Carnegie Endowment Gaither Junior Fellowship
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States. We are more than 150 thinkers and doers from diverse disciplines and perspectives spread across more than twenty countries and six global centers working together as one network to advance international peace. In an increasingly crowded, chaotic, and contested world and marketplace of ideas, the Carnegie Endowment offers decisionmakers global, independent, and strategic insight and innovative ideas that advance international peace.
The James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is designed to provide a substantive work experience for students who have a serious career interest in the area of international affairs. Approximately 14 students will be hired to work as employees at Carnegie in Washington, DC on a fulltime basis for a period of 10-12 months.
ASSIGNMENTS: Gaither Junior Fellows provide research assistance to scholars working within Carnegie’s programs, listed below. They have the opportunity to conduct research, contribute to op-eds, papers, reports, and books, edit documents, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, activists, journalists and government officials.
NOMINATION REQUIRED: Due to the limited number of positions, applicants must be nominated by their university to apply. Universities are limited to a maximum of 3 nominations. Students who identify as members of historically underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications are accepted only from graduating college seniors or individuals who have graduated within the past academic year. No one will be considered who has started graduate studies (except those who have recently completed a joint bachelor’s/master’s degree program).
2023-24 Program Areas:
- Democracy, Conflict, and Governance
- American Statecraft
- Nuclear Policy
- Technology and International Affairs: Strong writing and research skills are essential.
- Middle East: Strong reading fluency and the ability to perform academic as well as on-line research in Arabic essential. Strong background in Middle East politics and/or history is a huge plus.
- International Security and Political Economy [to work with the South Asia Program]: Quantitative data analysis and GIS skills are required. A strong mathematical background is a plus. An academic background in international relations theory or international political economy along with an interest in military issues is essential.
- Asia Program (Indo-Pacific Security): Mandarin Chinese language skills and familiarity with Asian security, defense and foreign policy issues are essential. Proficiency in Japanese, Bahasa, or another Asian language is a plus.
- Asia Program (China, Economics and Technology): Mandarin Chinese language skills are required. Background in economics or emerging technologies strongly preferred.
- Russia/Eurasia: Excellent Russian reading skills required.
- Africa Program
- Global Order and Institutions: An academic background in international institutions and the management of transnational challenges is strongly preferred.
- Sustainability, Climate and Geopolitics: Basic data skills (such as helping create graphs or tables for Carnegie publications) are a huge plus. Applicants should have completed coursework related to sustainability and climate issues.
- Europe: Fluency and the ability to perform research in a European language other than English are a huge plus. Background knowledge on European politics is essential.
The Carnegie Endowment accepts applications only through participating universities via designated nominating officials. UW's nominating officials are listed below in the Contact section. Please reach out to us with questions!
- Applicants must be graduating seniors or students who have graduated during the last academic year. No one who has started graduate studies is eligible for consideration (except those who have recently completed a joint bachelor's/master's degree program).
- You need not be a U.S. citizen if you attend a university located in the United States. However, all applicants must be eligible to work in the United States for 10-12 months from Sept 1 through June 30 following graduation. Students on F-1 visas who are eligible to work in the US for 10-12 months (Sept 1 through June 30) may apply for the program. If you attend a participating school outside of the United States, you must be a US citizen (due to work permit requirements).
- The selection process for the Junior Fellows Program is very competitive. Accordingly, applicants should be of high academic quality. Suggested minimum GPA is 3.5 or higher, though that is not a requirement.
- Applicants should have completed a significant amount of course work related to their discipline of interest. Language and other skills may also be required for certain assignments.
- Applicants must pick one of the programs listed to apply to, and respond to the corresponding essay question within the application materials.
- US Citizen
- Permanent Resident
- International or Other Visa Status
UW Application & Nomination Process:
The Gaither Junior Fellows program is highly competitive and as such, the Carnegie Endowment relies on participating universities to nominate uniquely qualified students. No applications are accepted directly from students. Students must consult with their campus contact about the nomination process. Students who identify as members of historically underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.
