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Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Scientists
for Collaborative Research to Improve Security

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Deadline Date:

10/01/18 23:59 CET


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International scientists and other experts representing eligible countries for collaborative science and research projects to address security across a broad range of sectors. This program focuses on current security challenges, including cyber security, environmental concerns, terrorism, defense against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents, as well as human and social aspects of security.

The Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme promotes dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO member states and partner nations based on scientific research, technological innovation and knowledge exchange. The SPS Programme offers funding, expert advice and support to tailor-made, security-relevant activities that respond to NATO’s strategic objectives.

Introduction to the SPS Programme:

The SPS Programme promotes security-related practical cooperation based on scientific research, innovation and knowledge exchange within NATO’s wide network of partner countries.

It connects scientists, experts and officials from Allied and partner countries to address security challenges, such as cyber defence, counter-terrorism or defence against CBRN agents; to support NATO-led missions and operations; to foster the development of security-related advanced technologies such as sensors and detectors, nanotechnologies, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and to address human and social aspects of security such as the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325).

In this regard, the SPS Programme greatly benefits from the expertise of other NATO agencies, divisions and delegations, and bodies such as centres of excellence.

The Programme provides the Alliance with a unique channel for non-military communication, including in situations or regions where other forms of dialogue are difficult to establish. It enables NATO to become actively involved in such regions, often serving as the first concrete link between NATO and a new partner.

The SPS Programme has evolved continuously since its foundation in 1958. To this end, a comprehensive reorientation of the Programme took place in 2013, which gave SPS a renewed focus on larger-scale strategic activities beyond purely scientific cooperation.

SPS Grant Mechanisms:

Funded by NATO’s civil budget, the SPS Programme supports collaboration through four established grant mechanisms: Multi-Year Research Projects, Advanced Research Workshops, Advanced Training Courses and Advanced Study Institutes. Interested applicants should develop proposals for activities that fit within one of these formats. Moreover, all activities funded within the framework of the SPS Programme must follow the rules and regulations outlined in the SPS Programme Management Handbooks.

To that end, interested parties submit an application for funding that must be led by project directors from at least one NATO Ally and one partner country. Any application must also directly address at least one of the SPS key priorities and have a clear link to security. Once an application has been received by the SPS Programme it will undergo a comprehensive evaluation and peer review process, taking into account expert, scientific and political guidance.

This process ensures that all SPS applications approved for funding have been thoroughly evaluated for their scientific merit and security impact by NATO experts, independent scientists and NATO nations themselves.

Types of Grants:

1) Multi-year research & development projects

These are research and development projects related to NATO’s strategic goals and relevant to the SPS Key Priorities. The projects enable Partner country scientists to increase contacts in the NATO science community, while building a stronger science infrastructure in their home countries.

Applications are submitted jointly by an expert residing and working in a NATO country and one residing and working in a Partner country. Projects involving more than one Partner country are encouraged, as is the participation of young scientists.

NATO funds are provided to cover project-related costs such as scientific equipment, computers, software and training of project personnel as well as of young scientists: roughly half of the budget is generally allocated to equipment, about 20% to training and travel and 15% to stipends; these proportions may vary according to the needs of each project

2) Training Courses - Advanced Study Institute (ASI)

This is a high-level tutorial course offering the latest developments in a NATO-relevant subject to an advanced-level audience.

Lecturers of international standing report new advances on topics of security-related civil science.

Target Audience: Pre- and Post-doctoral level scientists with a relevant background in the subject matter of the course. In particular, young scientists from NATO Partner countries are encouraged to attend.

The SPS grant pays for direct organizational costs, travel and living expenses of up to 15 lecturers and attendance of students (60 to 80) from countries eligible to receive NATO funding.

3) Advanced Training Courses

This is a course designed to enable specialists in NATO countries to share their security-related expertise in one of the SPS Key Priority areas. An ATC is not intended to be lecture-driven, but to be intensive and interactive in nature. The course contributes to the training of experts in Partner countries and enables the formation and strengthening of international expert networks.

Target Audience: Trainees (20 to 50) primarily from Partner countries. These trainees are chosen on the basis of their qualifications and experience and the benefit they may draw from the ATC in their future activities.

Budget: The SPS grant pays for direct organizational costs, travel and living expenses of all specialists and attendance costs of trainees from countries eligible to receive NATO funding.

4) Workshops - Advanced Research Workshop (ARW)

Advanced-level discussions among experts from different countries with the aim of addressing contemporary security challenges

Target Audience: 20-50 participants, with the workshop preferably being held in the Partner country.

Budget: The SPS grant is intended to cover direct organizational expenses of the ARW, the travel and living expenses of key speakers, as well as the attendance of non-speakers from NATO countries and Partner countries unable to obtain support from other sources.

SPS Key Priorities:

SPS Key Priorities are based on NATO's Strategic Concept as agreed by Allies in Lisbon in November 2010 and the Strategic Objectives of NATO's Partner Relations as agreed in Berlin in April 2011, without any indication of priority ranking.

All SPS activities funded under the SPS Programme must address the SPS Key Priorities listed below and must have a clear link to security and to NATO's strategic objectives.

When applying, reference to the addressed priority(ies) should be given directly on the application form.

1. Facilitate mutually beneficial cooperation on issues of common interest, including international efforts to meet emerging security challenges
a. Counter-Terrorism
b. Energy Security
c. Cyber Defense
d. Defence against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Agents
e. Environmental Security

2. Enhance support for NATO-led operations and missions
i. Provision of civilian support through SPS Key Priorities;
ii. Provision of access to information through internet connectivity as in the SILK-Afghanistan Programme;
iii. Cultural and social aspects in military operations and missions ;
iv. Enhancing cooperation with other international actors.

3. Enhance awareness of security developments including through early warning, with a view to preventing crises
a. Security-related Advanced Technology
b. Border and Port Security
c. Mine and Unexploded Ordnance Detection and Clearance
d. Human and Social Aspects of Security related to NATO's strategic objectives

4. Any related project clearly linked to a threat to security not otherwise defined in these priorities may also be considered for funding under the SPS Programme. Such proposals will be examined for links to NATO's Strategic Objectives.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178556

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Training Courses: Grants average 60,000 EUR
-Workshops: Grants average 30,000 - 40,000 EUR

Term of Contract:

Multi year grants have a typical duration of 2 - 3 years.

Advanced Study Institute have a duration of 7 working days.

Advanced Training Courses have a duration of 5-7 working days

Workshops have a duration of 2 - 5 working days.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications for funding must be submitted jointly by a NATO and a partner country Co-Director.

Follow the links for a full overview of NATO and Partner countries:

-NATO Countries:

-NATO Partner Countries:

Pre-Application Information:

There are normally 2 - 3 peer review evaluation panels held each year, with deadlines for application submissions corresponding to their scheduling.

-October 1, 2017 - 23:59 CET
-February 1, 2018 - 23:59 CET
-June 1, 2018 - 23:59 CET
-October 1, 2018 - 23:59 CET

As a decision on funding can take up to 9 months following an application deadline, it is important to take this into consideration when proposing dates for an activity.

SPS Key Priorities:

Types of Grants:

How to Apply:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applications for funding should be sent to:

SPS Programme
Emerging Security Challenges Division (ESCD)
Bd Leopold III
B-1110 Brussels

Fax: +32 2 707 4232

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.