The John McCain Dissertation Award is awarded annually to up to two outstanding doctoral dissertations for exceptional academic contributions in the field of political science, history or policy analysis with an emphasis on transatlantic relations — including its security, technological, political, trade and financial, social and cultural dimensions. The award has several components, including participation in Munich Security Conference (MSC) events and a first prize grant of up to 10,000 Euros generously provided by MSC partner Siemens Energy.
Over the course of the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference has developed into the world’s leading forum for the debate of international security policy in the broadest sense. Each February, it brings together more than 600 senior decision- makers and thought-leaders from around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future challenges.
Senator John McCain was part of the MSC family for more than four decades. After first attending the conference as a young Navy officer he eventually came to lead the United States Congressional Delegation in his role as senator. As such he played a key role in establishing the conference as an important forum for the transatlantic community. In times when the transatlantic bond can no longer be taken for granted, we are keen to honor the lifetime achievements of Senator John McCain by establishing the annual McCain Lecture and by awarding an annual John McCain Dissertation Award for academic excellence. Together with our partners, the Hochschule für Politik München, the Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science at LMU Munich, the University of the Federal Armed Forces, and the McCain Institute, we strive to establish the McCain Award as the most respected prize of its kind.
Excellent doctoral dissertations written in English or German on any aspect of transatlantic relations are eligible for consideration for the McCain Award. In keeping with Senator McCain’s legacy, preference will be given to dissertations with a primary focus on an essential and important element of transatlantic relations, clear policy implications, and an innovative, rich, and rigorous research design. The timeframe during which a dissertation must have been defended to be eligible for the award is between November 1, 2021, and October 31, 2022.
Nominations & Selection Process
Nominations need to include a support letter by a supervisor or member of the thesis committee, a pdf copy of the full dissertation, an executive summary of no more than two pages and a brief academic CV. Self-nominations are not possible. Entries are to be mailed to mccainawardsecurityconferenceorg no later than December 1, 2022.
The selection process will be led by an expert jury which includes Eugénia da Conceicão-Heldt (Hochschule für Politik München), Carlo Masala (University of the Federal Armed Forces), Berthold Rittberger (Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science, LMU Munich), Trine Flockhart (University of Southern Denmark), Stephanie Hofmann (European University Institute, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies), Andrew Moravcsik (Princeton University), Mark Green (The Woodrow Wilson International Center), Francis Gavin (Johns Hopkins University), and Evelyn Farkas (McCain Institute).
The winner(s) will be notified by the end of January 2023. The prize giving ceremony will take place in Munich on February 17, 2023, in the US Congressional Delegation, members of the jury, and selected high-ranking MSC participants.