Call for Proposals: Reimagining Multilateralism

Funding Agency:
Carnegie Corporation of New York

From pandemics and climate change, to disruptive technologies and other emerging risks, it is a truism that most of today’s global threats cannot be addressed effectively without collective action. The failure of international responses to COVID-19 is only the most recent and dramatic example of the inability of long-standing cooperative mechanisms and institutions to withstand the pressures of nationalism, protectionism, and broader structural and systemic deficiencies. As the nature of security in the 21st century continues to evolve, there is a need to reimagine existing multilateral approaches to critical transnational challenges.

Through this Request for Proposals, Carnegie Corporation of New York invites projects that provide insights and practical approaches for addressing one or more of the following questions:

  • How might the system of international institutions be reimagined and/or reinvigorated to better respond to 21st-century security challenges, including those that threaten global health, climate, privacy, and civic well-being?
  • What are the pros/cons/utility of different forms of multilateralism for different purposes (e.g. formal vs. informal, small vs. large, narrow vs. broad, regional vs. global, like-minded vs. mixed, major powers only vs. a broader set of powers)?
  • How could international institutions adapt to better reflect and manage ongoing shifts in economic, military, and political power among global actors, especially in the context of China’s rise? 
  • What lessons should be learned from high-functioning regional organizations or international accords?
  • How might critical, yet underappreciated, flashpoints (geographic, economic, technological, etc.) be managed through multilateral approaches? Could these approaches be applied more broadly?
  • How should potential tradeoffs between national interests and collective security be managed?

Deadline for Concept Notes: March 15, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Think tanks, university-based centers, and independent nongovernmental organizations are eligible to apply. 
  • Applying organizations must be based in the United States.  
  • Proposals must be submitted by an organization; individual researchers working on their own projects are not eligible for consideration. 
  • Special consideration will be given to institutions and experts not currently funded by the Corporation. 

Amount Description

Projects may run for up to 24 months. Applicants may submit a proposal in one of two categories: grants of up to $200,000 or grants for between $200,000 and $500,000. Grants will be onetime funding.

Funding Type





International Opportunities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

March 15, 2021