• Last updated: 10 Nov. 2023 08:52

Science for Peace and Security

SPS Grant mechanisms

The NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme enhances security-related civil science and technology to address emerging security challenges and their impact on international security. It connects scientists, experts and officials from NATO and its Partner nations to address these challenges through scientific research, technological innovation, and exchange of expertise and know-how.

All SPS activities contribute to the Alliance’s Strategic Objectives, as defined in the NATO Strategic Concept and in the NATO Partnership Policy, and arising from high-level political meetings.

Initiatives supported by the Programme tackle a set of Allied-approved Key Priorities, which reflect current developments in the international security environment and in NATO’s political priorities. Moreover, SPS activities encourage cooperation between research communities in NATO countries and NATO Partner nations, as each of them must be led by project directors from at least one NATO and one Partner country.

SPS supports scientific cooperation through established grant mechanisms that provide funding for Multi-Year Projects and Events. Supported Events include Advanced Research Workshops (ARW), Advanced Study Institutes (ASI), and Advanced Training Courses (ATC).

Interested applicants must develop a collaborative activity that fits within one of the formats listed below and meets at least one SPS Key Priority. All SPS activities must be developed and managed following the guidance provided in the SPS Handbooks for Multi-Year Projects and Events. 

Multi-Year Projects (MYP)

  • What: Multi-Year Projects (MYP) are Research and Development (R&D) projects that enable scientists from NATO and its Partner nations to collaborate on applied R&D and capacity building projects that result in new civil science advancements with practical application in the security and defence fields. MYPs enable participants to increase contacts in scientific communities while building a stronger scientific infrastructure in their home countries. Sustainability is ensured through the involvement of end-users offering advice and guidance throughout the lifetime of the projects with the aim of taking up and implementing the results. Projects involving more than one NATO country and one Partner nation are encouraged, as is the participation of early stage researchers.
  • Duration: Projects have a typical duration of 24 to 36 months.
  • Budget: Typically EUR 250,000-400,000 over the entire duration of the project. NATO SPS funds support project-specific costs linked to specific milestones, and may cover costs such as scientific equipment, computers, software and training of project personnel. MYP grants support early stage researchers through stipends, and can co-finance personnel costs of staff involved in the project.

Advanced Research Workshops (ARW)

  • What: Advanced Research Workshops (ARW) provide a platform for experts and scientists from different countries to share their experience and knowledge on security-related topics. ARWs also serve to formulate recommendations and conclusions for policy or further study, and to foster partnerships among experts from different countries, often leading to the formation of new research collaborations.
  • Duration: 2-5 working days.
  • Target Audience: 20-50 participants.
  • Budget: Typically EUR 30,000-40,000. The SPS grant is intended to cover direct organizational expenses of the ARW, the travel and living expenses of key speakers, as well as the attendance of non-speakers from NATO member countries and Partner nations unable to obtain support from other sources.

Advanced Study Institutes (ASI)

  • What: Advanced Study Institutes (ASI) are high-level tutorial courses conveying the latest developments in topics of relevance for NATO and the SPS Key Priorities to an advanced-level audience.
  • Duration: 7-10 working days.
  • Target Audience: 60-80 pre- and post-doctoral level scientists with relevant backgrounds in the subject matter of the course. Early stage researchers from NATO Partner nations are especially encouraged to attend.
  • Budget: On average EUR 60,000. The SPS grant pays for direct organizational costs, travel and living expenses for up to 15 lecturers, and for the attendance of students from countries eligible to receive NATO SPS funding.

Advanced Training Courses (ATC)

  • What: Advanced Training Courses (ATC) are tailor-made, modular courses designed to enable specialists in NATO countries to share their security-related expertise in one of the SPS Key Priority areas. ATCs are not intended to be lecture-driven, but to be intensive, interactive and practical in nature. Courses contribute to the training of experts in Partner nations and enable the formation and strengthening of international expert networks.
  • Target Audience: 20-50 trainees primarily from Partner nations. These trainees are chosen on the basis of their qualifications and experience, and the benefit they may draw from the ATC in their future activities.
  • Duration: 5-7 working days.
  • Budget: On average EUR 60,000. The SPS grant covers direct organizational costs, travel and living expenses of all specialists, and attendance costs of trainees from countries eligible to receive NATO funding.