Rutgers Among University Teams Awarded $28.7 Million in Department of Defense Funding

Malin Pinsky

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced $28.7 million in grants to 17 university-based faculty teams through its FY2021 Minerva Research Initiative to support research in social and behavioral science. Among the DoD awardees is a faculty team comprising Malin Pinsky, associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, that was awarded $1.3 million to fund a three-year project focused on “Climate Change, Resource Reallocation and Great Power Competition.” A new collaboration among Rutgers, Princeton University and Arizona State University, the project seeks to understand how climate change is impacting strategic natural resources around the world and national security.

Malin Pinsky
Malin Pinsky

According to Pinsky, “the research will examine whether countries are likely to see coincident increases, decreases or extreme events across fisheries, agricultural trade, shipping and other sectors, then link this to competition and trade among great power countries.” The project is expected to lead to fundamental advances in understanding the relationship between climate science and international security studies.

Principal investigator of the project is Kristopher W. Ramsay, professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, with co-principal investigators Ethan Kapstein, professor in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University, and Pinsky, representing Rutgers University.

Launched by the Secretary of Defense in 2008, the Minerva Research Initiative is a DoD-sponsored, university-based social science research initiative that focuses on areas of strategic importance to the U.S. national security policy. It is jointly administered by the Basic Research Office in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the Strategy and Force Development Office in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in partnership with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Office of Naval Research.

The 17 faculty awardees were selected from approximately 220 applicants in nine categories using a merit competition. In order to make foundational contributions to basic social science and align with the National Defense strategy, research proposals were peer-reviewed and selected for scientific merit, relevance and potential impact in conference between the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Read more at the DoD FY2021 Minerva Research Initiative announcement.

This article was originally written by the SEBS/NJAES Office of Communications on March 3, 2022.