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Mershon Center Programming Competition

Mershon Center Programming Competition
Fiscal Year 2024-2025
Due date October 1, 2023



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

Scope and eligibility 

Mershon will offer a limited number of grants for conferences, workshops, training seminars, lecture series, or major lectures, for FY 25. (Note: these grants are for events organized and hosted by the Mershon Center, or Mershon with an equal partner. If you are only seeking co-sponsorship, use the rolling-review co-sponsorship form.) Funds will typically be available July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. 

Programming must support Mershon's mission and be of value to Mershon's constituency. It should offer an original angle on a security question instead of reproducing conversations happening elsewhere or content that is already widely available. Prior consultation is encouraged. Please consider: 

  • The apt format: Design backwards from your intended purpose and constituency. Virtual, in-person with or without recording, in-person invitation only? Panel discussion, interview, dialogue, book forum, lecture? Interactive formats are especially appreciated by our audience and multiple perspectives are central to our mission: for example, think about incorporating discussants who can offer new angles on a visitor's work. Mixing up generations and backgrounds will be intellectually productive as well as multiplying audiences. 

  • Whom to invite: Consider up-and-coming or less-exposed speakers who will appreciate the invitation and take trouble with their participation. If you want a "moosehead," what is your plan for motivating them to come and engage beyond a canned lecture? 

  • The value added: Why should this programming be hosted by the Mershon Center and not a department? Why should it be hosted by Ohio State? What do our expertise and context have to offer to the conversation and to visitors? Are there additional activities beyond the main event that will enhance the encounter on all sides? 

  • Location of in-person events: Venues beyond Ohio State may be considered. For example, a series of public lectures might be held in downtown Columbus; a workshop involving many international speakers might be held in a country with easier visa and travel arrangements. In such cases it will be especially important to articulate the value for Mershon. 

  • How to capture the learning: With some exceptions for public-facing events, Mershon programming should aim to produce new insights, stimulate new research, and/or develop the capacities of students and colleagues. How will you document, reflect on, and build on the programming activities?  

Regular and affiliated faculty are eligible to apply. Postdocs and graduates may apply in collaboration with a faculty member. Collaborative applications from more than one unit are strongly preferred; applicants should demonstrate buy-in from relevant on- and off-campus constituencies (e.g., commitments from speakers, co-sponsors, etc.)  

Proposal Requirements
Proposals must contain the following items: 

  1. Standard coversheet including a 100-word abstract (available below).   
  2. 3-page proposal describing   
    • the proposed events, formats, and timing 
    • the constituencies for the programming (Mershon, Ohio State, field-specific, public) and its relevance to Mershon's mission 
    • the intellectual purpose of and rationale for the proposed programming and the selection of primary participants  
    • any intended follow-on activities or products 
  3. Itemized budget (available below). Please explain if additional funding will cover essential expenses.  If a speaker should receive more than the standard honorarium, explain the justification. 
  4. CVs of the PIs.  
  5. Submission Instructions

All application materials should be sent via email attachments (coversheet saved as a Word document) to mershon.faculty@osu.edu. Please identify each electronic document with your last name, the grant, and document type (i.e., smithPROGvita.doc or smithPROGproposal.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 614-292-3810.  

Review and Response
Applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary faculty committee, and applicants are invited to request feedback on both successful and unsuccessful applications. Applicants will be notified of the result by November 1. Funds will be available for a full academic year, beginning in May 2024, with any extension to be approved on an as-needed basis. (Unused funds will be swept unless there are special circumstances for an exception.) Event dates must be approved by the Mershon Center in coordination with the rest of the schedule.  

Criteria for evaluation include  

  • the intellectual excellence and originality of the programming 
  • the programming's relevance to Mershon's mission and interdisciplinary constituency 
  • viability of the execution: qualifications of the applicants, accessibility of the speakers, likelihood/evidence of buy-in from participants and audiences  
  • the applicants' commitment to engaging with the Mershon community  
  • With limited funding and limited dates available, the committee will also need to balance grants across departments and disciplines.  

Grant Requirements
Faculty grantees become Research Associates of the Mershon Center and are expected to participate in its intellectual life. Collegiality and curiosity, objectified by a reasonable level of showing up, are essential to cross-disciplinary learning. In proportion to the support given, associates are also called upon for specific forms of service, taking their schedules into account. (For example, you might be called to serve on next year's programming grant review committee.) Mershon grantees are invited to retain their affiliation with Mershon after the granting period and to continue to collaborate with us. 

Specific granting requirements include  

  • Work with the Mershon Center communications specialist on appropriate promotion for the events.   
  • Submit a brief public-oriented follow-up post on the ideas developed in the conference or series for the Mershon newsletter and website.  
  • Credit the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as research funder in any associated publications and professional activities and list it as an associated org on the PA-005 form if you apply for external funding resulting from the programming.  

Grantees who do not fulfill the grant requirements will not be eligible for future funding.