What Is Minerva?
Just as our military forces could not effectively operate without understanding the physical terrain and environment, detection of radical actors and regime disruptions is limited by our understanding of the cultural and political environments where those threats develop. The Minerva Research Initiative, initiated by former Secretary Gates in 2008 and now supported by Secretary Leon Panetta, seeks to build deeper understanding of the social, cultural, and political dynamics that shape regions of strategic interest around the world.
Deeper understanding of global populations and their variance as provided by Minerva-funded research will yield more effective strategic and operational policy decisions. Minerva scholars have already briefed valuable, warfighter-relevant insights to senior officials such as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, decision makers in the defense policy community, and on the ground to our combatant commands.
As the nascent program continues to grow, university-driven Minerva research will further enable critical social and cultural understanding to help decision makers effectively address today's known and tomorrow's unknown challenges.
In 2013 fourteen university-led projects ranging in size from $200K to $1M were awarded Minerva grants, with research just begun or about to begin. In August 2013 we plan to release a solicitation for innovative defense-relevant social science research to begin in summer 2014.
Once opened, the 2014 solicitation will once again consider proposals ranging from single-investigator awards to larger, multidisciplinary and multi-institution teams. This competition will open to institutions of higher education (universities), including DoD institutions of higher education and foreign universities. Non-profit institutions and commercial entities are expected once again to be eligible to compete as collaborators on university-led proposals.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @DoDMinerva on twitter to be included in announcements for future solicitations.
More questions? Our frequently-asked questions page may be able to help!