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Graduate Research Grant Competition

Mershon Center Graduate Research Grant Competition
Fiscal Year 2024-2025
Due date February 1, 2024


For a general understanding of Mershon's mission and funding goals, please review the overview of Mershon funding on our website.

Scope and eligibility

Ohio State 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. Preliminary fieldwork and pilot studies are permitted.

Submission Instructions

All application materials should be sent via email attachments (coversheet saved as a Word document) to mershon.student@osu.edu. All other items can be sent separately or as one combined PDF. Please identify each electronic document with your last name, the grant, and document type (i.e. smithGRvita.doc or smithGRproposal.doc).

For questions regarding the application process or budget, allowable expenses, travel, or disbursement of funds, please contact Kyle McCray, Business & Operations Manager at the Mershon Center, at mccray.44@osu.edu or at 614-292-3810.

Proposals must contain the following items:

1. Standard coversheet including a 100-word abstract (available below), submitted in Word format (not PDF). In an additional paragraph, explain how your research contributes to a better understanding of international, national, and/or human security, broadly defined. 

2. Three- to five-page double-spaced project or dissertation proposal, according to the conventions of your discipline. If your project requires IRB approval, please note where you are in that process. 

3. Explanation (no more than one double-spaced page) of your project's contribution to Mershon's mission and the value of the Mershon community for your project and/or professional development. 

4. Research plan (no more than one double-spaced page) for the funding period, explaining the specific activities you will undertake and how they fit into your larger project. 

5. Detailed, itemized budget. Proposals involving international travel must budget for supplemental health insurance for travel outside of the United States. Please also note any additional sources of funding that will support the research activities. 

6. A C.V. 

7. A letter of recommendation from the project advisor or dissertation committee chair, sent directly by the recommender to mershon.student@osu.edu with your name in the subject line. 

8. Official copy of student’s college transcript or advising report.

Applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary faculty committee, and applicants will receive brief feedback on both successful and unsuccessful applications. Applicants will be notified of results by March 15. Funds will be available for a full academic year with any extension to be approved on an as-needed basis.

Criteria for evaluation include

  • the intellectual excellence and originality of the project
  • the specificity, viability, ethics, and relevance of the activities proposed for funding
  • the relevance of the project to Mershon's mission, and the student's ability to articulate this
  • the student's degree of preparation for conducting an extended original research project

With limited funding available, the committee will also need to balance grants across departments and disciplines.

Graduate students are important members of the Mershon community, bringing new questions, perspectives, and data to our mutual edification. Accordingly, we strongly invite students to become active colleagues in Center activities, building their professional networks and developing ease in interdisciplinary interaction. All awarded students will become Mershon Center Student Fellows, with a profile page on the Mershon website, access to invitation-only visitor events, Mershon professional memberships, and opportunities for professional development with junior and senior Mershoners.

Grant requirements:

1. Submit a brief public-oriented post on the project, with appropriate photos or graphic material, for the Mershon newsletter and website. Grantees should also keep the Mershon Center communications specialist abreast of publications or other research updates and discuss ways in which the center can assist in promoting or supporting research.

2. Submit a close-out report.

3. Credit the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as research funder in all publications and professional activities.


All awards are subject to the rules and regulations of The Ohio State University, including travel to risk-designated countries. Please contact the Office of Risk Management and Insurance at irm@osu.edu with questions. Access to funds will only be available for use once restrictions are addressed.

Where required, students must receive IRB approval prior to disbursement of funds.