“Bobby R. Inman Award” for Student Scholarship

1917-2011

Overview: The Inman Award competition is designed to recognize outstanding research and writing by students at the undergraduate or graduate levels on topics related to intelligence and national security. There is no prescribed topic, format, or length for papers submitted. It is presumed that most papers will have been prepared to satisfy a course or degree requirement of the author’s academic program. Co-authored and “team project” papers will be accepted.

About: The Bobby R. Inman award recognizes more than six decades of distinguished public service by Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Admiral Inman served in multiple leadership positions in the U.S. military, intelligence community, private industry, and at The University of Texas. His previous intelligence posts include Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice-Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. He continues to serve as a teacher, advisor, and mentor to students, faculty members, and current government officials while occupying the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. His areas of teaching and research are focused on political, economic, and military activities, policy processes and institutions, international affairs and diplomacy, and intelligence and national security.

Eligibility: All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at an accredited U.S. higher education institution during the 2016-17 academic year are eligible to participate. A student may submit only one paper that has not been published previously.

Deadline: June 30, 2017

Submission Requirements: Papers should be submitted electronically to Ashley Thibodeau at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include a short biographic profile of the author with current contact information, the date when the paper was completed, and a description of any course requirement that was satisfied by the paper. All papers should be appropriately attributed using footnotes or endnotes.

Judging Process and Standards: Papers will be judged on the basis of academic rigor, clear presentation, creativity, and the potential to contribute positively to the U.S. intelligence community. Faculty and staff members associated with the Intelligence Studies Project, Strauss Center, Clements Center, and/or LBJ School of Public Affairs will review the submissions and select the winning papers.

Awards and Recognition: The Inman Award and a $5000 prize will be presented to the author of the winning paper. Two papers will be recognized as Inman Award semifinalists and $2500 will be awarded to the author of each. Cash prizes will be conveyed directly to sole authors or divided equally among co-authors. At least one cash prize will be awarded to an undergraduate author. Recipients of cash prizes are solely responsible for any tax liability that may accompany receipt of such funds. The Inman Award winner and semifinalists will be notified on or before August 1, 2017.

If requested, the Intelligence Studies Project will assist in publishing the winning paper and ensure it is made available to current intelligence practitioners interested in the paper’s topic. At the discretion of the Intelligence Studies Project, the authors of meritorious papers that are not recognized with an award and cash prize may be offered support in further research and editing in anticipation of publication.

Ownership and Use: All papers submitted in connection with the Inman Award competition shall become the property of the University of Texas at Austin and the Intelligence Studies Project for 60 days after the June 30, 2017 deadline. All rights revert to the author(s) after that date or prior to that date with express authorization of the Intelligence Studies Project.

Intellectual Integrity: Papers submitted in connection with the Inman Award competition will be presumed to satisfy the academic standards of the institution where the author is enrolled. At the sole discretion of the Intelligence Studies Project, papers judged not to meet appropriate standards of intellectual integrity will be disqualified from the competition.

Questions: Please contact Ashley Thibodeau at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions regarding the Inman Award competition.

 


2016 “Bobby R. Inman Award” Winners Announced

The Intelligence Studies Project of the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the winner and two semifinalists of the second “Bobby R. Inman Award” recognizing outstanding student research and writing on topics related to intelligence and national security during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The recipient of the 2016 “Inman Award” is Quentin Buckholz, a Masters of International Affairs candidate at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. In his paper, “The 1980’s War Scare: Misperceptions, Mistaken Beliefs, and Missed Signals in US-Soviet Relations,” Mr. Buckholz assesses how the Soviet Union came to believe in the threat of a nuclear first strike by the United States in the early 1980s, and how US intelligence misinterpreted or dismissed that fear.

The graduate student semifinalist is Daniel Severson, a recent J.D. and M.P.P. graduate of Harvard University. His paper, “National Security Reporting Requirements: Managing the Tension Between Secrecy and Accountability,” explores the potential benefits and limitations of reporting requirements mandating disclosure to Congress of the legal rationale underlying certain sensitive intelligence activities.

The undergraduate semifinalist is James “Jake” Barnett, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Barnett’s History Honors Thesis, “When Culture Eats Strategy: Examining the Phoenix/Phung Hoang Bureaucracy in the Vietnam War,” uses statistical methods to assess the effectiveness of (and accountability for) US counterinsurgency programs undertaken during the Vietnam conflict.

More than 150 high-quality papers from students at dozens of U.S. colleges and universities were submitted in the second Inman Award competition. The papers were evaluated on their academic rigor, clear presentation, creativity, and the potential to contribute positively to the US intelligence community. The Intelligence Studies Project extends sincere thanks to the participating students (and their professors) for continued support of this unique award program.


2015 “Bobby R. Inman Award” Winners Announced

The Intelligence Studies Project of the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the winner and two semifinalists of its inaugural competition recognizing outstanding student research and writing on topics related to intelligence and national security.

The recipient of the 2015 “Bobby R. Inman Award” for student scholarship on intelligence is Donald Kretz, a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas. His paper, Strategies to Reduce Cognitive Bias in Intelligence Analysis: Can Mild Interventions Improve Analytic Judgments, makes research-based recommendations to help analytic managers systematically filter certain cognitive biases from intelligence analysis.

The graduate student semifinalist is Cullen Nutt, a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His paper, Chronicle of a Correction Foretold: The Push and Pull of Nuclear Intelligence Detection, assesses U.S. and Israeli intelligence analysis of WMD programs in Libya and Syria, developing a model to explain when it is most likely that western intelligence agencies will detect the existence of a hidden nuclear weapons program.

The undergraduate student semifinalist is C. Philip Nichols, a recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University. His paper, CT Strategies: Leadership Decapitation vs Mid-Tier Elimination, uses statistical methods to analyze the relative past success of competing counterterrorism strategies.

With over one hundred impressive papers from students at dozens of U.S. universities and colleges, the papers were evaluated on their academic rigor, clear presentation, creativity, and the potential to contribute positively to the U.S. intelligence community. In addition to the $5000 cash award for the winner and the $2500 semifinalist cash awards, these three papers, linked above, will be posted on the Strauss and Clements Centers websites and will be made available to current intelligence practitioners.

The Intelligence Studies Project was established at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 as a joint venture of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security. The Project’s mission is to improve understanding of intelligence activities and institutions through research, courses and public events bringing intelligence practitioners together with scholars, students, and the public. The Inman Award recognizes more than six decades of distinguished public service by Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Admiral Inman served in multiple leadership positions in the U.S. military, intelligence community, private industry, and the University of Texas. His previous intelligence posts include Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice-Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. He continues to serve as a teacher and mentor to students, faculty members, and current government officials while occupying the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.