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Mershon Center Residency Competition

Mershon Center Residency 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 

This grant is intended to bring a scholar or practitioner to Ohio State for an extended period in order to interact with Mershon affiliates and other relevant faculty, student, or public and community constituencies around security-related issues. Depending on circumstances, a residency may be as short as a few days or as long as a year. (For a lecture with just an additional course visit or other minor event, please apply for a Programming Grant or request co-sponsorship.) This competition replaces previous visiting scholar arrangements.  

The application is made by an Ohio State faculty member in consultation with the prospective visitor. Regular and affiliated faculty are eligible to apply. Ohio State postdocs and graduate students may apply in collaboration with a faculty member, but a faculty member must commit to serve as the immediate host for the resident, doing their best to ensure a satisfying experience at Ohio State.  

A residency should benefit both Mershon and the resident. While there will normally be a programming component (talks, film screening, etc.), the primary purpose is intellectual exchange. For example, a practitioner in peacebuilding might take a mini-sabbatical to talk with academics and read recent scholarship. In return, they might give a seminar on their practice, conduct a workshop for students interested in NGO careers, and mentor a PhD student planning fieldwork. The seminar could lead to a publication or broadcast allowing them to synthesize the learning from their career for others.  

Because this competition is a new experiment, we strongly urge prior consultation, especially for longer residencies. Mershon cannot offer salary replacement, full fellowships, or office space for long-term visitors (note, however, our postdoc program, with the current applications due on January 15, 2024). But we are open to discussing what would make a visit feasible, recognizing the different circumstances of tenured scholars in the US, international visitors, community practitioners, and so on.  

Applicants must think hard about the viability of their residency plan in relation to an overcommitted constituency and overprogrammed campus. They should also think clearly about their own bandwidth for hosting the visitor. Collaborative applications from more than one unit are strongly preferred; applicants should demonstrate buy-in from relevant constituencies, up to and including co-sponsorship by another unit. In the case of an extended visit, the proposed resident should submit a plan of work.  

Proposal Requirements
Proposals must contain the following items: 

  1. Standard coversheet including a 100-word abstract (available below).  

  2. Three-page proposal describing

    • the constituencies for the residency (Mershon, Ohio State, field-specific, public) and its relevance to Mershon's mission.  

    • the proposed resident's background and skillset; what they can contribute to Mershon's mission  

    • the intellectual purpose of and rationale for the residency, and the intended activities  

    • any intended follow-on activities or products.  

  3. Itemized budget (available below). Please explain where any additional funding needed will come from.  

  4. CVs of the applicants and the proposed resident.  

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., smithRESIDcv.doc or smithRESIDproposal.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. Applicants may be invited to discuss the project and budget with the committee and, in some cases, to revise and resubmit. Applicants will receive an initial response by November 1, and revise-resubmits will be due by December 1. Funds will be available for a full academic year, beginning in May 2024, with any extension requiring approval. (Unused funds will be swept unless there are special circumstances for an exception.) Any event dates must be approved by the Mershon Center in coordination with the rest of the annual schedule.  

Criteria for evaluation include  

  • The qualifications of the resident for bringing new knowledge and perspective on security issues to Mershon 

  • The value of the proposed activities to the immediate participants and to broader academic, policy, or public constituencies 

  • The plan to "capture" the learning of the proposed encounter through documentation, publication, or other activities 

  • The viability of the proposed plan, including the evidence of interest, the host PI's commitment to supporting the residency, the suitability of the budget, and the feasibility of the plan of activities  

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 a grant review committee or respond to a student presentation.) Mershon grantees are invited to retain their affiliation with Mershon after the granting period and to continue to collaborate with us. 

Residents will commit to the plan of activities specified in the proposal, and it is hoped that they will engage with Mershon more broadly, to a level that is reasonable in relation to their commitments and the length of their stay. 

Specific granting requirements include  

  • Work with the Mershon Center communications specialist on appropriate promotion for the residency and related activities   

  • Submit a brief public-oriented follow-up post to capture significant aspects of the residency and insights generated from it.  

  • 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 any follow-up external funding.  

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