Reimagining Multilateralism: New ideas and practical solutions for addressing transnational challenges

Sponsor Name: 
Carnegie Corporation
Description of the Award: 

From pandemics and climate change, to disruptive technologies and other emerging risks, it is a truism that most of today’s global threats cannot be addressed effectively without collective action. The failure of international responses to COVID-19 is only the most recent and dramatic example of the inability of long-standing cooperative mechanisms and institutions to withstand the pressures of nationalism, protectionism, and broader structural and systemic deficiencies. As the nature of security in the 21st century continues to evolve, there is a need to reimagine existing multilateral approaches to critical transnational challenges.

Through this Request for Proposals, Carnegie Corporation of New York invites projects that provide insights and practical approaches for addressing one or more of the following questions:

  • How might the system of international institutions be reimagined and/or reinvigorated to better respond to 21st-century security challenges, including those that threaten global health, climate, privacy, and civic well-being?
  • What are the pros/cons/utility of different forms of multilateralism for different purposes (e.g. formal vs. informal, small vs. large, narrow vs. broad, regional vs. global, like-minded vs. mixed, major powers only vs. a broader set of powers)?
  • How could international institutions adapt to better reflect and manage ongoing shifts in economic, military, and political power among global actors, especially in the context of China’s rise?
  • What lessons should be learned from high-functioning regional organizations or international accords?
  • How might critical, yet underappreciated, flashpoints (geographic, economic, technological, etc.) be managed through multilateral approaches? Could these approaches be applied more broadly?
  • How should potential tradeoffs between national interests and collective security be managed?


  • Think tanks, university-based centers, and independent nongovernmental organizations are eligible to apply.
  • Applying organizations must be based in the United States, though they are strongly encouraged to have international partners.
  • Proposals must be submitted by an organization; individual researchers working on their own projects are not eligible for consideration.
  • Special consideration will be given to institutions and experts not currently funded by the Corporation.
  • Projects may build on past or current work but must represent an expansion or evolution of that work.
  • All proposals must:

    • Involve collaborations between U.S. and foreign experts.
    • Include participation by experts from underrepresented communities in the project team and/or project activities. We also encourage inclusion of early-career and/or mid-career experts.
    • Demonstrate practical significance and a viable path for policy adoption.
    • Clearly identify stakeholders and key audiences with a dissemination plan that uses appropriate channels.
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Mar 15, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_multilateralism_2021 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than three pages, double-spaced), pdf) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the sponsor's solicitation, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.

3. Brief biographic summaries of the principal investigator/s and anticipated key project personnel (one-page double-spaced).

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 4:00pm