Addressing the Impacts of Proliferator State Advanced Conventional Weapons

Funding Agency:
Department of State

The Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (ISN/CTR) is pleased to announce an open competition for assistance awards through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). ISN/CTR sponsors foreign assistance activities funded by the Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR) and other accounts, and focuses on mitigating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and WMD-related delivery systems proliferation and security threats from non-state actors and proliferator states.

ISN/CTR builds foreign partner capacity to counter proliferator states’ advanced conventional weapons (ACW) procurement and proliferation networks. Proliferator states such as the Russian Federation use the sale of its weapons systems to exert malign influence, exacerbate regional conflicts, and develop strategic defense dependencies. The Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has increased its own demand for additional weapon systems and critical defense technologies. Because of Russia’s inability to produce them locally, Russian weapons systems require the import of advanced Western electronics and components. The Russian Federation’s war in Ukraine has also clearly demonstrated the corruption, failures, and deficiencies inherent in the Russian defense sector. This is causing the Russian Federation to become increasingly dependent on other proliferator states such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The “no limit partnership” between the PRC and Russia also raises concerns of the PRC’s support to assist Russia in circumventing international sanctions regimes. Russia’s war in Ukraine also presents PRC with an opportunity to advance its own ACW export market share, as Russia is increasingly unable to meet defense export contracts or attract new orders. The PRC also uses the development and export of ACW as part of its strategy of self-reliance to enable its military modernization efforts. Like Russia, the PRC’s export of ACW can be used to create strategic dependencies in buyer countries and is seen as a tool of statecraft.

ISN/CTR is seeking proposals that:
• Promote implementation of international PMC procurement best practices, including adoption of standards outlined in the Montreux document and International Code of Conduct Association (ICOCA).
• Perform open-source research on the beneficial ownership structures, subsidiaries, lenders, financiers, aviation and maritime vehicles used, and logistics providers of PMC groups designated by the U.S. or others.
• Provide actionable, open-source data on PMC deployments, modes of transport, financing, subsidiary, and logistics networks facilitating PMC deployments to foreign public and private sector enforcement officials.
• Assist partners to implement strengthen due-diligence measures when procuring PMC services.
• Assist key defense, security, law enforcement, and private sector entities to professionalize and standardize best practices during the solicitation, procurement, and oversight processes when obtaining PMC services.
• Help partners understand the economic sovereignty, sanctions, and natural resource risks of procuring illicit PMC services.
• Support the development of sustainable and local networks to share best-practices and due-diligence models.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal package per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding. Interested applicants from within Duke should contact as early as possible.

Deadline: Jan. 31, 2024

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The following organizations are eligible to apply: • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations • Public and private educational institutions • Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) • For-profit organizations Public International Organizations and Governmental institutions

Amount Description

Award amounts: Awards should range between $50,000 to a $300,000 per project

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
International Opportunities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

January 31, 2024