August 27, 2021

Faculty project bids sought as part of new Purdue partnership with U.S. Department of State’s Diplomacy Lab

Purdue is collaborating with the U.S. Department of State to bring its Diplomacy Lab initiative to campus, and faculty will be invited to submit project bids for the initiative later this fall. The partnership will see teams of Purdue students supervised and led by a faculty member to conduct research in areas of interest relevant to the State Department’s affairs. Topics cover a wide array of international issues and challenges, including climate change, sustainable development, human rights, economic policy, global health, energy security, and conflict and stabilization.

Students participating in the Diplomacy Lab explore real-world challenges identified by the State Department and stand to contribute directly to informing a solution. Students will have various opportunities throughout the semester to discuss their research with State Department officials via video calls or teleconferences. Teams that develop exceptional results and ideas are acknowledged and may be invited to brief senior State Department officials on their findings.

Faculty at Purdue will be invited to formally bid their interest on a semester-long project later this fall. If nominated, faculty will recruit a team of students to engage in the research work through the spring semester. Funding will not typically be granted, although select projects can be extended beyond the designated time frame.

Successful faculty applicants also will serve as the project point of contact for State Department officials and are expected to have expertise in a field of study related to the project. Professors are encouraged to incorporate Diplomacy Lab within their curricula as best suits their teaching needs and academic goals. Potential instructional models may include independent study opportunities, topical coursework, a standalone research project or a capstone program.

The project bidding process will be coordinated by the Purdue Policy Research Institute (PPRI). Prospective faculty candidates are to respond to the official invitation by stating which project they are interested in, detailing how the chosen project will be conducted, and explaining the proposed approach(es) and faculty member involvement. Proposals are not to exceed 200 words. Purdue will submit up to six bids for projects.

PPRI will host an online Info Session on Purdue’s partnership with Diplomacy Lab initiative at 1 to 2 p.m. Sept. 15. Faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend. Registration is free but required and can be completed online.

The menu of projects that were available for this fall semester can be viewed in this PDF file. Projects available for the 2022 spring semester are anticipated to be released mid-September. General queries regarding the Diplomacy Lab initiative or the application process should be directed to Krista Kelley, operations manager at PPRI, at

Launched by the Department of State in 2013, Diplomacy Lab enables the State Department to “course-source” research related to foreign policy challenges by harnessing the efforts of students and faculty experts at colleges and universities across the United States. Diplomacy Lab underscores the department’s commitment to engage the American people in the work of the State Department, and the need to broaden the department’s research base in response to a proliferation of complex global challenges.  

The Purdue Policy Research Institute (PPRI) catalyzes and leverages extant policy-relevant transdisciplinary research among members of the Purdue research community, facilitates enduring connections among local and global actors, and generates impact on policymaking and beyond. The institute is guided by the principle that policy development must consider the interdependencies among technological, economic, ethical, and social factors. Together with collaborators in academia and the public and private sectors, PPRI inspires the development of nonpartisan policies that solve pressing global challenges.

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