Research, Partnerships and Publications

ISROP's research requirements are updated annually to reflect themes and issues relevant to Canadian policy development on international security issues. They can be found under Research Competition below.

Past ISROP research publications are available, as follows.


ISROP posts current research priorities annually and researchers are invited to submit proposals which address research requirements identified by the International Security and Intelligence Bureau.

As well, activities such as a Fast Talk invite experts to quickly and efficiently explore a range of perspectives on specific research questions or sets of questions, using teleconferencing or videoconferencing.

Research Competition - Proposal Submissions

ISROP annually invites researchers and experts from Canada and abroad, to submit proposals to conduct contract research relevant to the Government's international security priorities and policies. The following questions and themes are intended to provide guidance towards submitting an application to the ISROP research competition in 2014-2015 (to March 2015), for research projects on international security issues. This is not an exhaustive list. The questions are not intended to represent Government of Canada priorities as a whole. Due to the competitive nature of the competition, ISROP will not be in a position to support every worthy application. On average, ISROP has commissioned 4 – 5 research projects per year.

It should be noted that, if a proposal is accepted, researchers will be paid for their services upon completion of their work in accordance with Treasury Board Guidelines.

Thank you for your interest in the ISROP research competition. Should you have any questions, please contact ISROP.

Application form and selection guidelines

Application form for ISROP research project funding 

In addition to addressing current research priorities, applications to the ISROP research competition are expected to demonstrate the potential to provide new ideas/perspectives on policy-relevant issues as well as clearly describe the project methodology that will be utilized to meet project objectives. In accordance with Government of Canada contracting rules and requirements, successful applications will demonstrate best value, including a fully-costed budget to account for all proposed project costs.    

The deadline for applications to the ISROP competition for 2014-2015 is 5:00 p.m. (EST), September 5th 2014.

ISROP Research Priorities in 2014-2015

I. Regional security issues and architecture

1. Russia: strategic tactics and capabilities  

  1. What are the consequences of, and potential range of responses to, the tactics demonstrated in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine?
  2. How and where may the methods employed by Russia in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine be used in the pursuit of Russia’s other strategic objectives, and what are the limitations? What are the implications for regional security, as well as for Russian defence doctrine and conventional capabilities?

2. Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Iraq and Syria

What are the prerequisites for stabilizing the security situation in Iraq and Syria, and what would be the long-term security implications of a failed Iraq/Syria scenario? What are the drivers behind the emergence of ISIS and their sources of support, and what are the implications for the region, and for the international community? What role could regional actors play, under what specific conditions? What are the prospects for broader international cooperation to address the threats?

3. Africa: counter-terrorism challenges

  1. What are the implications for regional security of radicalization in East Africa? How is the region responding to emerging threats?
  2. What/who are the key influencers in North and West Africa (e.g., other governments, public and private sectors, and civil society) and what effects will their (past, present, future) actions likely have on efforts to counter terrorism and build regional stability? How will their varied interests and motivations affect regional security dynamics going forward?

4. India: strategic directions 

What are the likely directions for Indian foreign and security policies, in light of the recent election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Will there be continuity or change on key issues and what will the implications be for India’s neighbours including Pakistan, relations with China and the United States, and its role in the wider region including in Afghanistan? 

5. Americas: regional approaches to organized crime and violence

What policies/interventions intended to address the threats posed by organized crime and violence have been most successful in the region or globally, and can they be applied more broadly to the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region as a whole? What systemic issues and factors have amplified the region’s vulnerability to crime and violence, and why have some countries of the region seen less violence than others, while grappling with similar challenges (e.g. trafficking, money laundering)? What are the implications for regional security and security partners?

II. Non-proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament (NACD) 

6. Compliance in the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

In the absence of a verification protocol in the BWC, what tools can help States Parties to demonstrate their compliance, and what strategies on compliance are most likely to be effective, and capable of being implemented? What role has the Compliance Assessment pilot project, initiated in 2011-2012, played in helping to accurately assess States Parties’ compliance? What additional information/actions/tools and mechanisms may be necessary and useful to assess and support full compliance with the BWC?

III. Emerging and cross-cutting issues

7. Foreign Fighters

What are the key trends and implications of the foreign fighter phenomenon, including (a) the Horn of Africa or (b) Northwest Africa? What legislative or other tools have been most successful in addressing this phenomenon?

Fast Talk Teams

These research activities engage small, nimble teams of three to five researchers/experts, and integrate writing and conference calls to speedily address specific issues or sets of issues. We ask each participant to produce a short discussion paper on policy question(s) that we distribute in advance of a conference call.

Fast Talk Team conference calls take place over two hours, during which team members and Foreign Affairs officials work together on the issues. Team members introduce their papers with short presentations, then hold a general debate, of which a rapporteur keeps an unattributed record. Discussion papers, participant lists, and debate records are distributed to relevant officials and researchers as ISROP research products.

ISROP forms Fast Talk Teams by invitation only. Participants will be compensated for their professional time during the call, and for related preparations. Please let us know by email if you wish to be considered for participation in one of our Fast Talk Teams.