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U.S. Foreign Policy and the Future of Europe

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Future of Europe

The Charles Koch Foundation is interested in supporting research on the future of European security, U.S. alliance commitments in the region, the use of economic sanctions, and related topics.

The Charles Koch Foundation is actively soliciting foreign policy proposals that will:

  • Evaluate the future of NATO, including assessing its membership policies, effectiveness, and relevance for U.S. grand strategy.
  • Consider the costs and benefits to both the United States and to NATO of Finland and/or Sweden joining NATO.
  • Identify innovative opportunities for alternative, non-NATO security architectures for Europe, both as a whole or for Eastern Europe specifically.
  • Examine the role of the United States in Europe’s modern security architecture, including opportunities to improve burden-sharing and optimize U.S. basing decisions.
  • Evaluate areas where U.S. interests converge or diverge from those of its allies and friends in Europe and offering suggested policy responses.
  • Identify necessary preconditions for true European strategic autonomy, potential gains for the United States from such a policy, and a roadmap for achieving those gains.
  • Provide new insights into topics related to alliance formation, great power transitions, entrapment, moral hazard, and retrenchment.
  • Examine cases of great power retrenchment and identify risk mitigation strategies for balance of power shifts.
  • Compare and contrast different types of sanctions (unilateral vs. multilateral, targeted on individuals vs. organizations, export vs. import, etc.) with respect to their effectiveness at leading to the desired policy outcomes, the consequences on the targets of the sanctions, reactions and consequences for third-party states, frequency of use, and ease of application.
  • Evaluate different strategies for the application and removal of sanctions in order to determine optimal strategies for achieving desired policy gains at lowest human and economic costs.
  • Examine the use of economic sanctions in war, including their escalatory or de-escalatory power/characteristics and whether states view being the target of sanctions to be the equivalent to a declaration of war.

We are open to other research proposals that fit these general themes.

Academic Research 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.*
  • A timeline of activities for your planned project.
  • 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. 

Academic Research Grant Funding


Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the host institution. Grants will be awarded of up to $25,000. Graduate students are not eligible for the program, but may apply for standard dissertation grants of $5,000 following the instructions of this dissertation grant RFP.

How To Apply for Foreign Policy Research Grants:


Applications are due by 9:00 AM EDT on Monday, August 15, 2022, and should be submitted through our online application form here. Please select “RFP: Europe” for your application. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they arrive.

Information about CKF’s overall approach to foreign policy and some highlights from existing grantees can be found on our main foreign policy page.

Please direct any questions to CKFForeignPolicyGrants@charleskochfoundation.org.