UW has separate nomination processes for UW candidates at each of the three campuses. Please contact your campus adviser listed below. Each campus will select and nominate up to 3 candidates to compete in the national competition.
- UW Seattle students, please contact Robin Chang (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any questions about the campus application process.
- UW Bothell students, please contact Natalia Dyba (email@example.com) for any questions about the Bothell campus application process.
- UW Tacoma students, please contact Cindy Schaarschmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any questions about the Tacoma campus application process.
FOR UW SEATTLE students - The campus application requires:
- UW online application form, through which you'll submit the materials below:
- Brief biographical information
- One-page or less (double-spaced) essay on why the applicant would like to become a junior fellow
- 1-2 page resume
- Unofficial transcripts
- Thought Piece Essay: An essay of no more than three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages on one of the topics listed below. These topics are intended to test skills in analysis, logic, and written expression. The essay should be analytical thought pieces, NOT research papers. Students should submit an essay related to their primary research program interests, although the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program may ultimately select an applicant for a program outside of his/her designated primary interest or make an assignment to more than one program.
- Two letters of recommendation: Please instruct your recommenders to email recommendation letters to Robin Chang at email@example.com as pdf attachments, though letters should be addressed to the Gaither Junior Fellows Program.
Thought Piece Essay Details: Applicants must respond to the question pertaining to the program to which they are applying. 2023-24 program application essay questions:
A. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program. Choose any three countries in the world, from three different regions, and explain how political developments in those countries in the past five to ten years embody what you believe are some of the most important elements of the global democratic recession. Be sure to give some indication why you have chosen the countries you focus on.
B. American Statecraft Program. America’s role in the world is changing, whether it likes it or not. What are the 3-5 most important factors that will shape the context in which America conducts its foreign policy in the next two decades?
C. Nuclear Policy Program. Which state without nuclear weapons do you believe is most likely to acquire them?
D. Technology and International Affairs Program (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions). What technology issue will have the greatest impact on international stability in the coming decade, and why? OR What factors explain why the cybersecurity environment has continued to deteriorate in recent years?
E. Middle East Program. The Middle East region is going through a huge, agonizing and protracted transformation characterized by dwindling oil revenues, rising populations, failing governance structures and government services, rising extremism and sectarianism, and high youth unemployment. The current situation has enabled regional powers to intervene in each other’s affairs as well as non-state actors such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State to emerge and spread new toxic ideologies. What do you see as one of the most difficult threats facing the region today and the underlying drivers of turmoil? Discuss the impact this has had on two countries in the region and strategies that will help move these countries toward a better future.
F. International Security and Political Economy [to work with the International Security and South Asia Programs] (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions) What factors explain why, in many democracies, poor people continue to receive poor public services, despite accounting for a large share of the population? OR Should the United States end its ambiguity over defending Taiwan?
G. Asia Program (Indo-Pacific Security). There is a growing consensus in strategic policy circles that the United States cannot uphold a favorable balance of power vis-à-vis China in the Indo-Pacific by itself. As such, it is argued the US must accelerate its pursuit of a collective defense strategy to deter Chinese coercion and military adventurism by modernizing, empowering, and integrating its regional alliances and partnerships. This requires fundamental changes to the way Washington thinks about defense self-reliance, alliance management, burden sharing, defense industrial integration, combined military planning, and regional posture. It also requires active buy-in from regional allies and partners to succeed, many of whom do not want to be drawn into US-China conflict, do not want to pursue hard security alignments, or are trying to balance their support for America’s military position with efforts to minimize risks of entanglement and loss of sovereign control. In light of these challenges, how should the US and its key Indo-Pacific allies and partners work together to develop more effective approaches to conventional deterrence?
H. Asia Program (China, Economics and Technology). China’s rise as an economic and technological competitor with the United States has dramatically ratcheted up tensions between the two countries. Many commentators today suggest we are in the midst of a radical US-China “decoupling,” which will see the two countries sever economic and technological ties. What are the likely medium-term (5-10 years) impacts of such a decoupling for the United States, China and the rest of the world? How could this process be shaped to benefit the United States, and reduce collateral damage to other countries?
