Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation 2019-2020

Report of the 2019-2020 Graduate Research Awards for
Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation


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Graduate Research Awards for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation are offered by The Simons Foundation Canada and the International Security Research and Outreach Programme (ISROP) of 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 event at Global Affairs Canada Headquarters in March 2020.

                  Deadline for applications:                                           February 3, 2020
                  Selection of four award recipients:                            February 21, 2020
                  Presentations at GAC Headquarters in Ottawa:       March 25, 2020 

Complete applications should be sent to Elaine Hynes at The Simons Foundation by email to: by the close of business (PST) on February 3, 2020.

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 (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 graduate programme.  Canadian graduate students studying outside Canada are eligible to apply but please note that funding to cover the cost of a successful applicant's travel to Ottawa for the event at Global Affairs Canada in March 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 and ISROP.  Successful candidates will be notified on February 21, 2020.

Award winners will present their papers at a special event hosted by Global Affairs Canada at the Lester B. Pearson building in Ottawa on March 25, 2020, and will be asked to produce a PowerPoint deck for their presentation.  The cash awards will be issued at the GRA event in Ottawa and a report including the papers presented will be published online by The Simons Foundation. Please note that attendance at the GRA event in Ottawa is a mandatory requirement of the award. Approved domestic travel, accommodation and meal expenses will be provided by The Simons Foundation.

TOPICS for 2019-2020

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

1.    To what degree do you believe Intangible Technology Transfer (ITT) plays a role in today’s weapons of mass destruction risk and how could governments more effectively seek to mitigate these risks? 

2.    In light of the pervasive threat of nuclear terrorism and the corresponding need for strong nuclear security, how can states make sure that nuclear security is enhanced while also ensuring that heightened security doesn’t stand as a barrier to States seeking access to peaceful nuclear energy and technology?

3.    In 2018, the United Nations launched Youth 2030: Working with and for Young People to support the empowerment, engagement and participation of young people. Priority five of the strategy focuses on supporting young people as catalysts for peace and security. How can Canada engage to further increase and empower youth participation in the non-proliferation, arms control, disarmament, and/or outer space policy-making process?

4.    The Brussels Summit Declaration Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels 11-12 July 2018 stated “The Alliance reaffirms its resolve to […] take further practical steps and effective measures to create the conditions for further nuclear disarmament negotiations and the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons […] in an ever more effective and verifiable way that promotes international stability, and is based on the principle of undiminished security for all.” What practical steps could NATO Allies consider taking to advance these goals are such actions best pursued within or outside of NATO as an institution?

5.    As outer space becomes more contested, congested and competitive, the theme of maintaining peace and security while supporting commercialization is becoming more and more prevalent. What are some practical measures (i.e. legislation, regulations, policies, procedures, multilateral agreements, rules of engagement, etc) that Canada could implement to actively promote peace and security in space that go beyond supporting of international treaties, resolutions and TCBMs?

For more information, please contact Elaine Hynes at The Simons Foundation
by email to or by telephone at 778-782-7779.


The primary objective of the Graduate Research Awards 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 Canada and ISROP; the themes do not necessarily reflect the views of The Simons Foundation, Global Affairs Canada or the Government of Canada.