Senator John McCain was a companion, partner and friend of the Munich Security Conference for more than four decades. After first attending the conference as a young Navy officer, he eventually came to lead the United States Congressional Delegation to the conference in his role as senator. As such he played a key role in establishing the conference as an important forum for the transatlantic community. 

In times when the transatlantic bond can no longer be taken for granted, we have decided to create the annual John McCain Dissertation Award for academic excellence. Together with our partners, the Hochschule für Politik München/TUM School of Governance, the Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science at LMU Munich, the University of the Federal Armed Forces, as well as the McCain Institute, we strive to honour the legacy of John McCain.


"John was a mentor and role model to many and lent his voice to many worthy causes. Where others would have backed down, he never did. No one defended the transatlantic alliance at its best – nor confronted it at its worst – more vigorously than him."

Wolfgang Ischinger in memory of John McCain


The Award

The John McCain Dissertation Award is awarded annually to up to two outstanding doctoral dissertations dealing with an aspect of transatlantic relations. It consists of several components, including participation in Munich Security Conference events and activities, attractive publication options, and a prize sum of up to 20,000 euros.

The prize giving ceremony will take place in Munich on February 14, 2020 in the presence of Cindy McCain, the US Congressional Delegation and selected high-ranking MSC participants.

Find the full Call for Nominations here.

The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2019.