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Spring 2018

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

Project “Menu” Circulated

Fall ’18 Projects:

February 7

Spring ’19 Projects:

September 12

Fall ’19 Projects:

February 6

Bids due to OU Coordinator

February 28

October 1

February 27

Final Bid Submission Deadline

March 2

October 3

March 1

Project Selections Finalized with DOS

Project Contacts Connected

March 14

October 17

March 13

First Team Video/Tele-Correspondence* for Current Semester

February 2018

(Approx. 2 weeks after semester begins)

September 2018

(Approx. 2 weeks after semester begins)

February 2019

(Approx. 2 weeks after semester begins)

Second Correspondence

April 2018

(Approx. 2/3 through semester)

November 2018

(Approx. 2/3 through semester)

April 2019

(Approx. 2/3 through semester)

Final Product Deadline to Department of State

May 2018

December 2018

May 2019

*Depending on the particulars of a project/course, as well as student and office availability, Diplomacy Lab teams may choose to change the timing of phone or video correspondence calls or submission date of the final product. They may also change the frequency of correspondence, while maintaining a minimum of three.

  1. Every semester, the Department of State releases a menu of available projects for each participating university Diplomacy Lab Coordinator.
  2. Once your university’s coordinator has received this list, he/she solicits faculty for project bids.
  3. Each coordinator then compiles and submits his/her university’s bids to the Diplomacy Lab Secretariat – the University of Oklahoma at diplomacylab@ou.edu.
  4. Project bid updates usually occur about three to four weeks after submission.
  5. Once a bid has been awarded, the Department of State will contact the faculty participants directly to discuss next steps.

Proposals may be a maximum of 200 words. A few notes to emphasize in your proposal:

  • Interdisciplinary projects are highly encouraged.
  • Proposals should contain information regarding how projects/courses will be conducted.
    • If a topic seems too broad to tackle properly in a semester, the project bid should clarify the scope of the proposed project.
  • Project subjects vary by semester, so if there is one closely related to an area of expertise or research interests, proposals should emphasize that.
  • Be mindful of project bid circulation dates and deadlines, circulating the bids promptly through your university vetting process. 
  • Once a project bid is submitted, the university pledges to complete the project and bids are considered final.

Faculty leaders are encouraged to incorporate their Diplomacy Lab project within their curriculum as best suits their teaching needs and academic goals. Course structure varies depending on the nature of the project. Potential models include:

  • Course-Per-Topic Model: A course built around a chosen Diplomacy Lab topic, with the faculty determining whether students work collectively or in teams. The course instructor also coordinates and consolidates student work products, the final form being discussed with the relevant State Department officials before the semester begins.
  • Multi-Topic Course Model: One or more courses (whether Diplomacy-Lab-specific or pre-existing) offered in which student teams address different topics as outlined in the project announcement.
  • Independent Study Model: Credited and supervised independent study opportunities offered to small groups of students for one or more chosen projects.

Possible models for student work involve a compilation of the best portions of various projects, a class-wide revision of a chosen project, or splitting the topic into distinct pieces (i.e. country or thematic focuses) and consolidating the results into one final submission.

While the final format depends on the project’s nature and the Department of State, most Diplomacy Lab products are short policy memos with data and supporting research attached in appendices as necessary. In some cases, these may take the form of longer research papers, statistical analyses or data sets.

  • Video-conferencing and/or tele-conferencing throughout the semester provides students the opportunities to interact with Department of State officials and receive feedback. These meetings help clarify questions students and faculty may have and ensure that projects are on the right track. Meetings should be set in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts.
  • If a university handles more than one Diplomacy Lab project, know that projects emanate from different Department of State offices. Therefore, each Diplomacy Lab team should schedule separate meetings with the particular individuals affiliated with each project.
  • Faculty should solicit research instruction early from Department of State points of contact.
  • Faculty should anticipate and be flexible regarding modifications to the projects and timelines.
  • Faculty and Department of State representatives should determine early in the semester what the final product will look like, e.g. number of pages, format, etc. If several students are researching and submitting contributions, who coordinates submission of a final report? How can contributions be streamlined? Do students or professors combine the submissions?
  • Adequate time for review and editing is needed prior to submitting the final product to the Department of State.
    • When a final project is submitted to the Department of State, professors should submit a copy of their final project to the Secretariat at diplomacylab@ou.edu. The Secretariat will forward this information to the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the Department of State.