I. Russia and Eurasia Program. The U.S.-Russia relationship has plummeted to unprecedented post-Cold War lows amid the war in Ukraine. Can this downward trajectory be arrested? What are the key dangers in the current situation and how might the White House seek to prevent things from getting out of hand?
J. Africa Program. Narratives about Africa’s future often oscillate between unrealistic optimism and blanket pessimism. Clearly the truth lies in a more nuanced middle. Compare and contrast the recent trajectories of two African countries—including both their economic and political dimensions—to help illuminate a nuanced picture of Africa’s current direction.
K. Global Order and Institutions Program. The UN Secretary-General has depicted the world as “gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction.” What accounts for the failures of many multilateral institutions, and what—if anything—can be done to improve international cooperation in addressing major global challenges?
L. Sustainability, Climate and Geopolitics Program. (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions). After 30 years of UN climate conferences, the multilateral approach to climate mitigation has a poor record by the most important metric: global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise each year, even as climate impacts become more noticeable and severe. This poor record raises doubts about the “bottom-up” logic of voluntary, national climate pledges as embodied in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Has this bottom-up logic failed, and if so, what should replace it? OR Imagine it is the year 2040 and you are working for a major international organization. Your teenaged niece, who is about to begin studying for a bachelor’s degree in Climate & Geopolitics, asks you to summarize how the climate crisis and the responses to it have transformed international affairs since you were a student. In the interest of time, she asks you to focus on 2-3 of the most important developments. What do you tell her?
M. Europe Program (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions). The war in Ukraine has galvanized European defense efforts and revived a “braindead” NATO. Looking at the recent successes of transatlantic security cooperation, some have questioned the continued relevance of European “strategic autonomy”. At the same time, the war has revealed the gaps in European defense capacities and the degree to which Europe still depends on the US for its security. After decades of foot-dragging, European governments are now finally investing in their defense budgets. How should they spend the new money? And what else is needed to put the transatlantic defense relationship on a more sustainable footing? OR With the Trade and Technology Council, the US and Europe have established an important mechanism to coordinate policy on crucial questions related to democratic technology governance. The success of this initiative will in large part determine the strength of the transatlantic partnership and its effectiveness in tackling future challenges. The Council has demonstrated its ability to tackle both the systemic challenges posed by China and the acute challenges posed by Russia. Yet, more than a year after its inauguration, the TTC had not produced many concrete deliverables. What is one initiative or project you would recommend the two sides should launch at their next meeting?
Additional Tips and Information:
Sample essays - Warning, these are examples only and are not necessarily the best examples. The Carnegie Endowment staff provide these examples as illustrations only of what past scholars have written. All application materials must be the original work of the applicant submitting them.
On his seventy-fifth birthday, November 25, 1910, Carnegie announced the establishment of the Endowment with a gift of $10 million. He selected 28 trustees who were leaders in American business and public life. In his deed of gift, presented in Washington on December 14, 1910, Carnegie charged trustees to use the fund to "hasten the abolition of international war, the foulest blot upon our civilization," and he gave his trustees "the widest discretion as to the measures and policy they shall from time to time adopt" in carrying out the purpose of the fund.
UW Seattle Campus Contact:
Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall, Box 352803
Seattle, WA 98195-2803
UW Bothell Campus Contact:
Director of Global Initiatives
University of Washington Bothell
UW1-186 | Box 358555
18115 Campus Way NE | Bothell, WA 98011
Phone: 425.352.3261 | Skype: uwbglobal
UW Tacoma Campus Contact:
Director, Student Fellowships & Study Abroad
University of Washington Tacoma
Office of Global Affairs
Campus Mailbox 358415
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, Washington 98402-3100
(PH) 253-692-4358; (FX) 253-692-4788; GWP 102C