Carnegie Endowment Gaither Junior Fellowship

Website: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a unique global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States. Its mission, dating back more than a century, is to advance the cause of peace through analysis and development of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decision-makers in government, business and civil society. Working together, the centers bring the inestimable benefit of multiple national viewpoints to bilateral, regional and global issues.

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 12-14 students will be hired to work as employees at Carnegie in Washington, DC on a full-time basis for a period of one year.

Gaither Junior Fellows provide research assistance to scholars working on Carnegie Endowment's projects. They are matched with senior associates – academics, former government officials, lawyers and journalists from around the world – to work on a variety of international affairs issues. Junior Fellows have the opportunity to conduct research for Carnegie publications, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, journalists and government officials.

Applicants must be nominated by their university to compete for these positions. Please see below for UW's application process. 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.

"*NEW FOR 2021-2022: Universities may submit three applicants if at least one of those three applicants is from a historically underrepresented group.

GAITHER JUNIOR FELLOWS DIVERSITY INITIATIVE: As an organization dedicated to pursuing global engagement and peace, we believe the work of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is enriched and should be informed by a diverse array of perspectives. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community among staff and partners and on our public platform.

Carnegie seeks to increase the diversity of our junior fellow applicant pool. We strongly encourage participating universities to join us in this initiative. In addition to the two nominations traditionally sought, we welcome a third application if one or more of those nominees is from a historically underrepresented group."

The UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards (OMSFA) supports this effort and supports students of color, first-generation students, and students who identify as underrepresented within the university and/or within the field of international relations in applying strongly for this opportunity, and others. OMSFA values an inclusive scholarship community fostered through information sharing, transparent processes, and diverse participation. We are committed to providing students, faculty and staff the tools and resources needed to support individual students in crafting their strongest scholarship applications. We welcome and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create accessible and respectful application and selection processes, and are committed to promoting access and opportunity for all. Advising is available for current UW undergraduate students and bachelor's alumni. 

2021-22 Projects

  1. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance
  2. US Foreign Policy & Diplomacy: The Junior Fellow will support Carnegie Endowment President Ambassador William J. Burns on research and writing that seeks to shape American diplomacy. Applicants should have coursework in U.S. foreign policy, broad-gauged regional lens, an interest in policy analysis and formulation, and superb writing skills.
  3. Nuclear Policy
  4. Technology and International Affairs (including the Cyber Policy Initiative)
  5. 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.
  6. South Asia: A strong background in international relations theory, political theory, or international political economy is essential, along with an interest in military issues. The ability to perform quantitative data manipulation is required and a strong mathematical background is a plus.
  7. Asia Program (China): Mandarin Chinese reading skills required.
  8. Asia Program (Japan): Japanese reading skills required.
  9. Asia Program (Economics): Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus. Strong background in economics essential.
    • Please Note: Applicants for the Asia program with skills in two or more of the above areas (Chinese language skills, Japanese language skills, strong economics background) will be at an advantage when applying, regardless of their essay selection.
  10. Russia/Eurasia: Excellent Russian reading skills required.
  11. Africa (NEW): The Africa Program examines the economic, social, political, and external factors shaping Africa today, with the aim of helping regional and international policy actors strengthen their contributions to a better African future.
  • 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).
  • The Carnegie Endowment accepts applications only through participating universities via designated nominating officials. UW's nominating officials are listed below in the Contact section. 
  • The selection process for the Junior Fellows Program is very competitive. Accordingly, applicants should be of high academic quality. Suggested minimum GPA is 3.7 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.
  • 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 a full 12 months from August 1 through July 31 following graduation. Students on F-1 visas who are eligible to work in the US for the full year (August 1 through July 31) 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).
  • Applicants must pick one of the programs listed to apply to, and respond to the corresponding essay question within the application materials.
Student Type
  • senior
Citizen Type
  • Us Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

UW Seattle deadline extended to Dec. 30, 2020!

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.

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 ( for any questions about the campus application process.
  • UW Bothell students, please contact Natalia Dyba ( for any questions about the Bothell campus application process.
  • UW Tacoma students, please contact Cindy Schaarschmidt ( for any questions about the Tacoma campus application process.

Application Materials

FOR UW SEATTLE students - The campus application requires:

  • UW online application form, through which you'll submit the materials below: 
    • Brief Gaither Junior Fellows form
    • 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 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. 2021-22 program application essay questions:

A. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program. As democracy in the United States and Europe is experiencing more serious problems, the question of the relationship between those problems and the issues facing democracy in the rest of the world is gaining attention. Are the problems that democracy is facing in the United States and Europe largely similar to or fundamentally different from those plaguing democracy in other regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East?

B. U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. The Obama Administration looked to re-set relations with Russia, recast America’s role in the Middle East, and rebalance its posture toward the Asia-Pacific. The Trump Administration has pursued its own policy pivots in each of these areas. Compare and contrast the aims and policy records of the Obama and Trump administrations in one of these foreign policy areas, and draw out lessons from the experience of both administrations that ought to inform American diplomacy in the years ahead.

C. Nuclear Policy Program. Which state without nuclear weapons do you believe is at most risk of acquiring them?

D. Technology and International Affairs Program (including the CyberPolicy Initiative). (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. South Asia Program. (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
  • Under what conditions is a military response an effective solution to transnational terrorism?

G. Asia Program (China). Many observers argue that the longstanding US policy of engagement and hedging toward China has failed. As proof, they point to Beijing’s failure to significantly liberalize politically, to open up its markets sufficiently to foreign competition, and to promote the norms that the United States and its democratic partners prefer in its approach to international order. Instead, these observers argue, China has only become more oppressive domestically, pursuing predatory economic policies overseas, failing to move on needed economic reforms at home, threatening its neighbors, establishing competitor international institutions, and trying to undermine the U.S. and push it out of Asia. Has U.S. policy failed, and what are the right yardsticks for assessing Chinese conduct in international relations?

H. Asia Program (Japan). Japan is watching the emerging U.S.-China strategic competition carefully, clearly supporting its ally on various fronts in order to balance against China and bolster its own standing as efficiently and effectively as possible. However, as U.S. policy towards China becomes more aggressive (in terms of protectionist measures, stricter export controls, and trying to form coalitions to isolate China and its companies), Japan is placed in the uncomfortable position of trying to balance its own desire to pressure China and promote more open rules-based economic and diplomatic behavior on the one hand, while on the other hand wanting to maximize economic opportunity for Japanese firms with China and avoid being dragged into the middle of a more intense U.S.-China competition. Provide your own brief assessment of what is at stake for Japan amid growing U.S.-China friction and how you evaluate the steps it is taking to maximize Japan’s national interest. What are the near-term prospects for Japan and for the U.S.-Japan alliance?

I. Asia Program (Economics). China’s economic rise has created tensions with the US. America is accusing China of unfair trade and foreign investment practices. But China sees its actions as necessary to become more technologically advanced to escape the middle income trap. What are merits of the respective arguments? 

J. Russia and Eurasia Program. The U.S.-Russia relationship has plummeted to unprecedented post-Cold War lows. 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?

K. Africa Program. Narratives about Sub-Saharan 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. 

Additional Tips and Information:

National program information & FAQs 2021-22

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.

Contact Information

UW Seattle Campus Contact:

Robin Chang
Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall, Box 352803
Seattle, WA 98195-2803
Phone: 206-543-2603
Fax: 206-616-4389

UW Bothell Campus Contact:

Natalia Dyba

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:

Cindy Schaarschmidt

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