photo: person walks across footbridge; research happening in the field; photo by Associate Professor Mona Atia



Elliott School Research

Through award-winning research, the Elliott School of International Affairs strives to create knowledge, share wisdom and inspire action. Together, our centers, institutes, research initiatives and cross-disciplinary faculty combine in-depth analysis with practical applications to better address the future's most pressing global challenges.

REOPENED: ESIA Supplemental Funding Competition



Award Description: Elliott School Supplemental Research Awards are intended to support Elliott School faculty research and associated activities that would otherwise go unfunded. As these funds are limited, we encourage faculty to consider other available funding streams prior to applying for one of these awards. Award funds may be used to supplement new or ongoing research and research-related activities to include domestic travel, travel for domestically-based collaborators, event and/or honorarium expenditures, survey expenses, printing costs, translation expenditures, or other demonstrable research needs. We are limiting eligible expenses this round to expenses that can be incurred without international travel.

Eligibility: Awards are open to all active-status, full-time (primary or secondary) Elliott School faculty who are continuing in service at the Elliott School for the duration of the award period. Priority will be given to applications from faculty who have not received ESIA supplemental funding in the last two cyles.

Budget: All qualifying proposals from $100 to $3000 will be considered. Funding may not be used for faculty summer salary or stipends, pay for release time for faculty, or everyday living expenses that would be incurred regardless of the project.

Application Procedure: The complete proposal must be submitted electronically. The application consists of four main components:

  1. Application form - The application form can be found here.

  2. Narrative - This should include a description of your research project, a timetable for completion, and an explanation of how the funds you are requesting will enhance the rigor, value, or impact of your research. Your description need not exceed one page.

  3. Budget - The budget should have a breakdown of the costs you are requesting funding for. Your budget need not exceed one page.

  4. Current and pending support - A statement of current and pending support, consisting of the name of the proposal, the sponsor, the amount of funding requested, and whether the proposal is current or pending, must be supplied. These final three items should be submitted as a single, merged PDF.

Review Process: Awards will be based on the merit and necessity of your request (including your access, or lack thereof to alternative sources of funding), the clarity of your proposal, the potential of ESIA supplemental funding seeding further external funding, and the availability of funds.

Award Administration: PI’s will report expenses and receive reimbursements via the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System. PI’s are expected to expend the award funds in a manner consistent with the approved budgetand in keeping with GW and Elliott School policies. Please note, expenses must be submitted within sixty days of the date such expenses were incurred or paid (thirty days if expenses are paid for with a PCard). For more information on expense reporting and compliance, please see the iBuy+ Finance Division webpage and consult the GW Travel, Entertainment, and Business Expense Reimbursement Manual.

FUNDED PROPOSALS INVOLVING HUMAN RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS, USE OF ANIMALS, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, AND RADIATION SOURCES must be approved through the Office of Human Research, the Office of Compliance and Privacy, the Office of Research Integrity, and/or the Technology Commercialization Office before the actual research begins.

For more information, consult these pages:

Office of Human Research

Office of Animal Research

Office of Laboratory Safety

All travel must adhere to GW’s Travel Policy found here:

Domestic Travel

International Travel

Final Report: Recipients are required to submit a brief written report detailing the use and impact of the expended award to [email protected] no later than 30 days after the end of the award period. Reports need not exceed one page

Charles Glaser Named Winner of 2020 Michael E. Brown Research Prize

Charles Glaser headshot


The Elliott School of International Affairs is pleased to announce that Charles Glaser, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, is the recipient of the 2020 Michael E. Brown Research Prize. Named after ESIA’s former dean, the annual prize recognizes a faculty member whose research contributes to scholarly and policy-relevant understanding of important global issues.

Glaser’s work distinguishes him as one of the greatest security scholars of this generation. His first book, Analyzing Strategic Nuclear Policy, is one of the last contemporaneous accounts of the Soviet threat to U.S. nuclear security. His second book, Rational Theory of International Politics, is one of the foundational texts of modern realist theory, solidifying Glaser’s status as one of the greatest realist theorists to ever write on the topic. Glaser has also extensively published on topics like global energy security (Crude Strategy: Rethinking the U.S. Military Commitment to Defend Persian Gulf Oil), cyber security, and international order. His scholarly articles regularly appear in the prestigious journal International Security, and he influences policy and public thought on international relations through his regular publications in Foreign Affairs. Esteemed funders like the Department of Defense and the Carnegie Corporation sponsor his scholarship, and he has received awards and fellowships from the International Studies Association, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Elliott School is proud to be Glaser’s scholarly home and looks forward to his continued contributions to the field of international relations.

Research Spotlights

Sarah Wagner presents What Remains: Bringing America's Missing Home from the Vietnam War

After the Berlin Wall: Memory and Making of the New Germany 1989 to the Present (book cover)


More than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for and presumed dead from the Vietnam War, and for their families, the war is not truly over until they come home. Advances in forensic science are now making it possible to identify and repatriate remains from the merest trace, renewing the hopes of military families in locating their missing.

As Elliott School Professor Sarah Wagner shows in her new book, the possibility of such homecomings compels the living to wrestle anew with their memories, the weight of their loved ones’ sacrifices, and what it means to fight and die on behalf of their nation.

Professor Wagner is a social anthropologist who previously studied the forensic efforts to identify victims of the Srebrenica genocide. Her research focuses on war and memory; nationalism; biotechnology and forensic science; post-conflict social reconstruction; forced migration and diaspora; interventionism; and military culture.

What Remains is published by Harvard University Press. Professor Wagner will be hosting a book talk at Politics and Prose on January 22nd, 2020, and another lecture on the same topic at the Elliott School on March 2nd, 2020. Please check back for forthcoming details on the lecture.

Elliott Professor Paul Williams publishes study on urban peacekeeping under attack in Mogadishu, 2007-2009

African Americans & Africa by Nemata Amelia Ibitayo Blyden (Book Cover)


In order to protect interim governments or facilitate humanitarian aid, peacekeeping operations are increasingly being deployed to high-threat environments without stable political agreements. In addition, many such operations are now based in capitals or major cities, whose urban environment poses a unique challenge to the incoming forces. 

To study how attacks on peacekeepers deployed in an urban environment affect their ability to operate, Elliott School Professor of International Affairs Paul Williams analyzed data on 122 violent events that occurred to the African Union Mission to Somalia’s (AMISOM) deployment to Mogadishu from 2007 to 2009. AMISOM is the peace operation that has come under the most sustained urban attacks in the modern era, mainly from the group Harakat al-Shabaab, which opposed their protection of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

As Williams showed, despite initial setbacks due to the attacks, AMISOM was able to adapt to the terrain and fulfill its mandate of protecting the TFG. However, future study is expected to illuminate how attacks on peacekeepers can further escalate violence. The full study is available here via Third World Thematics. 

Professor Williams’ research focuses on peace operations, emerging security threats, war and peace in Africa, and conflict resolution. He is also the Associate Director of the Security Policy Studies M.A. program at the Elliott School.

See More Spotlights


Award-Winning Faculty Publications






Henry Nau


Conservative Internationalism

Henry R. Nau







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