The Minerva Research Initiative

The Minerva Research Initiative, administered jointly by the Office of Basic Research and the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, supports social science research aimed at improving our basic understanding of security, broadly defined. Supported projects are university-based and unclassified, with the intention that all work be shared widely to support the thriving of stable and safe communities.

Latest News

Minerva Annual Meeting and Program Review - REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

The 2018 Minerva Annual Meeting and Program Review is being held September 26-27, 2018. Click the image below to learn more and register.

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The Owl in the Olive Tree


The Owl in the Olive Tree is the blog of Minerva, aimed at sharing social scientific contributions that advance our understanding of the social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental dynamics of security. The first issue of The Owl in the Olive Tree is forthcoming.

In the News

Department of Defense Awards $2.8 Million for Collaborative University Social Science Research Under the Minerva Research Initiative
By Toni DeVille | May 8, 2024
The Department of Defense today announced the selection of seven DoD–university faculty teams to pursue fundamental social science research through the FY 2023 Defense Education and Civilian University Research (DECUR) Partnership, a program under the department's Minerva Research Initiative.
Venue announced for the 2024 Minerva Meeting & Program Review
By Toni DeVille | April 3, 2024
Hosted annually, the Minerva Meeting and Program review is an opportunity for Minerva grant awardees to share research findings with defense policy makers, military operations personnel, and other academics interested in national security.

Researcher Publications

The American Face of ISIS
By Robert A. Pape, Jean Decety, Keven Ruby, Alejandro Albanez Rivas, Jens Jessen, Caroline Wegner, Piper Mik, Sarah Starr, Ala Tineh, Walker Gunning, Jacinta Carroll | Feb. 6, 2017
A Special Report of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Do Women Matter to National Security?
By Joshua Busby and Heather Hurlburt | Feb. 2, 2017
Monkey Cage, Washington Post. February 2.
Challenges in Researching Terrorism from the Field: Research Must Focus On Youth
By Scott Atran, Robert Axelrod, Richard Davis, Baruch Fischhoff | Jan. 27, 2017
Science. 355(6323): 126-28. January 27.
What Do Pirates Want? To Steal Riches at Sea So They Can Pay for Wars On Land
By Brandon Prins, Ursula Daxecker, and Anup Phayal | Jan. 25, 2017
Brandon Prins, Ursula Daxecker, and Anup Phayal. 2017. What Do Pirates Want? To Steal Riches at Sea So They Can Pay for Wars on Land. Monkey Cage, Washington Post. January 25.
Disentangling Aid Dynamics in Statebuilding and Peacebuiding
By Naazneen H. Barma, Naomi Levy, Jessica Piombo | Jan. 17, 2017
Naazneen H. Barma, Naomi Levy, and Jessica Piombo. 2016. Disentangling Aid Dynamics in Statebuilding and Peacebuiding: A Causal Framework. International Peacekeeping. 1-25. (DOI: 10.1080/13533312.2016.1252677)