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Grand Strategy Research Grants

A government’s most important task is to secure the rights and liberties of its citizens—in part, by providing for the common defense. For this reason, the United States should maintain a strong military to keep America safe, prosperous, and free.

In recent decades, the United States has pursued an approach to foreign policy known as primacy or liberal hegemony. This foreign policy has required active and aggressive U.S. military engagement around the globe that has undermined our safety and imperiled our prosperity and liberties.

CKF supports scholars and research institutions interested in challenging the current approach, providing alternative visions for U.S. foreign policy, and engaging in research that can bridge the gap between ideas and policy. We are especially interested in foreign policy research projects from political science, international relations, history, or economics. However, proposals from all fields will be considered on their merits.

Grant Description

We are soliciting proposals that:

  • Explore topics and issues related to a grand strategy of restraint.
  • Examine the role of values and ethics in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.
  • Address the unintended consequences of U.S. military actions abroad and explores the costs and impact of engagements in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and other places where significant counterterrorism efforts have been conducted.
  • Consider the impact of U.S. military engagement abroad on American society—for instance, the effect of our foreign policy decisions on civil liberties or the health and welfare of veterans.
  • Explore the concept of threat inflation and identifies the problematic nature of theories of credibility and reputation in relation to U.S. foreign policy.
  • Analyze executive–legislative relations in foreign policy, including the constitutional division of war powers.
  • Examine the impact of domestic interest groups, businesses, think tanks, and the permanent national security bureaucracy on U.S. foreign policy.
  • Explore the growth of the intelligence and national security establishments since 9/11.
  • Survey the costs, risks, and impacts of foreign aid and alliance commitments.
  • Study the costs and benefits of burden-sharing and burden-shifting with current allies.
  • Scrutinize Pentagon spending, force structure, and the strategic demands of U.S. defense policy—including structural incentives for military expenditures.
  • Consider the consequences of an increasingly multipolar world, especially as concerns principal geostrategic regions (e.g., Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Western Pacific).
  • Explore how changes in technology (such as A2/AD) that impact the offense-defense balance can be leveraged to support a sound approach to grand strategy.

Grant Criteria

  • A two-to-five page abstract of the project. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.*
  • A CV or résumé.*
  • A brief, itemized budget.*
  • Final projects should be original and meet the highest standards of their field, and must not have been previously published.

*Items are required in application.


Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.

Review & Notification Process

Proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.