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Building a Better US Foreign Policy Student Competition 2024

Building a Better US Foreign Policy Student Competition 2024

Country: USA
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Building a Better US Foreign Policy Student Competition 2024

An Annual Student Competition Undergraduate students seek to improve U.S. foreign policy and deepen U.S. global engagement. The Reimagining US Grand Strategy Program strengthens US foreign policy by testing assumptions, reassessing conventional wisdom, and exploring innovative approaches to international engagement.

As part of its mission, the Strategy Program provides a platform for future national security professionals to express their thoughts. Its Annual Student Competition invites undergraduates to share creative ideas for improving U.S. foreign policy, drawing new and innovative talent into the policy space, and providing avenues for young thinkers to engage with leading foreign policy institutions.

Prompt: Briefly analyze a core assumption guiding U.S. foreign policy that you believe is most in need of scrutiny, or identify a new opportunity for the United States to better engage with the world. Explain the importance of this assumption or opportunity and propose at least one concrete policy prescription based on your analysis.

Competition Format: The competition is a short essay contest to encourage students to develop their analytical and writing skills to effectively communicate ideas to policymakers. Students are expected to showcase unconventional ideas and are invited to propose new modes of global engagement for the United States.


Awards include:

  • Cash prizes: The first-place winner will receive $1,000, the first runner-up $500, and the second runner-up $250.
  • Publication in an online outlet: Following a period of review and editing in collaboration with the writer, the winning essay will be published by Inkstick Media. Additional essays may also be considered for publication, subject to the discretion of the reviewers.
  • Invitation to exclusive event: A selection of up to 20 students with exemplary essays will receive an invitation to participate in a virtual whiteboarding event with the Reimagining U.S. Grand Strategy team. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with our team members, meet other high-achieving students, and get a peek inside the work being done at a leading international relations think tank.

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Only submissions adhering to the following criteria will be considered for the competition:

  • Students must be enrolled in a U.S. university or college as an undergraduate student at the time of the submission of their entry. Only applicants with U.S. residency will be eligible for the cash prizes, but all applicants (regardless of residency) will be eligible for publication and invitation to the exclusive virtual event. Only one entry per student is allowed.
  • Should the number of submissions exceed our reviewing capacity, the Reimagining US Grand Strategy Program will select completed essays for review on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The Stimson Center has a strict no-plagiarism policy. Essays submitted to the competition will be reviewed accordingly. Students are allowed, however, to repurpose their prior written work for the competition—so long as it has not been published elsewhere.

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Evaluation Criteria for Foreign Policy Student Competition

Submissions will be judged upon:

  • The quality of the analysis and writing
  • The strength of the essay’s arguments and sources
  • The originality and creativity of policy prescriptions that are also practical and realistic
  • A respect for the word count limit (1,000 words maximum)

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Application of Foreign Policy Student Competition

Essays should be submitted as either a Word document or PDF–with hyperlinks included to cite outside sources.


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline30 April,2024
Contact the organizer [email protected].



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