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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds a competition for Ohio State University faculty and graduate students to apply for grant funds to support research related to international security.

Faculty research and seed grants and graduate student research grants may be used for a variety of research-related purposes including travel, interviews, experiments, surveys, library costs, and more.

The mission of the Mershon Center is to advance the understanding of national security in a global context. Our understanding of international security draws from a wide range of perspectives, approaches, and substantive foci. Consequently, successful applicants may come from a variety of disciplines that engage international security broadly conceived.

The center places an especially strong emphasis on supporting interdisciplinary research. Applicants are encouraged to develop collaborative interdisciplinary proposals that include a statement on how their project will contribute to the interdisciplinary development of knowledge.

Please note that as of 2019 research grant funds will no longer cover speaker series and conferences, which will be judged in a separate competition.

Examples of faculty grants

Hollie Nyseth Brehm

Hollie Nyseth Brehm (Sociology, left) and Amanda Robinson (Political Science) are assessing the triggers of mass killings by non-state actors in Africa. Most research on mass killings focuses on structural factors and state-led violence. They will focus on immediate triggers and non-state actors. Their research will contribute to our theoretical understanding of the causes of mass violence, and their results are relevant for policy makers interested in predicting and preventing episodes of mass killing.

Craig Jenkins

Craig Jenkins (Sociology, right), C.K. Shum (Earth Sciences), and Joyce Chen (AEDE) are piloting a flood and drought early warning system in Bangladesh, one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The project is designed to help people adapt to and plan for extreme weather events so they can stay in place rather than flee the country.

Jennifer Siegel

Jennifer Siegel (History) is writing a book on diplomacy during World War I. While scholars have studied the origins of the war, few have considered diplomacy during the war itself. Siegel finds that conflicting agreements between various countries shaped the peace agreement of 1919, setting up the global framework for the interwar period.

Benjamin McKean

Benjamin McKean (Political Science) is working on a book manuscript called Disposed to Justice on how global justice would be of mutual benefit to people in both the developed and developing world. This shifts away from prevailing approaches that assume people in the developed world have unambiguously benefited from globalization and overlook the interest in living under more just institutions.

Examples of graduate student grants

Kelly Yotebieng

Kelly Yotebieng (Anthropology) traveled to Cameroon to learn how a growing population of Rwandan urban refugees are rebuilding their lives and communities after conflict and displacement. Using ethnographic methods, she conducted participant observation and unstructured interviews of refugees in 16 households. This research helped her win a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship and Ohio State Presidential Fellowship to continue her work on the intersections of hope, risk, resilience and migration status.

Max Van Bargen

Max Van Bargen (History) traveled to the British National Archives to do research for his dissertation on British and American grand strategic cooperation and confrontation, 1981-1991. Documents from the Prime Minister's office, cabinet and foreign office added critical perspective that helped him refine and focus his thesis.

How to apply

Application forms and instructions for all Mershon Center research grants can be found in the Research Grants section of the Mershon Center website. The deadline for all research grant applications is 5 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2019.