CISAC Fellows spend the academic year engaged in research and writing, and are expected to participate in seminars and to interact and collaborate with leading faculty and researchers. Natural scientists have the opportunity to conduct research on the scientific and technical aspects of security topics, as well as to work in collaboration with faculty members. The CISAC fellowship provides an unparalleled opportunity for scholars and professionals to explore complex international problems and innovative solutions in a collegial and collaborative environment.
- Fellowship Opportunities
- Program Requirements
- Application Details
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact Us
CISAC offers numerous fellowships. Applicants will be considered for all fellowships for which they are deemed eligible. Current fellowship opportunities include:
- Biosecurity Fellowship
- Cyber Policy Fellowship
- Cybersecurity and International Security Fellowship
- Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) Policy Fellowship
- Middle East Initiative Fellowship
- Natural Sciences or Engineering International Security Fellowship
- Nuclear Security Fellowship
- Social Sciences or Humanities International Security Fellowship
- Stanford Internet Observatory Research Fellowship
CISAC is guided by its longstanding belief that a commitment to rigorous scholarship, openness to new ideas, and lively intellectual exchange can spur the creation and spread of knowledge to help build a safer world. To that end, fellows are expected to be fully present and engaged at CISAC during their assignment.
- Complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and review it with your mentor within the 1st month of appointment.
- Meet with your faculty mentor at least once per month to review and refine your research topic, discuss project progress, and receive general career and intellectual guidance.
- Regularly attend and engage with CISAC’s weekly research seminar. Coordinate one panel.
- Participate in many and host one of the fellowship dinners with the research seminar panel participants. CISAC will pay for these.
- Participate in the Fellows’ Policy Workshop (typically 2-3 sessions per month).
- Make tangible progress on your proposed research project: completing several dissertation or book chapters and/or at least one article for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
- Write a short op-ed or other media piece that provides insights gleaned from your scholarly work to the public (blog posts are not eligible).
- Complete brief quarterly fellowship reports in which you describe your research, writing, and presentation activities during that period.
- Produce at least one policy focused document for a mock congressional testimony or NSC simulation session (part of the Fellows’ Policy Workshop series).
- Participate as a head of state in our winter quarter simulation for the course “International Security in a Changing World” if selected.
- STANTON FELLOWS ONLY: Participate in the annual Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows Seminar, hosted by the Foundation in Washington, D.C.
- HAI-CISAC FELLOWS ONLY: Participate in both HAI and CISAC research seminars on a regular basis.
- SIO FELLOWS ONLY: Participate in Cyber Policy Center research seminars and produce policy-relevant work, which could include media appearances, published articles, or briefings to or workshops for government or international organization officials, ideally in collaboration with researchers from other disciplines
Submission of a formal application is required for all individuals who wish to be in residence as visiting fellows, whether they need funding or have independent support.
All application materials, including recommendations, must be in English. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all materials, including letters of reference, are submitted by the deadline stated above. Please do not submit supplemental materials such as books, lengthy manuscripts, or more than the required number of recommendations.
Online submission of application must include:
- Completed online application form
- Graduate school transcript (Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. All pre- and postdoctoral applicants must include a transcript. Junior faculty and professionals may include a transcript, but are not required to do so.)
- Research project prospectus or description of dissertation (1,500 words max, not including footnotes/endnotes)
- Research abstract (200 words max)
- Writing sample (50 pages max)
- Three confidential letters of recommendation. Please note that recommendation letter services, such as Interfolio, may not use our online recommendation letter submission system. Please advise your recommenders to upload their letters directly to the SlideRoom system.
Online Application Instructions
- Access application portal by selecting link below.
- Click "Sign up to get started" (at the bottom of the page). Input the requested information to create a username and password.
- Click "Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation Fellowship Program".
- Proceed through the application, entering information into all required fields.
- Submit your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is life like at CISAC?
CISAC values its reputation as a highly collegial and collaborative environment. Fellows are expected to participate in research seminars, collaborate with other fellows, faculty, and research staff, and enjoy the myriad opportunities for formal and informal meals and discussions with professional colleagues. They are also encouraged to make use of the resources and opportunities afforded by one of the world’s foremost research institutions. Click here for more information about life at Stanford University.
Who funds CISAC fellowships?
Foundations including Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Flora Family Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Stanton Foundation, private donors, and, at times, governmental sources.
How long is the fellowship?
Fellowships range from nine to twelve months, and in certain circumstances may be renewable.
Does the fellowship come with a stipend, benefits, and housing?
