The Defense Education and Civilian University Research (DECUR) Partnership aims to develop collaborative basic research partnerships between Professional Military Education (PME) Institutions and Civilian Research Universities by supporting fundamental scientific research that improves the capacity of
security-related basic social science research and education.
Building upon the success of the Minerva Research Initiative's (Minerva) university research awards, the DECUR Partnership aims to pair civilian university researchers with PME faculty to facilitate collaborative research in the fundamental understanding of the social and cultural forces shaping U. S. strategic interests globally.
Minerva emphasizes questions of strategic importance to U. S. national security policy, and the DECUR partnership aims to increase the Department's intellectual capital in the social sciences and improve its ability to address future challenges and build bridges between the Department and the social science community.
Minerva brings together universities and other research institutions around the world and supports multidisciplinary and cross-institutional projects addressing specific interest areas determined by the Department of Defense.
The Minerva program aims to promote research in specific areas of social science and to promote a candid and constructive relationship between DoD and the social science academic community.
The DECUR competition is for research related to nine (9) topics listed below.
Innovative white papers and proposals related to these research areas are highly encouraged.
Detailed descriptions of the interest areas-which are intended to provide a frame of reference and are not meant to be restrictive-can be found in Section IX, "Minerva Topics." Topic 1:
Peer/Near-peer Statecraft, Influence, and Regional Balance of Power Topic 2:
Power, Deterrence, and Escalation Management Topic 3:
Alliances and Burden Sharing Topic 4:
Economic Interdependence and Security Topic 5:
Economic Viability, Resilience, and Sustainability of Logistics Infrastructure Topic 6:
Multi-Domain Behavioral Complexity and Computational Social Modeling Topic 7:
Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Ethics, and Social Interactions Topic 8:
Models and Methods for Understanding Covert Online Influence Topic 9:
Automated Cyber Vulnerability Analysis Proposals must include a civilian university Principal Investigator (PI) and a PME co-PI.
Proposals that include PME students in the research design, i.e.
has a pedagogic component that uses basic research in social science to think through social science to address security challenges, will be looked upon favorably.
Outside of the civilian university PI and the PME co-PI, the size of research teams is not limited, though the maximum award amount will be $400,000 distributed evenly over two years.
The research questions addressed should extend beyond standard disciplinary approaches to include innovative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary methodological approaches.