Since the Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship program was established in 1986, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has sought to seed and develop the international conflict resolution and peacebuilding fields. At USIP global headquarters, experts from many fields and perspectives share their expertise, advancing the Institute’s thought leadership and fostering rich communities of practice. The Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows are an integral part of USIP’s effort to help improve policy and practice to more effectively prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflicts around the world.

Problem Statements

USIP has identified two thematic areas in which research investments would advance current Institute priorities.

  1. Environment and Conflict – In a rapidly changing and more complex global landscape, state fragility remains a key challenge to sustainable peace. Against the backdrop of persistent fragility, however, new global challenges have emerged such as the dangerous confluence of environmental shocks within fragile contexts. USIP endeavors to build capacity to better respond to the interplay of environmental shocks, rapid population growth, and poor governance in the contexts in which we work. The Institute seeks one or more senior experts to advance thought leadership, advise USIP teams, and shape an agenda for future action that draws on USIP’s distinct capabilities.
  2. Security Sector Reform – Security sector engagement is a key area of focus to more effectively address the needs of fragile states grappling with conflict. Improved governance and security are vital ingredients to support states in their transition from fragility to resilience. USIP recognizes strengthening of community security as a priority strategic objective. The Institute endeavors to advance thought leadership on security sector reform and to strengthen its capacity to engage with authorities and communities addressing immediate security needs in the aftermath of conflict. USIP seeks one expert able to advance thought leadership on ways in which U.S. security sector assistance can more effectively address governance challenges in conflict-affected environments. The expert would also help the Institute in developing training materials, tools and resources in the field of security sector reform.

Profile of Fellows

This competition will seek senior experts (with at least 15 years' experience), who have worked in conflict zones and have a track record of influencing change from the top down, the bottom up, or both. Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows will conduct research and write in their areas of expertise while interacting with experts in the field and at USIP headquarters. During their tenure, the fellows will become an integral part of the USIP team and will work with thought leaders and advocates.

Application Requirements

Applicants should have demonstrated experience in research, scholarship and/or practice related to conflict prevention, conflict management, and peacebuilding. Applicants will be selected based on their potential to advance understanding on one or more of the listed key issue areas and on their potential to make original contributions to the field. Preference will be given to candidates whose geographic focus matches USIP’s country priorities in Asia, Africa, and the Mideast. Applications should be limited to 3,500 words. Please direct all questions about this RfP or usage of USIP’s online fellowship application system to

Registration and Due Dates

Please go to to register for this competition. Even if you have applied to other USIP competitions in the past, it is important that you register for this specific competition. Please note the deadline to register for the competition closed on May 23rd, 2019, at 11:59pm EDT, and that the deadline for all applications was Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 11:59pm EDT. We are no longer accepting applications for this competition. 

Fellowship Details

USIP will award a total of three fellowships and reserves the right to award any number of them across the two topic areas described above. This is a residential fellowship lasting for eight months at USIP headquarters in Washington, D.C. Fellows receive a stipend of $11,500/month for the duration of the fellowship. The start-date is negotiable for either fall 2019 or winter 2020. A part-time research assistant will be available to support the fellow’s work. One round-trip airfare to USIP headquarters is covered by this fellowship. Housing allowance and health insurance are not covered by this fellowship.