W&M’s Global Research Institute receives $1.9 million to address pressing challenges around the world

  • Multidisciplinary pole:

    Students and faculty members attend a barbecue at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute, where academics and policy practitioners collaborate to apply research to real-world problems.

    Photo courtesy of GRI

by Tina Eshleman, University Advancement


March 1, 2022

New support for William & Mary’s Global Research Institute (GRI) totaling $1.9 million will strengthen the university’s ability to address critical international challenges such as the evolving role of the United States in geopolitics, conflict and peacebuilding in Africa, a growing debt crisis and threats to the stability of democratic regimes. The funds will expand GRI’s impact through groundbreaking research, innovative teaching, and strengthened connections between academia and policymakers.

Four postdoctoral fellowships will be created through two separate grants: one from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and another from the Charles Koch Foundation in partnership with former W&M Board of Visitors member Paul C. Jost ’76, JD ’88 and Laura Holmes Jost, long-time benefactors of the university.

Funds from the Carnegie Corporation will extend the new GRI Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, launched as a pilot program in 2020, and will build on the grant-making foundation’s long-term support to the Teaching, Research and International Policy (TRIP) Project, which collects data and publishes analysis on the relationship between the study and practice of international relations. Carnegie funds will also support the Institute’s communications team by providing decision-makers with access to the most accurate and up-to-date knowledge generated by applied research.

Postdoctoral fellows funded through the Charles Koch Foundation-Josts partnership will help William & Mary diversify and expand research and teaching in the areas of international security and U.S. foreign policy.

Through these two fellowships, postdoctoral fellows will represent a wide range of academic disciplines and cultural backgrounds.

“We are extremely grateful to our philanthropic partners for recognizing GRI’s transformative work through this generous funding,” said Vice President Peggy Agouris. “With their support, William & Mary is better positioned to expand our influence globally and drive positive change in line with our strategic plan, Vision 2026.

The support of Carnegie Corporation will ensure the continuation of The GRI Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, which recently brought two postdoctoral fellows to William & Mary. The program creates a pipeline for scholars from underrepresented groups, such as women and first-generation students, international scholars, racial minorities, military veterans, and scholars with disabilities to advance in the field of international relations. These fellows, in turn, serve as mentors for William & Mary students from underrepresented groups in multiple fields who might not otherwise have the opportunity to engage in a mentored research experience.

“Carnegie has long provided vital support to TRIP and other projects aimed at bridging the gap between theory and practice,” said Sue Peterson, W&M Government Department Chair and Reves Professor of Government and International Relations. “This new grant will allow us to increase opportunities for students and emerging scholars from underrepresented groups. In the process, Carnegie is not only transforming TRIP and our work, but also helping to transform the discipline of international relations.

One of the Carnegie Fellows will work with GRI’s TRIP project on international relations theory and practice. The other will work with the Institute Africa Research Center on urbanization, labor markets, conflict management and peacebuilding in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The Society has long valued the insights generated by the TRIP Project that flesh out the nonlinear relationship between academic research and policy,” said Stephen Del Rosso, director of the Carnegie Corporation’s International Peace and Security Program. “We are also delighted to support GRI’s communications efforts to connect its work to the policy realm and promote diversity in the field of international relations.

Funds from the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) and the Jost family will enable GRI to hire postdoctoral fellows who bring new theoretical perspectives not currently represented at the Institute and who are committed to the principle of open inquiry and free exchange of ideas. These fellows will collaborate with students on policy-relevant research, covering topics such as U.S. alliances and overseas military commitments, foreign aid, trade, diplomacy, and the links between public opinion and American foreign policy.

Fellows funded by the Koch/Jost grant teach courses not currently offered at William & Mary on subjects related to US foreign policy. To support the development of a security studies program at GRI, these fellows will lead fall and spring programs that bring together scholars and policy practitioners in Williamsburg.

“We are thrilled to continue our support of William & Mary and its incredible students and teachers,” the Jost family said. “This institution is one of the leading research universities in the country. We are thrilled to help him contribute to the conversation about how to create a foreign policy that is grounded in realism and restraint and that relies on force and intelligence to ensure the safety and well-being of Americans. .

“The United States is one of the safest countries in the world, and as a great power with a global economy, it is possible to better understand the role that we play,” said the chief executive of CKF , Ryan Stowers. “Developing grand strategy requires rigorous research and open inquiry into the successes and failures of the past, as well as factual assessments of the world and our place in it. We look forward to learning from top GRI researchers as they address these fundamental questions.

Each post-doctoral appointment will be for two years, the two Carnegie-funded postdoctoral fellows come on board in August with one of two Koch/Jost fellows; the other would arrive in August 2023.

“At the Global Research Institute, teams of students and faculty work together to solve real-world problems. The work we do requires diverse teams and the freedom to explore new ideas. We need to engage ideas from theoretical, ideological and disciplinary perspectives,” said GRI Director Mike Tierney, ’87, MA ’89. “We are delighted that these two fellowships bring a wider range of expertise and experience to William & Mary and expand our pilot postdoctoral fellowship program, while offering support to promising researchers to create new knowledge and bridge the gap. academic-political.

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