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Syracuse University’s Maxwell School gets $1 million grant

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University (SU) will use a two-year, $1 million grant to develop a program connecting academics and policymakers.

The Maxwell School made the announcement in a news release Tuesday.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York named the Maxwell School as one of five institutional grant recipients through its initiative, entitled “Rigor and Relevance: Bridging the Academic-Policy Gap,” the school said in the news release.


With this funding, the Maxwell School will create the Carnegie International Policy Scholars Consortium and Network.

The group will bring together faculty from international-relations graduate programs to teach and mentor students, scholars, and policymakers, the school said.

The mentoring will focus on preparing graduate students for successful careers in both policymaking and academia and fostering “enhanced” interaction between the two communities.

The program centers on “bridging the gap” between the academic world and the world of practice, James Steinberg, dean of the Maxwell School, said in the news release.

“With this funding, we will develop educational materials and innovative instructional approaches that combine intellectual rigor with the ability to adapt that thinking to the constraints of real-world decision making,” said Steinberg. “Through the Carnegie International Policy Scholars Consortium and Network, we seek to bring an interdisciplinary approach to complex international affairs and to build a network of faculty and students across multiple institutions to pursue these goals.” 

Initial consortium members include faculty from Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Indiana University, the University of Virginia, as well as scholars from the Washington, D.C.–based Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Cambridge, Mass.–based American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Besides curriculum building, mentorship, conferences, and workshops, the grant will also support the creation of a “synchronous, distance-learning environment” based at SU called the “distance-learning collaboratory.”

The effort will allow students in international relations and security studies to interact with faculty members and other students in the consortium schools in real time.

The project goal is to improve the communication between academics and policymakers and thereby produce better policymaking and more policy-relevant research and teaching, the Maxwell School said.

The five grant awardees had responded to the corporation’s competition challenging the 22 American–based members of the College Park, Md.–based Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) to present proposals outlining “novel, feasible” ways to “bridge the gap” between academics working on complex foreign-policy issues and policymakers dealing with the same concerns, the Maxwell School said.

Experts in the international-relations field — who Carnegie chose for their understanding of the policymaking process in Washington, D.C.; knowledge of APSIA; and awareness of the administrative challenges of universities — reviewed all proposals, according to the Maxwell School.

Andrew Carnegie established the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding,” according to the corporation’s website.

In keeping with this mandate, the corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Carnegie considered of “paramount” importance, including international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of the nation’s democracy, according to the Maxwell School.

Contact Reinhardt at


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