The European Defence Agency and the Egmont Institute have launched a PhD Prize in defence, security and strategy. Young researchers who have recently completed their PhD thesis are encouraged to participate in the competition. The award? A financial remuneration and especially the chance for the winner to present the results of his/her research during the EDA annual conference in March 2013 in front of the European defence community. Dinesh Rempling, EDA Project Officer, in charge of the Prize explains the aims and background of the Prize.
1. Dinesh, why another PhD prize?
While PhD prizes exist across the world, they are often either linked to academic institutions or societies. Some of the prizes have an international flavour but none are specifically targeting a European audience. Filling this gap will strengthen European research in defence, security and strategy. Moreover the hope is that it will encourage a new generation of scholars to continue to push the boundaries, helping shape better and more effective European policies.
2. Why do the Egmont Institute and the EDA cooperate?
As it so happened EDA and Egmont Institute were thinking the same thing at the same time. It is the ideal complementary partnership in many ways. Being an agency under the Council framework, EDA is very close to the heart of EU decision-making. In fact EDA is run by a Steering Board consisting of Defence Ministers from twenty-six EU Member States and chaired by Baroness Catherine Ashton (Head of the Agency, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission).
Egmont Institute on the other hand is in the forefront of research in defence, security and strategy. As such it come with a pan-European network of academic excellence.
The EDA-Egmont partnership is fortunate enough to be completed by a Prize Jury of brilliant minds. All Members come with a wealth of experience, each covering a different angle of defence, security and strategy – this is what boosts the essence of the Prize. Together the Jury Members will be able to objectively evaluate the quality and impact of the candidates’ achievements.
3. Who should participate?
Anybody can submit their candidacy for the Prize. The more applicants there are the merrier because the ambition is to award outstanding work and the more there is the to choose from the likelier it is that exceptional achievements surface. Some basic provisions need to be met: the need to be a national of an EDA Member State, the PhD must have been awarded by an academic institution in an EDA Member State and the thesis needs to be available in English. Other than that there are no restrictions so long the substance of the thesis addresses one or more aspects of defence, security and strategy.
The Prize itself comes with a number of perks. Apart from the prestige, there is a generous financial contribution to look forward to. Furthermore the successful candidate will speak in front of an international audience of senior decision-makers at the EDA Annual Conference on 21 March 2013. In addition the winner will be offered the opportunity to publish the key findings of the thesis in the form of a book!