The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellowships are an extraordinary opportunity to work for a year in Washington, DC as a paid research assistant to some of the world's best scholars in the realm of international relations. According to the institution's website, "Junior Fellows provide research assistance to scholars, working on Carnegie Endowment's projects, which change year to year. Junior Fellows have the opportunity to conduct research for books, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, activists, journalists and government officials." A Grinnell alum who served as a Junior Fellow, Geoff Swenson '03, compared it to attending a university with 40 professors and eight students. Fellows have the chance to work closely with senior scholars, to think deeply about international relations, and to publish their thoughts. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is one of the leading think-tanks in Washington, highly respected throughout the world for its thoughtful, academic responses to international crises. Junior Fellows are paid $36,000 in addition to a competitive benefits package. For the 2013-14 program year, Carnegie plans to fill Junior Fellow positions in the following fields:
- Nuclear Policy
- Energy and Climate
- Economics - Economics background required
- Middle East Studies – Native or near-native Arabic language skills essential.
- South Asian Studies – Applicants should be comfortable with quantitative data manipulation as well as possess an interest in military issues. Strong background in international relations, political theory, or international political economy is essential. Note: foreign language skills not required.
- Southeast Asian Studies - Background in politics and economics of the region and knowledge of quantitative techniques a plus.
- Asian Studies – Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus. Japanese language skills may be helpful.
- Russian/Eurasian Studies – Excellent Russian language skills required.
Members of the classes of 2013 and 2012 are eligible to apply, as long as they have not yet begun graduate studies. International students may apply as long as they are eligible to work in the US from August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014, which typically means being here on an F-1 visa. The average Junior Fellow has a minimum of a 3.8 GPA and significant coursework in international relations, history, political science, economics, Russian, Arabic, or Chinese. International experience, such as a semester abroad, is preferred, as are candidates who plan a career related to International Relations. Independent study, such as a MAP, or assisting a professor with research (especially in a field related to IR) is also a great help, but is not required. Applicants must be nominated by their undergraduate institution (see below for nomination process).
According to the Carnegie website, "Applications are judged on the quality of the written essay, related academic study and/or work experience, grades, recommendations, and personal interviews." The three-page essay is by a key factor in being invited to an interview (assuming good grades and a demonstrated interest in international relations), and the interview is key to obtaining the Fellowship.
The Application Process
Grinnell may nominate two applicants for this opportunity. Applications for our nominations are due on Monday, November 12, 2012 by 5:00pm in 1233 Park St. Because the CRSSJ (1233 Park St.), which houses the Office of Social Commitment, is inaccessible to students with mobility disabilities, please contact email@example.com if you would like to make alternative plans to submit your application materials. A completed application will consist of the following elements:
- A completed Carnegie Junior Fellows application form
- A one-page, double-spaced essay on why you would like to become a Junior Fellow.
- A one- or two-page resume, including telephone number, address, extra-curricular activities and work experience.
- Two letters of recommendation, submitted directly to Doug Cutchins, 1233 Park St. One of these should be from the candidate's major department.
- A copy of your transcript, obtained from the Registrar's Office. This may be an unofficial copy, but should not be a copy printed off from PioneerWeb.
- A signed Scholarship Nomination Permission Form and Waiver from Grinnell College.
- An essay of no more than three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages on a topic provided by the Carnegie Endowment. These topics are intended to test skills in analysis, logic, and written expression. The essays should be thought pieces, not research papers. Students should submit an essay related to their primary research program interests, although the Carnegie Endowment may ultimately select an applicant for a program outside of his/her designated primary interest or make an assignment to more than one program. Applicants must respond to the question pertaining to the program to which they are applying.
A. Democracy Program. The United States and Europe have so many problems making their own democracies work well that they no longer have credibility to promote democracy in other parts of the world. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
B. Nuclear Policy Program. By the year 2015 do you think there will be more than the current nine countries with nuclear weapons? If so, which ones, and why? If not, why are people who fear this wrong?
C. Energy & Climate Program. With climate change an increasingly present reality, the need to reduce carbon emissions also mounts. One obvious strategy is to price carbon emissions at their externalized marginal cost to society. Yet, with a cap-and-trade bill politically off the table, and anti-tax sentiment in the nation’s capital running high, new taxes that increase consumer tax obligations are also not in favor. What are some options for moving forward with a domestic carbon pricing given these constraints, and how could they be structured to make them more acceptable across the political spectrum?
D. Economics. China and many of the other countries in East Asia are now experiencing a slowdown in their economic growth. Is this likely to persist and what are the policy implications? [Applicants interested in the International Economics Program or the Asia Program with a focus on economics should respond to this question.]
E. Middle East Program. In the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, some Middle East countries have entered a period of transition, while others appear to be stuck in the old pattern. First, briefly discuss which countries have definitely entered a period of transition. Secondly, select two countries in transition and discuss the salient factors influencing their transformation and what they suggest about the possibility of a democratic outcome.
F. South Asia Program. What major consequences and repercussions will the rise of India have for regional security?
G. Southeast Asia Program. China together with the more dynamic economies of Southeast Asia have performed exceptionally well despite the global financial crisis. Is this likely to persist even if there is a major recession in the U.S. and Europe? [Those interested in either the Southeast Asia Program or the Asia (China) Program should respond to the same question.]
G. Asia Program. Relations between China and Japan, between China and certain nations in Southeast Asia, and even between some ASEAN nations, have grown tense over the past year. Is this a long term trend of strategic and economic significance, given their interlinked economies, or is it a temporary phenomenon? [Applicants interested in China, Japan or Southeast Asia studies should respond to this question (G). Those with a special interest in economics should respond to question D.]
H. Russia/Eurasia Program. Both Moscow and Washington have elevated their focus on the Asia Pacific region in recent years. Taking into account a mixed record of cooperation and tension between the U.S. and Russia since the 2009 "reset" and considering the interests of other regional actors, such as China, how best might the U.S. craft a policy toward Russia in what has been called the "Pacific Century"?
For the on-campus nomination process, please ensure that all application materials comply with these submission guidelines. Our nominating committee, comprised of professors from the Political Science and Economics departments, will interview applicants in early December and announce our two nominees before winter break. Applications are due to the Carnegie Endowment in mid-January. Candidates must apply through Grinnell College and may not apply independently.
All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.
For More Information
For more information on this opportunity, or to have questions answered about the application process, please contact Doug Cutchins, x4408, 1233 Park St. Candidates should not contact the Carnegie Endowment directly. Candidates may, though, contact Grinnell alumni Geoff Swenson '03 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Gretchen Lay '07 (email@example.com) to learn more about their experiences as Carnegie Junior Fellows.