CISAC predoctoral fellows receive stipends comparable to that awarded by the Stanford Graduate Fellowships program. The Center also pays non-matriculated student tuition for predoctoral fellows as required by Stanford University. Predoctoral fellows will be enrolled in Stanford's student medical insurance plan – Cardinal Care.
Postdoctoral fellows receive stipends commensurate with experience and with consideration given to Stanford established minimums. Postdoctoral fellows will attend a mandatory benefits orientation soon after they arrive on campus and are provided health benefits. Fellows have the option of purchasing additional coverage for dependents.
Junior faculty and professional stipends are commensurate with experience.
Stanford University policy requires evidence of medical insurance. CISAC will provide coverage for fellows without personal coverage.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide housing. We can, however, refer fellows to the housing information that Stanford provides.
Are letters of recommendation confidential?
Yes. Individuals submitting recommendations on behalf of applicants will receive email reminders to submit their recommendations online.
Can my recommender submit a letter via email? Can letters be sent via Interfolio?
It is strongly preferred that individuals upload their recommendations through the online system (SlideRoom). Recommenders will receive an email from SlideRoom requesting the recommendation form and letter.
If an individual is unable to upload his/her recommendation through Slideroom, he/she may email the letters to email@example.com, or send them via Interfolio. It is not necessary to use both methods. The preferred file name format (not the subject of the email) for emailed letters of reference is: [Last name of applicant] LoR [Last name of recommender]. For example: "Smith LoR Jones". All letters should be in .pdf format.
How do I know which fellowship program I am applying for?
If you are interested in a particular fellowship, you may indicate accordingly on your application. However, the CISAC fellowship selection committee will ensure that you are considered for every fellowship for which you are deemed eligible.
Do you need PhD transcripts?
All pre- and postdoctoral applicants must include a transcript. Junior faculty and professionals may include a transcript, but are not required to do so.
The application form requires me to upload a transcript, but I am a junior faculty member or professional. What should I do?
Please upload a document that states that "transcripts are not required for my fellowship level".
Do you require official transcripts?
You may upload unofficial transcripts with your application. We may ask you to submit official transcripts later.
Will you accept a diploma in lieu of a transcript?
We strongly prefer transcripts. If they are not available, however, diplomas may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Do transcripts need to be translated into English?
Yes. All application documents must be in English.
I attend a university that does not issue transcripts to doctoral students. What should I do?
Please send a certificate from the school stating that you are a doctoral candidate. A list of the courses which you have completed would be helpful, as well as a degree or transcript from your masters program.
What are the differences between an abstract, a prospectus, and a writing sample?
The research abstract is a brief summary of that project.
The prospectus should focus on the work that you would like to undertake at CISAC if selected. If applicable, It can be an introduction or relevant portion of your dissertation.
The writing sample should be a demonstration of your writing and research skills. This is a document that you have already written.
May I apply as a postdoctoral applicant if I expect to have completed my PhD degree by the time the fellowship begins?
Yes. However, please note that the offer, stipends, and title for the postdoctoral fellowship are contingent upon finishing the PhD before you start the fellowship. The offer can be rescinded if the PhD is not finished. If you expect to finish during the year, apply as a predoctoral fellow. Some fellowships allow for conversion to postdoctoral status if all requirements are met by December 1. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see if it is permissible.
If I do not need funding, should I apply for a fellowship?
Yes, you should. Non-stipendiary applicants are considered in the same pool as those requesting stipends.
May I apply for a fellowship if I am not a U.S. citizen? Yes.
Is a visa available through the CISAC fellowship? Yes.
Will CISAC accept DPhil degrees as PhD equivalents? Yes.
Does CISAC grant degrees? No.
Are CISAC fellowships available for non-Stanford students?
Yes. We very much welcome applications from non-Stanford students.
How many fellowships are granted per year?
This number varies based on available funding and on the applicant pool.
How do I know if my topic is compatible with current areas of study at CISAC?
Please review the CISAC website and the publications of current faculty and research staff. If you have further questions, please send an inquiry to email@example.com.
May I apply for a fellowship if I have a master's degree and do not intend to pursue a PhD?
CISAC does not make predoctoral fellowships available for those who are not enrolled in a PhD program.
Does CISAC award fellowships for studies to be conducted at other universities? No.
How can I tell if a referrer has submitted my recommendation letter?
You can check the status of your letters of recommendation via Slideroom.
When can I expect to hear a decision?
You will be notified between mid-March and mid-April.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All fellows are mentored one-on-one by CISAC and/or FSI faculty during their time at Stanford. Faculty mentors meet regularly with fellows to discuss research plans, policy interests, and progress towards fellows’ academic goals.
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