International Peace & Security Grant Guidelines

Understand guideline and funding cycles

MacArthur publishes program guidelines to help applicants determine whether their idea for a grant fits within a particular grantmaking strategy.

As a general rule, applicants should base this decision on three related criteria that appear in program guidelines: the topical focus addressed by the grantmaking strategy; the geographic area covered by the grantmaking strategy; and, finally, the type of funding (i.e., general operating support, research, program support, etc.) that supports the grantmaking strategy.

Like most strategic grantmaking foundations, the MacArthur Foundation considers funding only those applications that closely match the topical, geographic, and funding criteria for a specific grantmaking strategy.


MacArthur’s goals in the area of international peace and security grantmaking are to prevent nuclear terrorism and strengthen stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

What MacArthur Funds

Nuclear Security

Policy Research

Supported policy research projects aim to prevent the theft or diversion of fissile materials from military and civilian sites, ensure that the inevitable growth in nuclear power does not increase the availability of fissile materials for terrorist groups, and end reliance on weapon-usable material.

In addition, we support a limited number of innovative projects that: 1) seek to effectively address, in a stabilizing manner, the strategic implications of deeper reductions in nuclear arsenals; and, 2) provide new insights and approaches to security challenges arising from national efforts to acquire nuclear weapons (e.g. Iran and North Korea).

MacArthur does not respond on an ad hoc basis to unsolicited letters of inquiry (LOI) on Nuclear Security Policy Research, but will consider them twice a year; deadlines are March 1 and September 1. We review LOIs in an open and competitive process, and we will request a limited number of full proposals based on this review. Learn about the format for Letters of Inquiry. We will issue initial responses within three months of each deadline. It can take up to seven months to receive a final decision.

Advanced Education

MacArthur does not consider unsolicited proposals in the area of Advanced Education in Nuclear Security.

Questions about this grantmaking area can be addressed to Director Emma Belcher.

Asia Security Initiative

Policy Research

Our Asia Security Initiative (ASI) currently supports policy research projects on Asia, and encourages collaborations among Asian, and between U.S. and Asian, institutions though such collaborations are not a prerequisite for funding projects. We do not consider projects that propose Track II or Track II-type dialogues.

The initiative focuses on the following themes:

  1. Rising powers in Asia, particularly China and India – and the role of others, particularly Japan and the Republic of Korea.
  2. U.S. role in the region, including rebalance and extended deterrence as well as Asian perceptions of, and reactions to, evolving U.S. policies in the region.
  3. Geostrategic relationships, particularly U.S.-China, China-India, India-Pakistan, China-Pakistan
  4. Leadership transitions/generational changes in Asia and implications for security
  5. Territorial disputes and maritime tensions
  6. Impact of resource competition on stability in the region

MacArthur does not respond on an ad hoc basis to unsolicited letters of inquiry (LOI) on the Asia Security Initiative.

Questions about this grantmaking area can be addressed to Program Officer John Fei.

Updated May 2014