Targeted Call for Proposals: State strategies of proxy influence and conflict

Deadline for Initial Submission: December 15, 2017

Numerous states are supporting political, religious, and armed groups and movements outside their borders. Carnegie Corporation of New York invites proposals for impact-designed work on strategies, consequences and alternatives to states’ use of overseas movements to advance policy goals. We seek research, policy and communication projects on the following themes:

• What are the goals of states using proxy strategies (e.g. weakening rivals, soft power projection, or profit)?
• How are states conducting relations with groups they identify as allies or co-religionists outside their borders? How do sponsored groups assert influence and leverage? What structural conditions make proxy conflicts more likely?
• How are proxy conflicts defined and approached under international law? What are the accountability mechanisms?
• What are patterns in the financing of groups and movements?
• What can be learned from specific histories of conflicts driven by states using non-state proxies, including international terrorism?
• What policy alternatives exist to de-escalate current conflicts?

Through this Request for Proposal (RFP) process, the Corporation will award grants of up to $400,000 for a two-year grant period that would begin no earlier than July 1, 2018.

Eligibility, Criteria and Objectives

• The RFP is aimed at universities and think tanks with strong programs in social sciences and international affairs. Grants cannot be made to individuals.
• Within the Corporation’s charter limits, some overseas institutions will be considered. Work on any region should include scholars from that region.
• Work supporting armed conflict is not funded by the Corporation.

Supported Activities

• Documenting cases, legal status, and consequences of proxy conflicts and political movements sponsored extra-territorially
• Developing innovative policy alternatives
• Meetings among parties engaged in conflicts with transnational linkages
• Creating institutional and intellectual partnerships for present and future work
• Conferences and publications

Please submit a preliminary concept note of no more than five pages, double spaced, containing the following sections:

Statement of need – Situate the project in the context of other work in the field.

Project Description – Describe the project concept, activities, objectives, measures, and deliverables.

Organizational description – Provide a brief summary of your current programs and qualifications of key staff.

Budget and timeline (no more than one page) – What is the estimated overall cost of the project? On what specific activities will the money be spent? When will project activities take place? Are there other complementary sources of financial support?

The deadline for the submission of initial applications is December 15, 2017
Grant awards will be announced on or around June 14, 2018, pending then approval of the Corporation’s board of trustees

Inquiries and Submissions
If you are not sure whether your institution or topic is eligible, please contact us. Questions and submissions should be directed to Nehal Amer at