Mershon Center Programming Competition


Mershon Center Programming Competition
Fiscal Year 2023-2024

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

Scope and eligibility

Mershon will offer a limited number of grants for conferences, workshops, lecture series, or major lectures, for FY 24. (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 director-reviewed co-sponsorship form. For a single, one-off, low-expense talk, also see the director-reviewed lecture grants.)

Programming should be of value to a Mershon constituency (please consider why Mershon, not a department, should host it). Ideally it will not reproduce conversations happening elsewhere and available online, but offer an original angle on a security question. Similarly, avoid proposing speakers likely to deliver their canned lecture. Consider up-and-coming or less-exposed talented people who will appreciate the invitation and take the trouble to engage with other participants and the audience. Prior consultation is encouraged.

Conferences or other events may be held outside of Ohio State if there is a good argument to do otherwise. (For example, a series of public lectures might be held in downtown Columbus; a conference 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 of the programming to Mershon.

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.)

Due date

April 1, 2023

Submission Instructions

All application materials should be sent via email attachments (coversheet saved as a Word document) to  .  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 or at 614-292-3810.



Proposals must contain the following items:

  1. Standard coversheet including a 100-word abstract (available below). 
  2. Three-page (double-spaced) proposal describing
    a. the proposed events, justification for format (virtual/in-person/hybrid), and timing
    b. the intellectual purpose of and rationale for the proposed programming and the selection of primary participants
    c. the constituencies for the programming (Mershon, Ohio State, field-specific, public) and its relevance to Mershon's mission.
    d. any intended follow-on activities or products.
  3. Itemized budget (available below in coversheet). 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 applicants



Faculty grantees are expected to participate in the life of the Mershon Center, both informally and formally. Collegiality and curiosity, objectified by a reasonable level of showing up, are essential to cross-disciplinary learning. In proportion to the support given, affiliates 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.) We hope, of course, that grantees will remain engaged with Mershon after the granting period and will 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 ePA-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.


Applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary faculty committee, and applicants will receive general feedback on both successful and unsuccessful applications. Applicants will be notified of the result by May 5. Funds will be available for a full academic year 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 year 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.