Foreign Policy Research Grants | Executive-Legislative Relations and War Powers

Foreign Policy Research Grants | Executive-Legislative Relations and War Powers

The Charles Koch Foundation is pleased to launch this request for proposals for grants to support research and other activities on important foreign policy issues confronting the United States today. Given the changing nature of the world around us, the United States needs a foreign policy that prioritizes our national interests and productive engagement with other countries. We are proud to support research that challenges status quo thinking and inspires fresh perspectives in the foreign policy debate.

In 2019, Congress invoked the War Powers Resolution for the first time since its passage in 1973. This bipartisan, bicameral vote occurred amid increased debate over the current relevance of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the very existence of the 2002 AUMF. As the underlying legal authorities for American activities in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere attract increasing scrutiny, policymakers must appreciate the need for appropriate oversight and accountability over the power to commence, fund, and finish hostilities. To that end, we are actively soliciting proposals for projects that:

  • Study the defacto constitutional responsibilities of Congress and the President and how they changed over time and how those responsibilities are either emphasized, enforced, or neglected.
  • Examine the components of and evaluate the use of AUMFs to either enable or constrain warfighting in pursuit of American national interests.
  • Examine tools the legislative branch can use to increase oversight of defense and foreign policy.
  • Study the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution.
  • Evaluate “Iron Triangles” of shared interests in the defense industry, Pentagon, and Capitol Hill, including the politics of the “revolving door” and defense acquisitions.
  • Evaluate the evolution of National Defense Authorization Acts, comparing trends and salient points between different pieces of legislation.
  • Examine ways Congress can reestablish its prerogatives over trade policy without inducing the problematic dynamics of past congressional protectionism.
  • Explore means to improve legislative oversight of intelligence agencies in order to respond to growing surveillance and other challenges of intelligence collection in a free society.

We are open to other research proposals that fit these general themes.

Grant Criteria

  • A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university or college. 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.

*Items are required in application.


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.

Foreign Policy Research

We are proud to support research that challenges status quo thinking and inspires fresh perspectives in the foreign policy debate.

Foreign Policy

We support new voices and sound scholarship that speak to America's enduring interests and policies that will make our country safer.

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Managing Relations with China

As Washington, DC gears up for an era of “Great Power Competition” with China, academics and policymakers should ask whether the underlying assumption that these two states are destined for conflict is true.

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The Future of America’s Alliances

Given problems with burden-sharing and conflicting interests, U.S. policymakers should reevaluate the costs and benefits of the U.S.’s security commitments.

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Ending Endless Wars in the Middle East

As political will mounts to leave foreign conflicts and bring American troops home, policymakers must grapple with exit strategies and the lessons learned from the last few decades of engagement.

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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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