United States Institute of Peace's Annual Grant Competition

The Grant Program increases the breadth and depth of the Institute's work by supporting peacebuilding projects managed by non-profit organizations including educational institutions, research institutions, and civil society organizations.

In over twenty years of grantmaking, the Grant Program's Annual Grant Competition and Priority Grant Competition have received nearly 10,000 applications and awarded more than 2,000 grants. The Institute has provided funding to grantees located in more than 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and in 81 foreign countries.

The Annual Grant Competition:

  • supports innovative peacebuilding projects involving research, the identification of promising models and effective practices, the development of practitioner resources and tools, the development and delivery of education, training and dialogue programs, and the production of films, radio programs, and other media. 
  • funds projects focused on preventing, managing, and resolving violent conflict and promoting post-conflict peacebuilding in settings outside the borders of the U.S. Awards support activities that apply across a broad range of relevant disciplines, skills, and approaches. USIP welcomes proposals of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary nature.
Topic areas of interest to USIP include, but are not limited to:
  • Conflict analysis and prevention;
  • Mediation and conflict resolution;
  • Postconflict peace and stability operations;
  • Religion and peacemaking;
  • Women and girls in conflict and peacebuilding;
  • Rule of law and transitional justice;
  • Economies and conflict;
  • Social, psychological, and physical impacts of war and conflict;
  • Media and conflict.

Annual Grant Competition facts:

  • The Annual Grant Competition is extremely competitive. In the 2012 cycle 253 applications were submitted. The number of grant awards has remained about the same 20-25 per year.
  • The awards generally range from $25,000 to $100,000.

Review Process

 Applications that are complete and satisfy the eligibility requirements are subsequently subjected to a rigorous review process.  Final decisions about all grant awards are contingent on the approval of USIP's executive Officers and Board of Directors and subject to available funding. The Annual Grant Competition review process involves (1) initial examination of applications by USIP staff, followed in most cases by (2) external peer review, and (3) further consideration of the panels' recommendation by USIP's executive officers. For previous grantees, an independent assessment of the earlier grant will also be conducted. USIP's Board of Directors makes final decisions on awards.
Most USIP grants are one to two years in duration. Most awards fall in the range of $25,000 to $100,000. Proposed grant budgets are reviewed by USIP staff, and are subject to modification.
USIP does not take positions on policy issues pending before Congress, the executive branch, or other domestic or international bodies, and does not fund "Track 1" (official) mediation of international disputes. USIP will not fund grant proposals of a partisan political nature or proposals that would inject the grantee or USIP into the policy processes of the United States government or any foreign government or international organization. In addition, in accord with the United States Institute of Peace Act, Section 1709(b), USIP will not use political tests or political qualifications in selecting or monitoring any grantee. Projects that lead to policy recommendations for governments, international organizations, or nongovernmental organizations are welcome, even encouraged, although such recommendations will be those of the grantee and not USIP.

Eligible Grant Recipients

USIP may provide grant support to nonprofit organizations and individuals—both U.S. and foreign—including the following: institutions of post-secondary, community, and secondary education; public and private education, training or research institutions, and libraries.

American and foriegn nonprofit organizations may apply.

Support for degree work is not eligible in the Grant Program. Inquiries about support for dissertation research should be directed to USIP's Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Dissertation Program.
Only one application per competition may be submitted by the same project director.
Unsuccessful applicants of previous Grant Program competitions may not submit the same application unless it has been substantially revised.

USIP will not accept applications that list as participants, consultants, or project personnel members of USIP's Board of Directors or staff. In addition, any application that lists USIP as a collaborator in the project will not be accepted.
Individuals who are currently working as USIP contractors may not be eligible to apply for grant support. To determine eligibility prior to submitting an application, please contact the Grant Program staff.
Applications must be submitted in English.

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