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Call for Applications
Student Research Grants on Non-traditional Security Paradigms Informing National Security in Pakistani Institutions


The Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan and the Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) have collaborated on an academic research collaboration on the topic of “Non-traditional Security Paradigms Informing National Security in Pakistani Institutions” and have issued this call for research grant applications for MS Students of Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS) at CIPS.

The post-COVID-19 moment in both academia and state practice emphasizes the need for exploring articulations of security emanating from multifaceted non-traditional quarters. Thus, a state-centric top-down delineation of traditional national security is insufficient for addressing emergent sectors and variables associated with an increasingly dynamic threat matrix.

In light of this, the present HSF-CIPS collaboration aims at facilitating creative research initiatives examining the deterritorialization of security away from static or traditional understandings and in the context of institutional harmonization. The objective is to allow budding researchers to transcend a preoccupation with state boundaries in order to engage with security externalities reflecting a broad array of stakeholders and regimes including relevant government entities.

Thus, domestic attributes of non-traditional security areas may be said to reflect an interplay of indigenous, intersectoral contexts, combined with the pressures of geo-proximity and key global processes such as climate change. In light of this, non-traditional security — encompassing such themes as food, economic, health, environmental, and even cultural security — present as a dynamic configuration beyond the scope of hard-power strategizing. In the South Asian context, particularly, a breakdown in human security, illustrated through resource scarcity, inter-state institutional instability, and the rise of ethnic and religious violence, necessitates a recognition of otherwise marginalized referents and agents of “security‟.

The research grant will include a stipend for the six-month duration of the research, i.e., May 1 to October 31, 2021, paid out in line with receipt of key deliverables as identified by student supervisors. The produced papers will be published in academic peer-reviewed journals to ensure the broader dissemination of the findings and be circulated as part of the CIPS Working Paper Series to allow researchers to benefit from a constructive critique while retaining copyright.

Research initiatives under the project shall be geared towards examining normative goals and resultant policy recommendations in confluence with security needs embedded in on-ground experiences and in support of institutional cooperation and coordination. Thus, researchers are invited to examine both the pedagogy and praxis of the dynamism characterizing security as a concept by problematizing the conditions resulting in insecurity. The objective is to explore both theoretical and actionable schemes of analysis engaging with non-traditional security as a practicable concern in the Pakistani context.

The students selected for this research grant will work under the supervision of the faculty members to conduct empirical-based research resonating with sub-themes such as:

  • Structural roots of inter-state violence in South Asia
  • Non-traditional security as a site of contestation for civic rights movements
  • Food Security and the question of access versus unavailability
  • Health Security and the emphasis on flexible state crisis management regimes post-COVID-19
  • Climate Change and the need for transboundary security management systems
  • The neoliberal economic model and the pursuit of human security through development
  • Mainstream “security” in traditional theoretical frameworks in IR/PCS, and the need for redefinition and/or de-securitization
  • Cybersecurity and/or the role of social media in conflict management/resolution/mitigation/prevention
  • Social media and the risk of conflict (re)occurrence
  • Water and energy security
  • National Security Policy design post-COVID-19
  • Development Theory and the normative challenge of securing human security


Eligibility Criteria

1. Applicants must be enrolled as MS students of PCS at CIPS for the entire period of the project year (i.e., until December 31, 2021).

2. The applicants may not take on any other work contracts for the entire funding period unless approved by their academic supervisor(s) and HSF.

3. Scholarship holders are also expected to further fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be proficient in the use of the English language and academic writing
  • Demonstrate a commitment to conduct the empirical research in the given timeframe
  • Maintain a good work ethic and keep the relevant supervisor(s) updated
  • Submit the required progress reports on time
  • Maintain regular attendance in project-related workshops, research methodology training and lecture series (identified by the supervisor)
  • Submit a publishable paper by 31 October 2021


Application Procedure and Required document submissions:

• The proposed research projects must remain within the framework of “Non-traditional Security Challenges of Pakistan” with an additional focus on the harmonization of Pakistani institutions in this regard.

• A short CV with contact details and student’s grade point average (no longer than 1 page, Times New Roman 12-pt font) A research proposal (no more than 1,000 words; Times New Roman 12-pt font), which outlines the following:

  • The research topic, its focus, and relevance,
  • At least one central research question,
  • The intended theoretical and methodological approach,
  • A research plan (including outlined deliverables) for six months (May-October 2021)


The complete applications are to be submitted to Dr Muhammad Makki ( and in copy to HSF (


Application Deadline: April 15, 2021