Minerva is a university-based social science basic research program initiated by the Department of Defense in 2008 to improve our fundamental understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US. In 2012 ten projects ranging in size from $200K to $3M were awarded Minerva grants, with research just begun or about to begin. We look forward to a new cohort of interesting and important basic research efforts to begin in Fall 2013 based on the recently closed solicitation for 2013, and plan to release a new research solicitation for research beginning in 2014 in the summer of 2013.
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.
Though the budgetary environment remains uncertain, both the President's Budget recommendations to Congress for Fiscal Year 2013 and Congressional committees' own recommendations indicated very strong support for the growth of the program. Nothing is certain until a complete budget is passed by Congress however, the timeline of which remains uncertain. and the Minerva Steering Committee is working to demonstrate to Congress the future and current value of Minerva research as they consider the next year's budget.