The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
The Middle East Initiative Research Fellowship Program, part of the Emirates Leadership Initiative, offers one-year fellowships for researchers at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and junior faculty level for research related to Middle Eastern governance and public policy.
The Middle East Initiative Research Fellowship Program offers one-year fellowships for researchers at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and junior faculty level for research related to Middle Eastern governance and public policy. All fellowships carry a stipend. Eligible candidates include advanced doctoral candidates, recent recipients of a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, and untenured faculty members. We welcome applications from political scientists, historians, economists, sociologists, and other social scientists. We also encourage applications from women, minorities, and citizens of all countries.
Applicants for pre-doctoral fellowships: Applicants must have passed general examinations, advanced to candidacy, received dissertation prospectus approval, and concluded all necessary fieldwork for the dissertation by the time of application. The strong expectation is that pre-doctoral fellows will defend their dissertations at the end of their residency with us.
Applicants for post-doctoral fellowships: Applicants who expect to complete their Ph.D. program prior to the fellowship can apply for a postdoctoral appointment, noting that postdoctoral fellowship offers are contingent upon submitting proof of Ph.D. completion prior to the September 1st fellowship start date.
Priority will be given to applications pursuing one of these six primary areas of focus:
- Improving Governance: Promoting the inclusivity, accountability, responsiveness, and efficiency of governing institutions and empowering the region's citizens.
- Building Peace: Addressing the sources of domestic and interstate conflict and generating durable political settlements.
- Revitalizing the State: Improving the capacity of state institutions and reforming social service delivery systems, with a special emphasis on health, education, and social protection.
- Broadening Financial and Labor Markets: Working to ensure that financial and labor markets in the Middle East are open, competitive, and inclusive.
- Governing Technology: Assessing how governments in the Middle East adapt to and integrate technological changes such as the growth of cyberspace, automation, and artificial intelligence, as well as how these advances in technology have shaped governance.
- Adapting to Environmental Challenges: Exploring how the governments of the region can cope and are coping with the challenges of water scarcity and climate change.
Fellows are generally expected to:
- Complete a 25-30 page Working Paper to be published by the Middle East Initiative
- Present their research at seminars open to the public
- Attend seminars of other Middle East Initiative research fellows
- Participate in Middle East Initiative activities as appropriate
The Middle East Initiative offers ten-month stipends of $40,000 to pre-doctoral fellows and $58,000 to postdoctoral fellows. Pre-doctoral fellows are not benefits eligible. 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.
Fellows who expect to complete their Ph.D. program prior to the fellowship can apply for a postdoctoral appointment. Confirmation of Ph.D. completion is required to receive the postdoctoral stipend rate and benefits, and postdoctoral fellowship offers are contingent upon submitting proof of Ph.D. completion prior to the September 1st fellowship start date.
Fellows are expected to be physically present at Harvard for the duration of the two-semester fellowship. Pre-doctoral research fellows are expected to complete their doctoral dissertations while in residence. Postdoctoral or faculty fellows may use this fellowship to complete a book or develop other research projects.
- CV/ Resume
- Unofficial transcript (pre-doctoral fellow applicants only)
- Contact information for 3 recommenders submitting letters on your behalf
- Research statement (3-5 pages)
- Writing sample (less than 50 pages) with abstract of 300 words or less
- Should be one published or unpublished piece written by the applicant
- Can be a journal article, book chapter, dissertation chapter, white paper, etc. you have produced in your field
Current Middle East Initiative Research Fellows
Below is a list of the Pre-doctoral, Postdoctoral, and Faculty Fellows under the Emirates Leadership Initiative Research Program at the Middle East Initiative for the current academic year. To view all past and present fellows, visit the Experts tab. To view all current affiliates of the Middle East Initiative, visit the People page on the MEI website.