“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
The Project on Managing the Atom offers fellowships for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, and mid-career professionals for one year, with a possibility for renewal, in the stimulating environment of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Post-doctoral scholars and junior faculty members may also apply for Stanton nuclear security fellowships at the Belfer Center.
The MTA fellows program exposes participants to an interdisciplinary work environment—blending policy and technical concerns—and provides time and space to interact with an international cohort of colleagues, as well as with faculty, senior fellows, and visiting policy makers and other experts.
Areas of Research
Fellows are expected to pursue research with a nuclear policy focus that relates to the ongoing work of the MTA project. Priority will be given to applicants pursuing research on: reducing the risk of nuclear or radiological terrorism; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; reducing the dangers of existing nuclear stockpiles through arms control or other means; and lowering safety, security, proliferation, and other risks associated with the growth of civilian nuclear power. Researchers working on any of the above issues in a regional context are particularly encouraged to apply. Also encouraged are proposals examining steps that lay the foundations for the long term prohibition of nuclear arsenals or steps that improve verification of nonproliferation or disarmament.
Fellows are generally expected to:
- Produce a substantial piece of work completed during the fellowship period
- Present their research at a seminar open to the public at least once during the fellowship period
- Attend seminars of other MTA research fellows
- Participate in MTA activities (meetings, communications efforts, etc.) as appropriate
- Regularly correspond with MTA staff and senior faculty about research progress and activities
MTA offers ten-month stipends of $40,000 to pre-doctoral fellows and $50,000 to post-doctoral fellows. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply for other sources of funding. All applicants should clearly indicate on their application form whether they are seeking full or partial funding, and indicate other potential funding sources. Non-stipendiary appointments are also offered, but the application process remains the same. Stipends come with health insurance and discounted MBTA passes, as well as shared office space and modest administrative support.
- Research Proposal (3-5 double-spaced pages)
- The proposal should include a statement that describes the policy relevance of at least one component of the proposed research. This statement should articulate the intended audience, as well as the problem or problems that the research will help the intended audience address.
- Unofficial transcript (pre-doctoral fellow applicants only)
- Writing sample (less than 50 double-spaced pages)
- Contact information for three recommenders submitting letters on your behalf
Eligible candidates include current doctoral students, recent recipients of a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, and university faculty members. In addition to candidates from academia, we also welcome applications from candidates from national laboratories, government, and industry (though academic salaries are not likely to be competitive unless candidates have their own funding).
Applicants for pre-doctoral fellowships must have passed general examinations prior to appointment. We welcome applications from political scientists, historians, economists, sociologists, legal scholars, and other social scientists as well as engineers, physicists, and others with technical training. We also encourage applications from women, people of color, and citizens of all countries.