The Minerva Research Initiative

The Minerva Research Initiative, administered jointly by the Office of Basic Research and the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, supports social science research aimed at improving our basic understanding of security, broadly defined. Supported projects are university-based and unclassified, with the intention that all work be shared widely to support the thriving of stable and safe communities. The goal is to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the U.S.

Program & History

Launched by the Secretary of Defense in 2008, the Minerva Research Initiative is a DoD-sponsored, university-based social science research initiative that focuses on areas of strategic importance to the U.S. national security policy.


The Minerva Research Initiative has a unique relationship between Research and Policy within the DoD. As such, leadership across the department collaborate to identify and support basic social science research issues in need of attention and to integrate those research insights into the policy-making environment. In doing this, the leadership team closely works with the program managers within the Military Service Branches.

Grants and Fellowships

Information regarding the 2022 Funding Opportunity Announcement for University Research Grants is not yet available. Please continue to check the Minerva website for updates.