The U.S. Institute of Peace is pleased to announce the 2022-23 cohort of Peace Scholar Fellows. This year 87 applicants from 52 U.S. universities applied for this prestigious award. The 20 award recipients demonstrated the greatest potential to advance the peacebuilding field and the strongest likelihood to inform policy and practice.

Since 1988, USIP has awarded 387 non-residential fellowships to doctoral candidates enrolled in U.S. universities, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in research, teaching, and policymaking. Since 2017, USIP has collaborated with the Minerva Research Initiative to build upon the successes of the Peace Scholar program. 

The 2022-23 cohort includes:

USIP-Funded Peace Scholars:

  • Brandon Bolte (Penn State University, non-stipendiary) “Organizing Inter-Insurgent Cooperation.”
  • Alex Diamond (University of Texas at Austin), “An Uncomfortable Peace: Everyday State Formation in Rural Colombia.”
  • Daniel Hirschel-Burns (Yale University), “The Ideological Socialization of Civilians During Civil War.”
  • Christine Kindler (Howard University), “Postmemory in Rwanda: Fostering Intergenerational Dialogue through Peace Conversation Circles.”
  • Gabriella Levy (Duke University), “Variation in Public Responses to Violence Against Civilians."
  • Scott Ross (George Washington University), “Networks of Protection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
  • Leyla Tiglay (Ohio State University, non-stipendiary), “Nuclear Policy in the Age of Decolonization: French Nuclear Tests in the Sahara, African Peace Mobilization, and the Advent of the Global Nuclear Order 1957-1967." 
  • Priscilla Torres (Duke University), “Community Dispute Resolution and International Peacebuilding: Competitors or Complementary Actors? Evidence from Liberia and Central Asia.”

Minerva-funded Peace and Security Scholars:

  • Muhammad Omar Afzaal (Brown University), “Picking Your Battles: A Story of Pakistan’s Perceptions.”
  • Bernard Atieme (George Mason University), “Politics of the Belly: Why People Engage in Election Violence.”
  • Tara Chandra (University of California, Berkeley), “Untangling Dynamics in Civil Conflict: Explaining Insurgent Behavior Toward Civilians.”
  • Kaitlyn Chriswell (Harvard University), “Do Criminal Groups Make or Break Citizens?: The Effect of Criminal Organization Presence on Citizen-state Interactions.”
  • Tonya Dodez (Indiana University, Bloomington), “Fight or Flight? Explaining Citizen Reactions to Violence in African Elections.”
  • Thalia Gerzso (Cornell University), “Judicial Resistance: The Role of Courts in Electoral Disputes.”
  • Geoffrey Hoffman (University of California, San Diego), “China's Internet Firms and Global Internet Freedom.”
  • Michael Kriner (Cornell University), “Authoritarians Keeping the Peace? An Analysis of the Impact of Authoritarian Regimes' Participation in Peace Operations.”
  • Manuel Melendez Sanchez (Harvard University), “Criminal Electioneering: How and Why Criminal Groups Influence Elections.”
  • Sehar Sarah Sikander Shah (The Graduate Center, City University of New York), “The Politics of Post-Counterinsurgency Statebuilding in Northwestern Pakistan.”
  • Drew Stommes (Yale University), “Armed Political Parties and Their Violence.”
  • Sam Winter-Levy (Princeton University), “War by Other Means: The Politics of Proxy Warfare.”

USIP congratulates these distinguished scholars for their accomplishments and looks forward to supporting future generations of peacebuilders through our dissertation fellowship program.

The competition for the 2023-24 cohort opens on Thursday September 1, 2022, and the awardees will be announced the following spring. If you or someone you know is interested in applying to the program, visit the Peace Scholar Fellowship Program page on USIP’s website to see the 2023-24 Request for Applications (RfA).

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