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External Research Associates Program (ERAP)

ERAP is a contractual program (not an academic grant) whereby the U.S. Government pays for scholarly research and analysis on issues of concern to those institutions responsible for U.S. national security and strategy, but especially the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense. Contributing scholars are drawn from within the United States and abroad, with international scholars and other experts not affiliated with the U.S. military, the U.S. Government, or for-profit consulting firms eligible as well. Check back to this page for information on how to apply when the window for submitting proposals is open.

The expected end-product of an ERAP contract is a well-written, well-researched monograph of 40-50 pages containing substantive recommendations for U.S. policymakers, deliverable within one year of the date the contract is awarded. Payment occurs after the product is received, reviewed, and accepted by SSI. Approved monographs are distributed to key leaders in the U.S. Army and Department of Defense, the military educational system, Congress, the media, other domestic/international think tanks and defense institutes, and major colleges and universities.

The selection process is highly competitive, and interested parties are encouraged to refer to the draft 2018 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL), available online at through this solicitation. The KSIL outlines topic areas of strategic priority identified by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Department of the Army Headquarters, and the Unified Combatant Commands. Topics range from asking how the Force can be more effective in complex operational environments to how social, cultural, political, demographic, and economic changes affect the U.S. Army. While all relevant strategic topics submitted will be considered, a critical part of SSI's mission is providing direct analysis to U.S. Army and Department of Defense leadership - therefore, proposals answering topics related to those found in the KSIL will receive the strongest consideration.

Human Subject Research Determination.
If the proposed research involves data collection from or on living humans, the applicant must submit a Human Subject Determination Form prior to initiating any data collection.