Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation 2014-2015


The competition for the Graduate Research Awards in 2014-2015 is now closed.

Competition Details

Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation 2014-2015 are offered by The Simons Foundation and The International Security Research and Outreach Programme (ISROP) of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).

The primary objective of the Graduate Research Awards is to enhance Canadian graduate level scholarship on disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation issues.

A total of eight awards of Cdn$3,000 will be available to Canadian Masters and/or Doctoral students to support the research and writing of short position papers that will be presented at the Graduate Research Awards (GRA) Debates in Ottawa hosted by DFATD. Awards include travel support to Ottawa (domestic transportation, accommodation, and meals) where successful candidates will be invited to present their completed position papers in the form of a one-to-one debate during a special event at DFATD in February 2015. For applicants pursuing studies abroad, a limited number of Canadian international students’ travel costs may be covered.

  • Deadline for applications: October 14, 2014
  • Selection of short-listed candidates: November 17, 2014
  • Deadline for position papers: December 15, 2014
  • Selection of eight award recipients: January 19, 2015

How to Apply:

Applications should be sent to Elaine Hynes at The Simons Foundation by email to by the close of business (PST) on October 14, 2014. Hard copies of official transcripts and other documents may be sent to follow by mail. Your application must include:

  • An introductory letter of interest that supports your candidacy for the GRA programme.
  • A writing sample (up to 1,500 words) that addresses non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament (NACD) issues.
  • Your resume, including proof of citizenship status.
  • A complete, official transcript of your grades.
  • A letter of reference from your supervisor.
  • A second letter of reference.


Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents/landed immigrants are eligible to apply, including Canadian graduate students currently studying abroad. Previous recipients of a Graduate Research Award are eligible to apply, but priority will be given to students who have not already participated in the programme in order to expand the community of Canadian scholars working on non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament (NACD) issues.

Selection Process:

Following the initial review of applications, up to 16 candidates will be short-listed for further consideration. Applicants will be advised by November 17, 2014 if they have been short-listed. Each of the short-listed candidates will be assigned one of the four pre-determined debate topics (see below) and will be required to research and write, individually and independently, a 1000 to 1500 word position paper arguing in favour or against, as instructed. Suggested readings for each topic will be provided, along with a position paper template. Position papers must be submitted by December 15, 2014. Short-listed applicants may be re-assigned a debate topic for presentation at the GRA debates, to ensure appropriate debate pairings. The eight students whose position papers make the strongest argument for their assigned position, and are chosen to receive the award, will be notified by January 19, 2015.

GRA Debates:

Award winners will be invited to present their positions at the GRA Debates hosted by DFATD in Ottawa in February 2015. At the debates, an additional monetary award of $1,000 will be presented to the students who make the most effective arguments in support of their positions in each of the four debates. The debates will be subject to the Chatham House Rule and a report of the GRA Debates, including the position papers presented, will be published online by The Simons Foundation. Please note that attendance at the GRA Debates is a mandatory requirement of the award. Travel, accommodation and meal expenses will be provided by ISROP, in accordance with Government of Canada Treasury Board Guidelines and with the supplementary support of The Simons Foundation, if required.

GRA Debate Topics in 2014-2015Footnote 1

Debate #1: Arms Control (WMD and conventional) in Conflict Zones and Non-permissive Environments

Be it resolved that effective arms control is a necessary component and precondition for a sustainable peace settlement.

In favour vs. Against

Debate #2: Non-proliferation and Disarmament

Be it resolved that Cold War era instruments are sufficient in achieving crucial nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament objectives in the current post-Cold War international context.

In favour vs. Against

Debate #3: Space and Export Controls

Be it resolved that existing provisions under international export control regimes (e.g. the Wassenaar Arrangement) are sufficient, to effectively regulate the export of sensitive space technologies.

In favour vs. Against

Debate #4: Nuclear Cooperation Agreements

Be it resolved that the conclusion of a bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA), resting on the inclusion of certain preconditions, can have a net positive result for nuclear non-proliferation, for nuclear safety and security objectives, and for broader regional security goals.

In favour vs. Against

To apply and for more information please visit:


Footnote 1

Positions will be assigned to the short-listed candidates; Each topic will require arguments “for” and “against”.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Disclaimer: The views and positions expressed through the GRA programme are intended to stimulate academic debates as part of an annual youth education partnership jointly organized by The Simons Foundation and ISROP; the themes do not necessarily reflect the views of The Simons Foundation, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada or the Government of Canada.