New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship


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After decades of reductions in the number and salience of nuclear weapons, they are once again at the center of international security. All nine nuclear-armed states are updating their arsenals and several are expanding them. But despite new military technology and new risks, the concepts underpinning nuclear deterrence have changed little since the height of the Cold War. It is more important than ever that the nuclear policy community recruit new voices from diverse demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds to bring new perspectives, skills, and ideas into the field.

To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists is launching the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. During the four-month program (May to August 2023), each fellow will be paired with a senior academic or policy expert to co-author a research project that provides a creative perspective on nuclear deterrence policy.

New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellows receive the following benefits:

  • A $9,000 USD stipend for living expenses; 
  • Up to $1,000 USD in funding to cover research expenses including software, journal access, research materials, and potential travel to academic conferences and think tank events to present research projects (to be reimbursed after the cost is incurred);
  • An opportunity to publish co-authored research on nuclear weapons issues with an established expert;
  • Personalized support from the FAS communications team to publicize research findings through social media, speaking engagements, op-eds, and other methods;
  • Inclusion in a cohort of other fellows and senior authors engaged in collaborative research projects;
  • Facilitated connections to experts in the nuclear field, and invitations to FAS programming, including but not limited to: networking events, policymaker Q&As, and interactive “deep dive” sessions on practical aspects of policy entrepreneurship to help fellows move their publications from an implementable idea on paper to reality;
  • Access to a network of like-minded nuclear weapons experts.

Expectations, Requirements, and Deliverables

Successful tenure in the program will be based on the satisfactory completion of the following minimum requirements and deliverables:

  • A research product submitted for publication (for example, research teams may decide to produce a report, journal article, a series of short articles based on original research, or another potential product);
  • Participation in 1 check-in per month with FAS staff over the course of the fellowship; and
  • Participation in 3 sessions to meet other research teams and discuss their projects.

Eligibility and Application Process

If you are currently enrolled in, or have in the past year graduated from, a BA, MA, or vocational program, and interested in a career focused on nuclear weapons, we encourage you to apply.

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every listed qualification. At FAS we are dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive workplace, and developing new voices. If you’re excited about this role but worry you don’t have the perfect qualifications or experience, we encourage you to apply anyway – you might just be the right candidate!

Applications are closed.

The application consists of an online application form and a resume or CV. The form contains three short-answer questions on the candidate’s interests and experiences, of no more than 1,000 words total. No formal research proposal or references are necessary. Candidates who advance to the next stage will be asked to submit short, recorded interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fellowship Eligibility

Does the fellowship require me to be in-person in Washington, DC?

No. This is a remote fellowship; however, all fellowship meetings will be held on Eastern Time and fellows are expected to attend all meetings. Participants in the DC area are welcome to work from the FAS office, and remote participants are welcome to use their travel stipend to come to DC.

Do I need to be a US citizen to apply?

No, you do not need to be a US citizen to apply for the fellowship.

Are undergraduates eligible to apply? Are graduate students eligible to apply?

Individuals who are currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a post-secondary degree program are eligible to apply.

Are individuals who are not currently in school eligible to apply?

Individuals who are currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a post-secondary degree program are eligible to apply.

What language will the fellowship utilize?

All communications and research outputs will be in English.

Application Process

What do I need to submit as part of my application?

Initial requirements include an online application form and an attached resume/CV. The form contains three short-answer questions on the candidate’s interests and experiences. Candidates who advance to the next stage will be asked to submit short, recorded interviews. No formal research proposal or references are necessary.

How should I format my C.V. or Resume?

The Georgetown University Cawley Career Education Center provides good resources on formatting resumes, C.V.s, and cover letters.

Does my C.V. or Resume need to show past coursework, internships, or other experience with nuclear weapons?

No. In fact, we’re hoping to bring new voices into the field who are interested in nuclear weapons policy but have not had the opportunity to focus on it yet. Past experience with nuclear weapons policy will neither advantage nor disadvantage your application. The third application question (and the structure of the fellowship as a coauthored research project) asks you to give thoughtful answers about how to rethink nuclear deterrence, not to reflect existing thinking.

How will my application be reviewed?

Your application will be reviewed by an internal FAS team and an external advisory committee in order to reduce the potential for biased evaluations.

Will I be notified if I’m not selected for the fellowship?

Yes. We will ensure that every applicant receives an answer.

If I’m not accepted to the fellowship this cycle, am I eligible to submit an application next year?

Yes. Unsuccessful previous applications will not be taken into account during the following year’s selection process.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline to submit your application is at 11:59pm EST on 17 February 2023.

Research Project

Which research topics will be considered?

Traditional theories and frameworks for deterrence have not managed to reduce nuclear risks; the probability of nuclear use is now higher than it has been since the end of the Cold War. To that end, fellows are encouraged to consider creative research topics that challenge aspects of established deterrence theory and investigate alternative approaches for reducing nuclear risks. This could include rethinking topics like arms control, disarmament, deterrence, crisis management, escalation dynamics, historical case studies, targeting, ethics, the offense-defense relationship, the size and composition of the US arsenal, policy toward another nuclear-armed state, and many others. At this time, we are not soliciting nonproliferation-oriented topics (i.e. JCPOA, sanctions, export controls, nuclear security, etc), as these fall outside the scope of the overall research programme.

How much say does a fellow have in their placement with a mentor?

Fellows are encouraged to suggest mentors that they would like to work with on their research project as part of their application, although this is not strictly necessary. Not all requests can necessarily be honored due to mentor bandwidth and availability; however, FAS staff will work closely with fellows to find a good fit.

Are there opportunities to extend fellowship periods if researchers need more time to work with senior scholars to complete their research projects?

Fellowship extensions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


How do you define advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of this fellowship?

FAS seeks to increase participation and raise the profile of under-represented voices in nuclear policy. We recognize the critical role that diverse perspectives play in contributing to and shaping nuclear policy, and seek to intentionally represent those voices in our process, ensuring a range of perspectives and ideas are captured and represented in our work. FAS hopes to make the field of nuclear policy a better and more accessible place to work, particularly for individuals who have traditionally been shut out of the community because of their accessibility status, age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, marital status, military service status, national origin, parental status, physical appearance, race, religion, socioeconomic status, sex, or sexual orientation.

What materials will be provided for fellows to complete their research deliverables?

Fellows are expected to use their own computers, word processing programs, and video calling software in order to complete the fellowship; however, please let us know if you require any accommodations and we will do our best to help.

Are fellows compensated?

Yes. Fellows will receive a $9,000 stipend to cover living expenses, which will be distributed in two installments at the start and end of the fellowship. All fellows will be reimbursed up to $1,000 for research and travel expenses throughout the duration of the program.