Assessing State Resistance To Malign Foreign Influence

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
Reference Code
How to Apply

Create and release your Profile on Zintellect – Postdoctoral applicants must create an account and complete a profile in the on-line application system.  Please note: your resume/CV may not exceed 2 pages.

Complete your application – Enter the rest of the information required for the IC Postdoc Program Research Opportunity. The application itself contains detailed instructions for each one of these components: availability, citizenship, transcripts, dissertation abstract, publication and presentation plan, and information about your Research Advisor co-applicant.

Additional information about the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is available on the program website located at:

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Application Deadline
2/28/2022 6:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Research Topic Description, including Problem Statement:

Australia’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific is increasingly contested by the growing influence of state and non-state actors whose interests can be inimical to our own. The ability of Asia Pacific nations to identify and resist malign foreign influence is increasingly relevant as means, such as those enabled by social media, grow in sophistication and pervasiveness. Malign influence through economic inducements, coercion, security threats or cooperation, and disinformation campaigns can be mitigated. However, mitigation measures are complex, time sensitive and of variable effectiveness.

Can a framework be developed and tested to identify and assess state resistance to malign foreign influence (pursuant to self-determination)?

Example Approaches:

Proposals could approach this topic from a disciplinary, thematic or impact perspective. Possible approaches include:

  • A comparative and recent longitudinal analysis of both successful and unsuccessful resistance measures;
  • A multi-faceted approach that examines the political, economic and social dimensions of resisting malign foreign influence;
  • A study of legislative responses to malign foreign interference, with respect to impacts;
  • Qualitative and quantitative case studies that consider effectiveness;
  • Emerging trends (technologies) in malign influence activities; and
  • Mapping malign influence campaigns and consequences.

Relevance to the Intelligence Community:

An improved understanding of how regional states identify and respond to malign foreign influence and establishing a framework through which to understand the effectiveness of responses will improve the Intelligence Community’s ability to identify instances, outlooks and contextual situations. Insight may also be afforded that supports assessments of specific instances or campaigns. A deeper understanding of malign influence activities in the Asia-Pacific, consequent impacts and the effectiveness of state responses, will inform policy consideration of potential resistance strategies. These insights will inform reporting and policy consideration, including provision of advice and assistance to regional neighbours.

Key Words: Malign Foreign Influence, Coercion, Disinformation, State Resistance, Mitigation Response


Postdoc Eligibility

  • U.S. citizens only
  • Ph.D. in a relevant field must be completed before beginning the appointment and within five years of the application deadline
  • Proposal must be associated with an accredited U.S. university, college, or U.S. government laboratory
  • Eligible candidates may only receive one award from the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program

Research Advisor Eligibility

  • Must be an employee of an accredited U.S. university, college or U.S. government laboratory
  • Are not required to be U.S. citizens
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Academic Level(s): Postdoctoral.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (16 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (10 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (2 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (27 )

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