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U.S. Foreign Policy Dissertations

U.S. Foreign Policy Dissertations

The Charles Koch Foundation is pleased to announce a call for applications for dissertation support for graduate students whose research agendas focus on U.S. foreign policy, U.S. grand strategy, and America’s role in the world.

Grant Description

Broadly speaking, CKF is interested in supporting scholarship that can help policymakers improve their foreign policy decisions. How can the U.S. avoid the Thucydides Trap — if there is such a thing — and have a productive relationship with China? Is Russia an aggressive, revisionist power or a security-seeker concerned about Western encroachment in what it sees as its sphere of influence? How should the U.S. react in either case? Regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya failed to be as constructive as some policymakers expected — how can the U.S. avoid such costly choices in the future?

We welcome applications related to other areas of U.S. foreign policy, but we are particularly attentive to the following topics addressed in our other RFPs. Please review them for additional detailed questions.

  • U.S. grand strategy, particularly the costs, benefits, and consequences of various grand strategies and how they are adopted and implemented;
  • The future of U.S.-China relations, especially how to productively manage the relationship in a way that protects U.S. national interests while avoiding unnecessary conflict;
  • The future of American alliances, including re-evaluating existing commitments and the overall costs, benefits, and consequences of alliances; and
  • Ending endless wars.

Financial support is available to scholars from multiple disciplines including, but not limited to, political science, history, international relations, economics, and area studies.

Grant Criteria

Candidates must complete an online application and provide the following documents. Unless otherwise specified, there is no page limit.

  • A curriculum vitae.
  • A 2-5 page description of your dissertation research, its relationship to the academic conversation, and how it connects to the fellowship topic(s). Please describe how your research would contribute to discussions about the future of U.S. foreign policy.
  • A brief statement of your short- and long-term professional goals.
  • An academic writing sample.
  • A line-item budget.


Financial support can be used in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Travel
  • Professional development
  • Research-related expenses such as polling or data collection
  • Research assistance

Dissertation support is typically around $5,000.

Review & Notification Process

All grant opportunities will be considered on an individual and rolling basis with the possibility of renewal. Please direct any questions to