The Second OSCE-IFSH Essay Competition 2021 - Conventional Arms Control and Confidence- and Security

Publish Date: Apr 25, 2021

Deadline: Aug 01, 2021

The Second OSCE-IFSH Essay Competition 2021: Conventional Arms Control and Confidence- and Security-Building Measures for Students and Young Professionals

Are you under 35 years old and interested in military security in Europe? Do you want to win up to €3,000 and present your work to diplomats in Vienna?

Take part in the second edition of the OSCE-IFSH Essay Competition organized by the OSCE and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH), together with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO University), and the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP). The first edition of the essay competition took place in 2020  and encouraged innovative thinking and helped to contribute to a new generation of professionals studying challenges and opportunities related to conventional arms control and confidence- and security- building measures.  


Three winners of the Competition will receive cash prizes of up to €3,000 and a certificate signed by the OSCE Secretary General. Subject to the COVID-19-related situation, the winners will also be invited on an all-expenses paid trip to Vienna to attend and present their essays at a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation.

Other prizes include a spot in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Short Course offered by the VCDNP, the possibility to publish the winning essay, a €500 voucher for books and other related materials.


Students and young professionals who are nationals of OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation up to 35 years of age (born after 1st January 1986) are invited to submit original essays on any of the following topics:

  • OSCE’s role in enhancing trust and stability and reducing military risks in Europe, including its use of instruments of conventional arms control (CAC), and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs)
  • Impact of new technologies and new types of conventional weapons on security and stability in Europe
  • Role of new technologies in enhancing CAC and verification
  • Lessons learnt from other regions to enhance military stability and security in Europe with respect to the above-mentioned domains
  • The potential contribution of gender-sensitive approaches to the above-mentioned domains of arms control and confidence- and security-building measures in Europe

Notes: The following topics are not covered by this essay competition: missile defence, subregional conflict situations, deterrence and nuclear force postures, hybrid threats, cyber security.

The organizers especially encourage entries from women. Students and professionals studying/working on peace and security, military affairs, political affairs, international relations and other legal, policy and technical disciplines are invited to submit entries. The OSCE also welcomes entries by early career professionals from governments, including those working in foreign affairs, the defence forces, intelligence agencies, security agencies, the defence industry, as well as academia and the non-governmental sector.

Participants of the 2020 OSCE-IFSH Essay Competition, except for the top seven finalists, are also eligible to participate with new essays.

The rules

Submission deadline: Entries must be sent to by Sunday, 1 August, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., Vienna Time (CET). Only one entry per person.

  • Cover page with all necessary information for participation, as outlined in the Terms and Conditions
  • Essay length: Between 2,500-4,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography) plus an abstract of maximum 150 words.
  • Format: MS Word document
  • Language: English

The selection process

  • A Selection Committee will include members of all partner organizations.
  • Submitted essays will be evaluated anonymously.
  • Announcement of the final results to all participants by the end of October 2021
  • Subject to the COVID-19-related situation, winners will need to be available to travel to Vienna for the meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation in December 2021. The dates and additional information will be announced in due time.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

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