USIP's Peace Scholar Fellowship program awards non-residential fellowships to students enrolled in U.S. universities who are writing doctoral dissertations on topics broadly related to conflict management, peacebuilding and relevant security studies. Since 1988, the program has supported the dissertations of 332 young scholars, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in research, higher education, and policy making.
The 2021-22 Peace Scholar Competition is now open. Registration for the competition closes on September 23, 2020, and all completed applications are due by Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Any applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for this competition. Please see the Application Process section below for more details.
This program partners with the Minerva Research Initiative to support additional fellowships relating to topics on peace and security studies. Currently, the program awards up to 20 scholarships per year, and awards support both research and writing stages of work on dissertations.
Applications from members of groups traditionally under-represented in the field of international relations, peace and conflict studies and other related academic disciplines, as well as diplomacy and international policy-making, are strongly encouraged.
Applying for a Peace Scholar Fellowship is a two-step process.
All applicants must first register for an account with the USIP FLUXX online application system. After registration, login credentials and instructions for FLUXX will be sent through email to enable applicants to access the online application portal. It may take up to 48 hours to process registration credentials. Please Register early!
All applications must be submitted through the FLUXX system. On the application form please indicate the funding source for which you would like to be considered: (1) the USIP Peace Scholar Fellowship only; (2) Minerva Research Initiative Peace and Security Fellowship only; or (3) no preference.
- Both fellowship opportunities have the same application form, deadline, award amount, and selection process; the only difference between the USIP and Minerva Fellowships is the source of funding.
- Two letters of recommendation must be attached to your application in the FLUXX system. One letter must be from your dissertation advisor and the other from a current professor.
- Registration for the 2021-22 Peace Scholar competition opens on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 and closes on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
- Completed applications and two letters of recommendation must be submitted by Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Any applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for this competition.
- Please carefully review your application before submitting. Once an application is submitted, it can no longer be accessed or revised.
Please note: The application system works best when using Google Chrome as your web browser. If you are experiencing issues with the application system, please email JenningsRandolphFellows@usip.org
If the answer requires more than an email, we will schedule a time to assist you by phone.
Proposals from all disciplines and on a broad range of topics related to peacebuilding, conflict management and related security studies are welcome. There are several criteria that will strengthen applications:
Proposals should be consistent with USIP’s mission and present a research agenda with broader implications to the peacebuilding field as well as potential application to peacebuilding policy and/or practice.
To be competitive, applicants must consider the implications of their research on the peacebuilding field. Additionally, applicants should outline the links between their projects and the missions of the U.S. Institute of Peace and/or the Minerva Research Initiative.
We are looking for proposals that contribute to the general knowledge of the field by either testing or developing theories. Applicants should present a persuasive argument on how their research makes a basic or fundamental research contribution to the field and an explanation of how their basic research contributions address key concerns of conflict management and peacebuilding that may include (but are not limited to) security and stability.
Criteria for Peace Scholar Applications
Applications will be assessed using the three criteria below:
Is this research innovative or unique and does it have the potential to contribute to and improve the conflict management, peacebuilding and related security studies fields? Does this research have the potential to improve understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral and/or political forces that shape the issues in the application?
Are there clear and substantial connections between the research and the USIP mission, and/or the Minerva Research Initiative mission? How relevant is the project to conflict management and peacebuilding policy and practice? Additionally, applicants should outline the linkages between their projects and the specific missions of the U.S. Institute of Peace and/or the Minerva Research Initiative.
How generalizable is this research and what are the broader implications of your project? How predictive are the findings? Does the project uncover lessons learned? Does the project description clearly explain methodologies for how data will be analyzed to test hypotheses?
Terms of the Award
Peace Scholars are awarded stipends of up to $20,000 per academic year. Awards are paid directly to the individual in three tranches. A Peace Scholar Fellowship award may not be deferred to another year, nor can it be combined with any other residential award or fellowship except with the written approval of USIP. If written approval from USIP is granted, $30,000 is the maximum combined amount from all funding sources that a Peace Scholar can receive during their tenure.
Peace Scholars carry out their fellowship work at their universities or other sites appropriate to their research. Peace Scholars are expected to devote full attention to their work and provide three progress reports to USIP. Peace Scholars are expected to participate in the annual Peace Scholar Workshop each Fall. Peace Scholars may also be asked to participate in online discussions with the Peace Scholar cohort and USIP experts.
Upon completion of their dissertation, Peace Scholars are REQUIRED to submit a copy to USIP. In addition, USIP requests the submission of other publications, including articles and books, resulting from the Fellowship.
Eligibility and Restrictions of the Award
Please note that the Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowship program does not support pre-dissertation level graduate work. Doctoral students in non-U.S. based universities are not eligible. The fellowships cannot support research focused on U.S. domestic issues, however, research on U.S. foreign policy may be eligible for support. Fellowships will not be awarded for dissertation projects that constitute policymaking for a government agency or private organization, focus to any substantial degree on conflicts within U.S. domestic society, or adopt a partisan, advocacy, or activist stance.
Visit the list of current Peace Scholars.
Visit the list of former Peace Scholars.