The Mershon Center for International Security Studies cultivates innovative research on international, national, and human security. We focus particularly on the human and social rather than the technical dimensions of diplomacy, peacemaking, conflict, and collective problem-solving.
Mershon encourages interdisciplinary research, collaborative research, responsible engaged research, and research with clear implications for policy or practice. More traditional modes of scholarship are welcome, however, provided that researchers are willing to put their work into active dialogue with that of other Mershoners. While supporting individual projects, our funding is intended to foster robust interdisciplinary conversation on security issues at Ohio State. Accordingly, grantees are expected to "give back" to Mershon at a reasonable level by contributing their perspectives and expertise towards our collective edification. (Departments, likewise, are asked to recognize this labor as part of the grantee's research profile and service load.) Our hope is that grantees will remain part of the Mershon community over time and find ongoing intellectual rewards in doing so.
Individual research projects may be framed within specific disciplines, especially for junior scholars, but we ask researchers to articulate the broader value of their investigation and invite them to seek multidisciplinary feedback as the work proceeds. Collaborative projects and programming, however, must serve a wider constituency. PIs should come from more than one unit at Ohio State, and projects should incorporate multiple perspectives, which may come from inside or outside the academy. Applicants should consider and explain why Mershon is an appropriate home for the project.
Please bear in mind that a Mershon grant comprises staff labor and community attention along with the actual funding. Accordingly, we must evaluate proposals not only on their own merits, but within the Center's ecology. We may offer only partial funding; we may need to request modifications; we may suggest cooperation; and we ask you to think about time and attention budgets along with the fiscal one as you design your proposal. (Less may be more, especially as regards programming.)
New for 2023-2024
We are pleased to introduce residency and new associate professor grants this year: please consult with us as you consider how these might take shape for you.
We have also tried to rationalize and regularize our full funding structure: this is a trial run and we'd be glad of your feedback across the grant cycle.
Funding for projects involving what the university defines as human subjects research will be released upon IRB approval. Community-engaged projects will receive special review to ensure sustained and ethical interactions.
So that our calendar overtaxes neither our staff nor our audience, we are making an effort to have as much programming in place as possible before each school year begins. This means that we are asking you to make single-event and co-sponsorship requests at least a semester in advance, and ideally by the end of spring of the preceding year. Last-minute requests arising from public events or special opportunities will be considered at staff discretion.
To streamline the process, we are also asking colleagues henceforth to make director-reviewed funding requests through the email address designated for each type, rather than by emails to director or staff.
Individual grants support the research of Ohio State regular faculty and students. (Postdocs and visiting scholars are not eligible, but affiliated/clinical track faculty may apply.)
Collaborative interdisciplinary grants
Collaborative interdisciplinary grants support research and programming that bring collective benefit to the Mershon community. For research projects, at least two leaders must be tenure-line Ohio State faculty from different disciplines; they should be already engaged with Mershon or able to make a credible commitment to engagement. All programming must have a demonstrable Mershon constituency, that is, applicants must show why the programming should be hosted by Mershon and not a department. Postdocs and grad students may propose programming with the support of a faculty member. Prior consultation strongly encouraged.
The Chadwick F. Alger student scholarship provides $2500 to an undergraduate undertaking study abroad or an honors thesis on peace and conflict resolution.
Graduate students in good academic standing from any department may apply to support fieldwork or other research expenses leading towards a PhD dissertation or terminal masters' project.
To support individual fieldwork or other research-related expenses. (Course release support must be negotiated with the department chair.) Junior faculty are especially encouraged to apply once their startup package has run out.
Support newly tenured faculty in jump-starting a new, interdisciplinary research agenda and in related professional development. The expectation is that such faculty will become core Mershon affiliates. Funds may be used for research expenditures and for approved professional development opportunities. Disbursed in two installments, the second contingent on interim review. Associate professors within two years of tenure may apply (with some pandemic leeway for FY 24).
Pre-publication workshopping of a MS; priority is given to assistant professors. (N.b.: Associate professors may wish to incorporate a post-publication book workshop, to discuss uptake and implications, into a NAG, as per above.
Reviewed on a rolling basis, support publication subventions, matching fund needs, etc.
Collaborative Interdisciplinary Grants
To host a conference or lecture series. Joint applications preferred; individuals may apply if they can demonstrate wider Mershon participation.
2 years. Collaborative initiatives around a compelling topic. While programming should be interesting to a larger group, the primary purpose is to nurture a focused interdisciplinary conversation in the first year that generates concrete individual and/or collaborative research in the second.
To advance high-impact team projects. 2-yr, $50-150K. Grants will support the early phases of strongly conceptualized collaborative investigations that seem likely to make significant original contributions to the understanding of security issues, with important implications for policy or practice. Disbursed in two installments, the second contingent on interim review. PIs wills submit an external funding application by the end of the funding period.