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The Minerva Research Initiative competition for 2013 awards has closed. We anticipate that a new solicitation for 2014 will be posted in Summer 2013.
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.
For additional information regarding the Minerva Initiative, please send your inquiry to Minerva@osd.mil. Please include your name and institutional affiliation.