2023 Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Report on the 2022-2023 Graduate Research Awards 
for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation


(message en français)

Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation are offered by The Simons Foundation Canada and Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

A total of four awards of CAD $5,000 are available to Canadian Master’s and/or Doctoral candidates to support the independent research and writing of an academic paper responding to a specific Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament (NACD) topic.  Awards also include domestic travel support to Ottawa where successful candidates will present their completed papers during a special seminar at Global Affairs Canada Headquarters in June 2023.

          Deadline for applications:                                        April 28, 2023
          Selection of four award recipients:                         May 26, 2023
          Presentations at GAC Headquarters in Ottawa:    June 29, 2023


Complete applications should be sent to Elaine Hynes at The Simons Foundation Canada by email to: ehynes@thesimonsfoundation.ca by the close of business (PDT) on April 28, 2023.

Your application must include:

•    Your resume, including proof of Canadian citizenship status.
•    A complete, official transcript of your grades (including undergrad).  Electronic copies of official transcripts are acceptable.
•    An academic paper (approx. 1,500 words, MLA format) responding to one of the specific Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament topics shown below.


The competition is open to Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents/landed immigrants currently enrolled in a Winter 2023 university graduate programme. Graduate students studying outside Canada are eligible to apply but please note that funding to cover the cost of successful applicants' travel to Ottawa for the event at Global Affairs Canada is limited to domestic travel within Canada (or the equivalent).

In order to expand the community of Canadian scholars working on non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament (NACD) issues, employees of Global Affairs Canada, and previous recipients of a Graduate Research Award are not eligible.


Applications will be reviewed by an Expert Review Panel made up of three experts and academics working in this field who will recommend four award winners for final approval by representatives of The Simons Foundation Canada and Global Affairs Canada.  Successful candidates will be notified by May 26, 2023.


Award winners will present their papers at a special event hosted by Global Affairs Canada at the Lester B. Pearson building in Ottawa on June 29, 2023, and will be asked to produce a PowerPoint deck for their presentation.  The cash awards will be issued at the Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation seminar in Ottawa and a report, including the papers presented, will be published online by The Simons Foundation Canada. Please note that attendance at the GRA for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation event in Ottawa is a mandatory requirement of the award.  Approved domestic travel, accommodation and meal expenses will be provided by Global Affairs Canada.

TOPICS for 2023

Master’s and Doctoral candidates may choose to address one of the following subjects:

  1. Canadian civil society has made significant contributions to non-proliferation, arms control, and disarmament, both through advocacy and engagement in Canada and internationally. How can a new generation of advocates best engage to prevent or halt arms races and address emerging risks to humanity? What issues should they prioritize and why? What are the intersections between movements such as peace, climate action, cybersecurity, and non-proliferation, arms control, and disarmament?
  2. In an increasingly polarized geopolitical context, how can states build agreement across geopolitical divides to regulate or prohibit the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems? What role do you see for civil society, academia, and private tech corporations?
  3. Commercial space assets are starting to play a larger role in modern warfare, from providing telecommunications services to using Earth observation satellites to assist militaries with reconnaissance and logistics. What role should commercial entities and technologies have in modern warfare? Identify and examine arms control policies and initiatives that Canada could pursue, domestically and/or internationally, to address this growing issue.
  4. The 2022 NPT Review Conference agreed to establish a working group to examine and make recommendations as to how the NPT’s review process could be strengthened. What new measures would be useful in this regard?
  5. Given NATO’s declared goal of creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons, examine possible arms control and disarmament policies and initiatives, as well as nuclear risk reduction measures, that Canada, in cooperation with like- minded NATO members, might pursue to assist the Alliance in making concrete progress toward that goal.
  6. Cognizant of the differing impacts of weapons and conflict in regions across the globe, how can Canada engage Global South actors in disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation across UN bodies and treaties more effectively? Please use an example of a specific issue, making clear the positions and priorities of Global South actors on proposed courses of action, highlighting the differences and similarities to Canada's stated positions and priorities.

For more information, please contact Elaine Hynes at The Simons Foundation Canada 
by email to ehynes@thesimonsfoundation.ca or at telephone number 778-782-7779.

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


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 Canada, Global Affairs Canada or the Government of Canada.