on civil liberties or the health and welfare of veterans.
  • Explores the concept of threat inflation and problematizes theories of credibility and reputation in relation to U.S. foreign policy.
  • Analyzes executive–legislative relations in foreign policy, including the constitutional division of war powers.
  • Examines the impact of domestic interest groups, businesses, think tanks, and the permanent national security bureaucracy on U.S. foreign policy.
  • Explores the growth of the intelligence and national security establishments since 9/11.
  • Surveys the costs, risks, and impacts of foreign aid and alliance commitments.
  • Studies the costs and benefits of burden-sharing and burden-shifting with current allies.
  • Scrutinizes Pentagon spending, force structure, and the strategic demands of U.S. defense policy—including structural incentives for military expenditures.
  • Considers the consequences of an increasingly multipolar world, especially as concerns principal geostrategic regions (e.g., Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Western Pacific).
  • Explores how changes in technology (such as A2/AD) that impact the offense-defense balance can be leveraged to support a sound approach to grand strategy.

Grant Criteria

  • A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university, college, think tank, or other 501(c)(3) organization. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.
  • A CV or résumé.
  • A brief, itemized budget.
  • Final projects should be original and meet the highest standards of their field, and must not have been previously published.

Funding

Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.


Review & Notification Process

Proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Explore the Issue

The Charles Koch Foundation funds research on the policies that will keep our country secure and supports new voices and sound scholarship that speak to America’s enduring interests.

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Our Giving Standards and Principles

Our giving standards and principles guide our long-standing commitment to academic independence and openness.

Faculty call the shots.

Behind each of our grants is a scholar with a vision. Their freedom to drive their research wherever it may take them is essential to the discovery that we hope results from our support.

Schools provide the academic environment.

We’re excited to support hundreds of schools ranging from small liberal arts colleges to state research universities to Ivy League schools. Each grant we make follows the school’s standard procedures when it comes to hiring, curriculum, peer review, and other policies.

Openness brings opportunities.

To help make potential grantees aware of opportunities, we share news of all our major gifts. This knowledge sharing improves collaboration, offering others the possibility to build on the work of the scholars we support.

Society benefits.

The scholars we support are tackling some of the toughest challenges of our time and preparing students for success in a dynamic future. The goal of our philanthropy is to improve society. As scholars’ discoveries guide the path forward on criminal justice reform, free expression, foreign policy, technology and innovation, economic opportunity, and other pressing challenges, society progresses.

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