Minerva Research Initiative-Department of Defense

Minerva Research Initiative
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Multi-Year University-Led Projects

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) seeks proposals from university researchers and university-led teams for the Minerva Research Initiative, a university-led defense social science program seeking fundamental understanding of the social and cultural forces shaping U.S. strategic interests globally. [see the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) at grants.gov]

Submissions should propose basic research relevant to the five core topic areas. The more detailed descriptions of each (found in the released FOA) are intended to provide the proposer a frame of reference though not to be restrictive. Topics are not mutually exclusive and proposals may consider issues relating to questions, scope, or regions beyond those listed.

The 2016 solicitation once again considers proposals ranging from single-investigator awards to larger, multidisciplinary and multi-institution teams. This competition is open to institutions of higher education (universities), including DoD institutions of higher education and non-U.S. universities. Non-profit institutions and commercial entities are again eligible to compete as collaborators on university-led proposals.

More details are posted on our FAQ page. [Note: An FOA is functionally the same as the old Broad Agency Announcements (BAA).]

General Information

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: WHS-AD-FOA-16-01
Funding Opportunity Title: Minerva Research Initiative
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation:
Expected Number of Awards: 12
CFDA Number(s): 12.630 — Basic, Applied, and Advanced Research in Science and Engineering
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
Posted Date: Jan 12, 2016
Creation Date: Jan 12, 2016
Original Closing Date for Applications: Jun 17, 2016  
Current Closing Date for Applications: Jun 17, 2016  
Archive Date: Jul 17, 2016
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Award Ceiling: $5,000,000
Award Floor: $150,000


Eligible Applicants:
Private institutions of higher education
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Additional Information on Eligibility:

Additional Information

Agency Name: Department of Defense
Description: Just as the Cold War gave rise to new ideas and fields of study such as game theory and Kremlinology, the challenges facing the world today call for a broader conception and application of national power that goes beyond military capability. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is interested in receiving proposals for the Minerva Research Initiative (http://minerva.dtic.mil), a university-led defense social science program seeking fundamental understanding of the social and cultural forces shaping U.S. strategic interests globally. The Minerva Research Initiative (Minerva) emphasizes questions of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. It seeks to increase the Department’s intellectual capital in the social sciences and improve its ability to address future challenges and build bridges between the Department and the social science community. Minerva brings together universities and other research institutions around the world and supports multidisciplinary and cross-institutional projects addressing specific topic areas determined by the Department of Defense. The Minerva program aims to promote research in specific areas of social science and to promote a candid and constructive relationship between DoD and the social science academic community. The Minerva Research Initiative competition is for research related to the five (5) topics and associated subtopics listed below. Innovative white papers and proposals related to these research topics are highly encouraged. Detailed descriptions of the topics can be found in Section IX, “Specific Minerva Research Initiative Topics.” I. Identity, Influence, and Mobilization Culture, identity, and security Influence and mobilization for change II. Contributors to Societal Resilience and Change Governance and rule of law Migration and urbanization Populations and demographics Environment and natural resources Economics III. Power and Deterrence Global order Power projection and diffusion Beyond conventional deterrence Area studies IV. Analytical methods and metrics for security research V. Innovations in National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation Proposals will be considered both for single-investigator awards as well as larger teams. A team of university investigators may be warranted because the necessary expertise in addressing the multiple facets of the topics may reside in different universities, or in different departments of the same university. The research questions addressed should extend across a fairly broad range of linked issues where there is clear potential synergy among the contributions of the distinct disciplines represented on the team. Team proposals must name one Principal Investigator as the responsible technical point of contact. Similarly, one institution will be the primary recipient for the purpose of award execution. The relationship among participating institutions and their respective roles, as well as the apportionment of funds including sub-awards, if any, must be described in both the proposal text and the budget. The Minerva Research Initiative is a multi-service effort. Ultimately, however, funding decisions will be made by OSD personnel, with technical inputs from the Services.
Link to Additional Information: DoD Minerva Program website
Contact Information: If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:

Angela Hughes Contracting Officer Phone 703-545-8995