DECUR Partnership


Minerva's Defense Education and Civilian University Research (DECUR) Partnership aims to develop collaborative basic research partnerships between Defense Professional Military Education (PME) Institutions and Civilian Research Universities by supporting basic research projects that improve capacities in defense-related basic social science to inform Department of Defense (DoD) policy makers and decision leaders. 

To view the 2022 DECUR awards, click here.

The FY23 DECUR Partnership is NOW OPEN on White paper submissions are due on Wednesday, October 4th. Full proposals are due on Tuesday, December 12th.

NOTE: The Defense Education and Civilian University Research (DECUR) Partnership follows different guidelines and deadlines than the Minerva University Grants FOA, though the Research Priorities will be the same.

Mission of the Minerva Research Initiative

Build deeper understanding of the social, cultural, and political factors and dynamics that shape U.S. security interests around the world. 

Mission of the DECUR Partnership:

  • Increase DoD social science expertise by investing in experts who teach our future military and national security leaders at Professional Military Education (PME) institutions. 
  • Enhance connectivity among PME institutions, civilian universities, and DoD policy makers.  

Minerva DECUR Partnership Goals

Incentivize basic social science research within our PME institutions and improve connections of PME instructors to civilian research universities. 

DECUR Partnerships will: 

  • Improve knowledge brought into the classroom 
  • Increase PME institutions’ ability to inform and help contribute to civilian social science dialogue
  • Encourage and facilitate better connections across PME institutions for those experts with complementary intellectual and research interests. 
  • Enhance civilian scientist awareness of critical social science challenges confronting the DoD. 
  • Encourage civilian academics to collaborate and engage with PME instructors and their students at PME institutions 

Overview and Eligibility Requirements of DECUR Partnership Awards 

  • All U.S.-based civilian university and PME institutions associated with the Air Force, Navy/Marine Corps, Army, and Joint PME may submit proposals to DECUR. 
  • DECUR Partnership awards will contain at least one PME instructor serving as the Primary Investigator (PI) and at least one civilian university faculty member as a co-PI. 
  • Military or government employees serving as PME teaching faculty at an eligible PME institution can serve as the PME PI. (“Teaching faculty” is defined as having teaching as a primary mission or, at minimum, a responsibility of teaching one course per term.) 
  • DECUR Partnership awards will be two-year awards with a maximum award amount of $200,000/year, for a total of $400,000 per award. (Please note that this is an “all-in” cost level, to include indirect cost recoveries (i.e., Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs) as well as subawards.)
  • Research topic areas will parallel those of the annual Minerva Federal Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and be consistent with the basic social science research requirements of the Minerva university research awards. 
  • Applications will follow a white paper process through which white papers will be assessed for scientific rigor, DoD relevance, contribution to topics in the Minerva FOA, and compliance with DECUR Partnership requirements Papers evaluated positively with regard to these criteria may be invited for a full proposal. 
  • Priority will be given to proposals that include PME students in the research process. 
  • In addition to the research collaboration, DECUR Partnership award recipients are encouraged to share their research findings—and its processes—with students and colleagues at each other’s home institutions, professional conferences, and the annual Minerva Research Initiative Meeting.
  • DECUR Partnership awards will be managed jointly by Minerva (OUSD R&E/BRO) and the appropriate Service basic research office program officer.
  • As a pilot project, we anticipate awarding 5-7 awards.