Diplomacy Lab

Colorado College has recently joined a network of ~45 colleges and universities in the U.S. Department of State's Diplomacy Lab program.

“Students participating in Diplomacy Lab explore real-world challenges identified by the Department and work under the guidance of faculty members... This initiative allows students to contribute directly to the policymaking process while helping the State Department tap into an underutilized reservoir of intellectual capital.”

We invite CC faculty to participate in this partnership.


Twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, the U.S. State Department will share a list of potential research projects that they have compiled from requests from embassies and consulates around the world. Faculty at partner universities then review this list and submit a brief “bid” if they would like to lead a student team on a project the following semester. Research can be conducted as part of a course, seminar, or as an independent project. Note: no funding is provided to conduct the research, however the Department of State is invested in the successful completion of these projects and seeks to collaborate with faculty and students.

Research Project Examples

The Project Menu for projects to be conducted in the Spring 2024 semester included approximately 60 research projects. Below is a sampling of project titles:

  • Combating Climate Change through Technology and Data
  • Gender and Climate in the MENA Region
  • Baseline study on measuring and tracking the effectiveness of "Diplomatic Engagements" in Promoting and Advancing Equity for Underserved/Underrepresented/Marginalized Populations
  • Help Advising South Korean regional university on attracting US study abroad students
  • Choosing Study Abroad in India
  • Social Media in Saudi Arabia: Data for Strategic Outreach
  • Preventing Exploitation of Temporary Agricultural Workers

How to Participate

1) Review the menu of projects for Spring 2024

2) Identify if any are of interest for the following semester

3) Submit a "bid" of approximately 200 words.

Include the Project ID as well as a brief description of how the chosen research project will be conducted. Briefly explain the proposed approach/methodology. If the project will be conducted during a class, include a reference to the Block Plan, as that will not be known by the reviewers.

If you plan to involve a third-party in the research process, note that in your bid, but please refrain from engaging in discussions with the third party until they can be vetted by the U.S. Department of State's Office of Global Partnerships.

Next internal deadline: Wednesday, Oct. 18, midnight.

Submit “bid” to CC’s external Diplomacy Lab point of contact: Tess Powers

Please include “Diplomacy Lab Bid” in your subject line

Tess will compile all CC bids and submit to the Department of State by their deadline of October 19.

Next Steps after Bidding

If your bid is accepted, you will be partnered with a member of the Department of State in order to fulfill the research project as you proposed to conduct it.

Internal coordination of active bids - such as ensuring students sign appropriate paperwork - will be handled by CC's internal Diplomacy Lab point of contact, Marla Patanelli in Political Science.

Alternative Options

If you are unable to submit a bid in time for the Oct. 18 deadline or your bid is not accepted, the Office of Global Partnerships offers flexible ways to still engage with unclaimed projects. Please reach out to  Tess Powers  and include “Diplomacy Lab” in your subject line.


More to Come

We are in the initial stages of establishing this new partnership and we will continue to update this page as we learn more about the process.

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/02/2023