The Applied Conflict Transformation Center and the Asia Center at the United States Institute of Peace has an opening for a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow for 2017-2018, to help advance and support our growing body of work on India, Pakistan and the U.S. role in supporting regional stability in South Asia. This would be a largely residential fellowship, based at USIP’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., although USIP offers some flexibility in terms of precise arrangements.


Since their partition in 1947 and through the four wars and many sub-conventional skirmishes, terrorist attacks and bilateral disputes since, conflict between India and Pakistan has shaped both their respective internal politics and relations with one another, and the broader security and stability of the surrounding region. During moments of crisis, such as attacks by Pakistani-based militant groups in Mumbai in 2008 and on Indian military bases in Kashmir in 2016, the United States has been called upon to mediate and moderate tensions – particularly since both states became overt nuclear powers in 1998. 

Over the past decade and a half, the United States has sought to “de-hyphenate” its relations with the two countries, pursuing independent relationships with each. The U.S. government policymaking apparatus is today effectively bifurcated, with separate bureaus and combatant commands in the State and Defense departments responsible for managing policies towards and relationships with each country. This silo-ization also limits available funding for cross-regional initiatives or research. While the U.S. has a unique combination of interests in each country, continued conflict between Pakistan and India has direct impacts on broader U.S. interests, including security objectives in Afghanistan, bilateral relations with China and other regional concerns.


The U.S. Institute of Peace’s Applied Conflict Transformation Center and Asia Center are seeking a senior fellow to conduct work on India-Pakistan conflict resolution to expand and deepen our analytic work in this field through research, convening and publications. Through a scoping and consultative research process with Indian, Pakistani and U.S. policymakers, the fellow’s work would develop recommendations for both U.S. and regional leaders and provide a template for future engagement on the issue.

Expected deliverables would include a white paper document, potentially for publication as a USIP Special Report or PeaceWorks report outlining priorities for India-Pakistan conflict resolution; the organization of at least one public event at USIP; as well as supplementary commentary and analysis pieces or media appearances, as appropriate.


The ideal senior fellow is a senior or mid-career analyst, policymaker or expert with experience working on India-Pakistan bilateral relations. USIP would look for experience working on India-Pakistan relations, understanding of U.S. foremost priorities and bureaucratic setup, a strong writing/publication track record and demonstrated capacity to conceive and produce a writing project leading to publication. A successful proposal would demonstrate mastery in this domain as well as a thoughtful conceptual framework for developing policy and programming guidelines. Outcomes should be proposed that show promise of thought leadership and impact, and could include, but are not limited to, a substantive publication and/or convening of a high-level symposium.

The proposed fellowship will last for 5 months, beginning as early as October 2017, although later start dates are possible and the timing is flexible. The fellow would receive a stipend of $10,000 per month.

Application Process

Interested applicants are invited to submit a letter of interest, a 3-5 page concept note and CV by close of business on July 14, 2017 to Lili Cole, director of fellows, at and Colin Cookman, program officer for the Asia Center, at The concept note should describe a viable research project including a proposed methodology, a timeline for the research, a basic budget documenting any needed support for travel or convening and proposed outcomes that are substantive and appropriate for the type of policy and practice impact sought in this announcement. Please be sure to address how your proposal will confront the challenges and opportunities in bridging practice and policy in this field, and articulate the benefits that a residential affiliation with USIP will bring to this effort.