New opportunity for the students to develop their capacities and start to get some hands-on experience in their fields. It is the Diplomacy Lab.
By establishing partnerships between the U.S. Department of State and American colleges and universities, Diplomacy Lab provides students with a mechanism to participate in the work of the Department while allowing policymakers to tap into an underutilized reservoir of intellectual capacity.
Successful past projects range in topics from entrepreneurship to legal analysis, interagency innovation to women’s issues, and science and engineering to organizational psychology. Projects can be anything from detailed quantitative research projects to broad “blue-sky” projects on a certain topic or theme.
Past projects include:
- Digital History of U.S. Foreign Relations: This project proposal asked students to develop a complete database of Historical Country Names and Diplomatic Posts; then integrate the database with one of the Office of the Historian’s digital history datasets.
- Hidden Water Wars: Students identified recurring themes or “setups” for water-related conflict and then framed a set of hypotheses as to how these conflict setups could be effectively mediated. The student researchers then sought out case studies to “test” their hypotheses, looking for cases that both supported and refuted their hypotheses.
- Multilateral Moneyball: Correlates of Influence on Multilateral Voting Behavior: Commissioned by Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Office of Policy, Regional, and Functional Organizations, this project applied statistical methods to identify trends in voting coincidence and suggest approaches for U.S. diplomatic engagement that will promote policy goals.
- Women’s Participation in STEM Fields in Japan: The Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Office of Japanese Affairs asked students to compile a report on factors affecting women’s participation in STEM fields in Japan and for at least four more papers of 5-10 pages assessing more specific topics that relate to the large report.
Submission of a project does not guarantee that it will be selected by one of the university teams, but student demand for projects to date has been strong.
With 20 universities involved in projects in past semesters, there will be teams with a broad diversity of interests and talents.
Diplomacy Lab is designed to harness the energy of an emerging generation of citizen diplomats. Working from college and university campuses, students from undergraduate and graduate programs partner with Department of State offices to advance U.S. foreign policy through research.
Participating universities such as the University of Oklahoma, University of Virginia, Yale University, and University of Notre Dame are some of the institutions that will be able to bid on projects.
For a complete list of participating schools visit http://diplomacylab.org/university-partners/.
Interested students (groups of students) can submit proposals to BeirutPD@state.gov before January 5, 2016.