Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The Negotiation Exercise Incubator (NEI) is the hub for Negotiation Task Force (NTF) exercises and simulations designed to increase participant negotiating capacities in the context of conflict in Eurasia. All Negotiation Exercise Incubator products have been developed by the Negotiation Task Force.

Our team is happy to help bring an exercise to your organization. We are happy to speak with you to discuss which scenario will best satisfy your teaching needs. Please call the NTF office at +1 (617) 496-2180 or email us at ntf@fas.harvard.edu.

Q: What is the benefit of integrating a negotiation exercise into my classroom?
Exercises are an engaging way to help students learn and practice the skills necessary to understand and navigate real-world conflict. Unlike traditional negotiation exercises, NEI products allow participants to train negotiation, decision-making, and leadership skills through the lens of conflict in Eurasia. Through our exercises, participants will confront complex issues including sacred, historical conflict, arms control, and territorial disputes, among other themes.

Q: How much must my students know about Eurasia to participate in one of these exercises?
A: Our exercises range in skill-level, complexity, and subject matter. While it is helpful to have some knowledge of international politics and Eurasia it is not required for all exercises. Visit the exercise pages (LINK) (to the “Quick Links” at the bottom of the page) to learn more about prior knowledge needed for each exercise. 

Q: I’ve never used a negotiation exercise in my classroom. How much work is it to run an exercise?
A:  For Hard-copy Products, almost all of the work is done for you! You will receive a package in the mail containing all training materials. The instructor must read over the instructor materials to familiarize him-/herself with the scenario and exercise logistics. This process is estimated to take no more than two hours. For Soft-copy Products, instructors (and administrative teams, if applicable) can expect to put in several hours of work to gather exercise materials, customize, print, and assemble all materials.   Exercises then run from 3 to 8 hours. This process is relatively hands-off for the instructor and teaching team. 

Q: What products are offered through the Negotiation Exercise Incubator (NEI)? 

A: We offer a range of skill-building negotiation exercise and simulation products and services in the following forms:

Hard-copy Products

All NEI hard-copy standard products include participant documents arranged in folders for the number of roles requested for the exercise, as well as a teaching guide. Additionally, our team provides an electronic copy of suggested introductory and debrief powerpoint slides

All NEI hard-copy standard products include optional add ons including:

Name Tags / Tent Cards

  • Generic or Customized (see Customization below for details) 

Master Packet

  • One spare copy of all Participant and Instructor hard-copy documents

Customization

  • A customized Meeting Schedule will outline the scenario events of the selected exercise to match the actual locations and times for your event.
  • A customized Role Matrix will outline the scenario events to match the names of the actual participants with the role assignments
  • Customized Name Tags and/ or Tent Cards will match the participant’s name with his/her role assignment in the exercise.

Generic Product

Customized Product

Meeting Schedule

Informal Discussions, 45 mins in room A

Informal Discussions, 9:00 - 9:45am in Rm. 450

Role Matrix

Ambassador to the United States, Russian Federation

Emma Nguyen, Ambassador to the United States, Russian Federation

Name Tags

President, United States of America

Jane Smith, President, United States of America

Soft-copy products

  • A soft copy of an NEI exercise is an electronic file sent via e-mail as opposed to a paper “hard” copy.
  • All NEI soft-copy products include participant documents arranged in folders for the number of roles requested for the exercise, as well as a teaching guide and suggested introductory and debrief powerpoint slides
  • Customization of the exercise is available. Customizable soft copy products will be created with and delivered as a Microsoft Word document. See “Customization” of “Hard-copy Products” above for details.

Instructor-facilitated exercise

This is our “turnkey” product: Qualified Negotiation Task Force team members prepare, lead, and facilitate an exercise on your campus, either in person, or virtually. Please reach out to us at ntf@fas.harvard.edu or +1 (617) 496-2180 with questions. 

Q: What are the benefits of electronic soft copies versus hard copies?
A: The primary benefits of soft copies are that they can be processed more quickly and delivered in a shorter interval than hard copies. Soft copies are also less expensive than hard copies per order. Soft copies incur no shipping charges. The primary benefits of hard copies are that they require little to no additional preparation before use (all documents and folders arrive assembled). Instructor preparation for a hard-copy exercise should take no more than two hours to familiarize him/-herself with the teaching materials and exercise logistics. Instructor preparation for a soft-copy exercise will take several hours and would include the customization (optional), printing, and assembly of all materials.

Q: What are the benefits of an NTF facilitated exercise?
A: A qualified NTF Team Member may be made available to guide you through an NEI exercise either in-person or online. The NTF Team Member can assist with the in-scenario events including managing dynamic exercise elements (dependent on the scenario) as well as answering questions during the event. NTF involvement can range from standby phone support to an instructor-led exercise (complete with an introduction presentation, facilitation of the exercise events, and a debrief). To learn more about this option, please reach out to our team at ntf@fas.harvard.edu or at +1 (617) 496-2180.  

 Q: Are there NEI materials available in languages other than English?
A: No. At this time, all NEI exercises are only available in English.

Q: How much flexibility do I have to customize NEI products?
A: All NEI products indicate the number range of participants necessary to run an exercise. There is some flexibility in these numbers and instructors are encouraged to reach out to us at ntf@fas.harvard.edu or at +1 (617) 496-2180 to inquire. Role assignments may be tailored to match the skill levels of individual participants. The start times of each exercise may also be adjusted. Our team will work with you to ensure that our product meets the needs of your classroom. 

Q: How are NEI products priced?
A: All NEI products are priced per copy (license/ usage fee) for each person participating in the exercise and the instructor(s). All exercises have a minimum number of roles (7-10 depending on the exercise). The maximum number of roles is flexible depending on the exercise. Please inquire about special rates and offers for your organization.

Q: How can I place an order?
A: Please contact us at ntf@fas.harvard.edu or at +1 (617) 496-2180 to inquire about an order. Please provide our team with the following information to help us determine which NEI product or service best suits your teaching objectives: number of participants, exercise format (in-person/ online), time allocated, number of support staff available, brief description of interests/ request.

Q: How much will my order cost?
A: The total cost of the orders depends on the size, complexity, customization level, and shipping of the order. Please contact the Negotiation Task force at ntf@fas.harvard.edu or +1 (617) 496-2180 with any questions or for a quote.  

Q: How will I receive my order?
Hard-copy orders may only be delivered to the 48-contiguous states and Washington D.C. through FedEx. To inquire about shipping to other regions, please contact our team at ntf@fas.harvard.edu or at +1 (617) 496-2180. Soft-copy orders will be delivered to you via email as a pdf (and may have additional Microsoft Word Document files, if customization is requested).

Q: How long does it take to process an order?
A: The turn-around time for orders is dependent on the size, complexity, and customization levels. Orders once confirmed, will require at minimum four weeks to process plus shipping time. We encourage you to contact us soon if you are considering placing an order to discuss processing time. 

Q: What is your return policy?
A: Because role simulations and other teaching exercises are custom-printed for each order, they may not be returned or refunded.

Q: Can I use my soft copy as often as I want as well as forward it to others?
A: No. Negotiation Task Force materials are protected by U.S. copyright laws, and one soft copy must be purchased for each time that the file will be downloaded, forwarded or photocopied.

Q: Who can I contact with additional questions?
A: Please contact the Negotiation Task Force at ntf@fas.harvard.edu or by phone at +1 (617) 496-2180.

Quick Links

Nagorno-Karabakh: A Convening of Community Leaders
The Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
The Future of Georgia
The Future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty