The DoD has launched a university-based social science initiative to support basic research in topic areas of importance to current and future U.S. national security.
The initiative, called Minerva, will support multi- and interdisciplinary and cross-institutional efforts addressing a range of social science topic areas. It will bring together universities, research institutions and individual scholars into a partnership to tackle topics of interest to DoD. For example, DoD could pursue topics such as foriegn military and technology research, terrorism or cultural studies. The initial funding is $10-20 million annually.
The objectives include:
-To foster and improve the Defense Department’s social science intellectual capital and ability to understand and address security challenges.
-To support and develop basic research and expertise within the social sciences community in subject areas which may provide insight to current and future challenges.
-To improve the Defense Department’s relationship with the social science community.
To achieve the secretary of defense’s vision, DoD will pilot a number of approaches for engaging the social science community. This multi-pronged strategy will enable the department to solicit a broad range of proposals from the social science community and to leverage the expertise and infrastructures of a wide range of existing mechanisms for funding basic research.
The Minerva initiative will have several components to solicit and manage proposals. The first of these has been released through a DoD broad agency announcement (BAA). Additionally, DoD signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Science Foundation on July 2, 2008, to work together on a range of projects related to DoD’s Minerva initiative, which might include a solicitation of proposals. Submission to DoD’s open BAA will not preclude any offerer from submitting proposals to future solicitations.