Carnegie Endowment Gaither Junior Fellowship

Website: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


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 13 students will be hired to work as employees at Carnegie in Washington, DC on a fulltime basis for a period of one year.

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).

2022-23 Program Areas:

A. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance 

B. American Statecraft Background in history, international relations theory, or international economics is essential, along with an interest in military issues and U.S. foreign policy process.

C. Nuclear Policy 

D. Technology and International Affairs – Strong writing skills (ability to write well and assimilate feedback in a timely manner), diverse research skills (e.g., ability to find and distill content from scholarly and gray literature, ability to use Excel to organize and analyze information), attention to detail, and ability to communicate effectively with a diverse team are essential.

E. 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.

F. International Security and Political Economy [to work with the International Security and South Asia Program] – Quantitative data analysis and GIS skills are required. A strong mathematical background is a plus. Ideal candidates will have a strong academic background in international relations theory, political theory, or international political economy along with an interest in military issues.

G. Asia Program (China) – Mandarin Chinese reading skills required. 

H. Asia Program (Japan) – Japanese reading skills required.

I. 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.

J. Russia and Eurasia – Excellent Russian reading skills required

K. Africa Program – The 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 prosperous and stable African future.


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 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).
  • 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.
Student Type
  • senior
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

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 ( 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. 2022-23 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. 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 (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 postCold 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 for the current application cycle.

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