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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

The Mershon Center for International Security Studies seeks applications from Ohio State graduate students for research projects related to international and national security. Funds for student grants may be used to support travel costs, food and lodging expenses, interview or library fees, survey costs, and other expenses related to research.  Students with dissertations under way are encouraged to apply.

Proposals will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary review committee of faculty who will make recommendations to the Mershon Center director. Past committees have included faculty from departments and colleges across campus, including Political Science, History, Sociology, Moritz College of Law, Glenn College of Public Affairs, and others.

Currently, the Mershon Center is interested in three main themes:

  • The use of force and diplomacy
  • The ideas, identities and decisional processes that affect security
  • The institutions that manage violent conflict

To learn about past graduate student projects funded by the Mershon Center, please see past issues of the Mershon Center Annual Report under Publications.

If you are an undergraduate student interested in financial support for undergraduate theses and study abroad, please see International Security Scholarships for Undergraduate Theses and Study Abroad.

Application Instructions

Student grant applications must include:

  • Standard cover sheet that includes 500-word abstract of the project. In a paragraph, explain to an interdisciplinary audience how your project will advance the understanding of international and national security, broadly defined.
  • Three- to five-page double-spaced proposal detailing the project or dissertation.  
  • Detailed, itemized budget. Proposals involving international travel must budget for each month of travel outside the United States to cover required supplemental health insurance.
  • Letter of recommendation from project advisor or dissertation committee chair.
  • Official copy of student's college transcript or advising report.

The 2018-2019 Graduate Student Research Grant application form can be found here. It will download as a fillable Microsoft Word document.

All application materials should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please identify each electronic document with your last name and document type; for example, smithvita.doc or smithproposal.doc. Faculty recommendation letters may be sent separately.

Evaluation of Applications

The criteria used to judge proposals include:

  • The academic quality of the project.
  • The project's applicability to one or more of the Mershon Center's three main research themes.
  • The quality of the student's performance at Ohio State.
  • The likelihood that the project will fundamentally enhance a student’s academic experience or produce an academic product such as a master's thesis, doctoral dissertation, or publishable article.

The deadline for receiving student grant applications is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

For more information or questions regarding the application process, please contact Steven Blalock, Program Coordinator at the Mershon Center, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Students with winning grant applications will be informed by March. Funds will be available for a full academic year. All awards are subject to the rules and regulations of The Ohio State University. 

Grant applicants who wish to travel to countries under a current Department of State Travel Warning or other locations designated high risk should contact Dru Simmons, international risk manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Office of Risk Management and Insurance. Countries currently on Department of State Travel Warning can be viewed at: www.travel.state.gov

Ohio State students traveling to international locations for the purpose of study abroad, graduate/dissertation research, internships or independent study are required to enroll in the university's supplemental international insurance which is provided through HTH Worldwide. The insurance includes coverage for medical, evacuation, repatriation, emergency assistance, and political security and natural disaster. Students participating in study abroad programming coordinated through the Office of International Affairs are automatically enrolled in the supplemental international insurance. Students who are traveling abroad independently may enroll online for the supplemental insurance. For instructions: http://oia.osu.edu/preparing-to-depart/health-insurance.html.