The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs supports and collaborates with several student and professional organizations at the school on career development and policy-relevant events. The Center has proudly partnered with Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D), the Black Student Union, the Armed Forces Committee, the Women in Power Conference, and the Future Society to host seminars and conferences at HKS. We welcome opportunities to forge partnerships between students and the Center. 


Belfer IGA Group Photo 

Belfer IGA Group Photo 

Belfer IGA Fellowship

The Belfer International and Global Affairs Student Fellowship Program helps prepare a community of high-achieving Harvard Kennedy School students to cultivate 21st century, global ideas and to gain the strong analytical and innovative leadership skills necessary to excel in the global affairs arena. The Belfer IGA program also aims to impart to students the importance of community, service, and leadership.

This fellowship is designed for incoming and returning Masters in Public Policy (MPP) students at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) who have a demonstrated interest in science and international affairs. 

Belfer IGA Student Fellows have the opportunity to participate in policy research in association with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, HKS’s oldest and largest research center. In the fall semester, Belfer IGA fellows will be paired with a research project or program at the Belfer Center where they will observe and participate in policy research. These awards offer students the opportunity to spend five hours per week on research assistance to Belfer Center projects and programs, and provide a unique opportunity for mentorship by leading faculty and researchers.

The Belfer Center is pleased to welcome its inaugural class of Summer Research Assistants for Summer 2020. This program offers select research opportunities to current HKS students, including recent graduates. 

Summer Research Assistants (RAs) will have the opportunity to work with a specific research team within the Center, as well as to participate in biweekly cohort-wide speaker sessions, professional development opportunities, and other programming. Over the course of the internship program, RAs will gain subject matter expertise in their research area of focus as well as hone professional skills such as writing, briefing senior principals, and working in teams.

Please email any questions directly to Grace Headinger at


Belfer Policy Chats (BPC) is an event series that features our Pre/Post-Doc fellows to chat about issues on the forefront of global policy. The aim is to provide an informal forum to engage on Center topics such as national security, climate change, science and technology, cyber security, and innovation. 

Please see the Belfer Events page for upcoming Belfer Policy Chat events. 

At the conclusion of each Belfer Policy Chat, panelists are invited to record short videos touching on the high points of their talks. Their Talking Points videos from past BPCs are found linked at the button below. 

Past Belfer Policy Chats:

BPC | "Rising China in a Changing Asia" featuring Audrye WongAlex Yu-Ting Lin and Grace Headinger

BPC | "Arctic Change: How do we know what we know, and what do we DO about it?" featuring Sarah Dewey, Sarah Mackie and Brittany Janis

BPC | "Applied Leadership: Lessons from the Field - Government, Military and Private Sector" featuring Brooke Carr, Russ Porter, Bernie Schoukroun, Bill Putnam, and Aditi Kumar 

BPC | “Can we write human rights into the Internet?” featuring James ShiresVanessa Rhinesmith, and Aditi Kumar 

BPC | "Coercion, Diplomacy, and Nuclear Weapons: Eyes on Iran" featuring Sahar NowrouzzadehReid Pauly, and Aditi Kumar


The Belfer Bullet Points Series highlights featured faculty’s area of expertise by asking them to offer five “bullet points” of reflections on a current topic.  The goal of the series is to provide an informal forum to engage with Center faculty on topics such as national security, climate change, science and technology, cybersecurity, and innovation. By formating the discussion around five bullet points, the audience sees high-level policy points on public policy issues and how academics and principals frame their decision-making thinking. 

Past Belfer Bullet Points Series:

BPS | "How history offers guidance for policymakers navigating through today's crises" featuring Fredrik Logevall and Charlotte Fitzek

BPS| "Leadership in National Security" featuring Ash Carter and Amritha Jayanti 

BPS| "Post Covid Economic Recovery" featuring Jeffrey Frankel and Aditi Kumar 

Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D)

Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development, a student organization at the Harvard Kennedy School, aims to elevate the visibility and impact of women at HKS interested in pursuing careers in the fields of security, diplomacy, and development. The group provides an inclusive space and network for students seeking to enter or advance within these traditionally male-dominated fields. They aim to provide a platform for women to become more meaningfully involved in these issues at HKS and beyond.

W3D Leadership:

Co-Chairs Izzy Ernst and Aoibheann Thinnes


Armed Forces Committee (AFC)

The Armed Forces Committee is a student-led organization at HKS that, with support from the Belfer Center, hosts “For the Common Defense,” a weekly speaker series held in the Belfer Library. The series features top-tier military and civilian leaders and focuses on the most pressing issues in the national security space, holds discussions about the civilian-military divide, and serves as the first interaction many HKS students have with members of the military. The AFC welcomes all veterans, active duty military, and students interested in national security.

The AFC Leadership Team is comprised of: 

President: Josh Altman
VP: Hans Toohey
Outreach & Events Co-chairs: Ryan Solis and Biz Peabody
Communications Chair: Kate Wesdyk
Finance Chair: Nick Sung
Professional Development & Community Innovation Chair: Usha Sahay

Several of the Belfer Research teams and Senior Fellows offer opportunities for students during the academic year.

The Arctic Initiative – Research Assistant Positions         

The Belfer Center's Arctic Initiative seeks to develop new insights and collaborations that bring together science, technology, and policy to address the environmental, economic and social challenges facing the Arctic. At the Arctic Initiative we are initiating new research; convening stakeholders like policymakers, scientists, and Arctic residents; and training a new generation of public and private experts to understand and address the factors driving change and risk in the region.

The Arctic Initiative is a joint project of the Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center.

The Arctic Initiative is seeking two Research Assistants:

Arctic Communications: One overarching effort of the Arctic Initiative is to increase understanding of how what is happening in the Arctic has impacts far beyond the Arctic. In the Fall semester the Arctic Initiative will be doing a series of communications projects including a student-led podcast series and a data-visualization hack-a-thon, in addition to updating our landing page to share more digital content, and we are seeking a Research Assistant to collaborate with us on these projects. If you are interested in climate science communications and telling stories from the Arctic, please apply.

Arctic Resilience: This Fall the Arctic Initiative is working closely with the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council to produce The Arctic Resilience Forum, a ten-week series of webinars and conversations on topics related to resilience. This project will give the student RA an opportunity to connect with experts from across the Arctic on subjects such as; indigenous youth leadership, clean energy, food security, broadband connectivity, human health and pandemics, sustainable finance, infrastructure, and others. The RA will need to be available on Wednesdays beginning Oct. 7th from 11:30am – 1:00pm EST to attend the sessions.

To apply please email Brittany Janis, Arctic Initiative Research Manager, your resume and a cover letter explaining which project you are interested in, and why are you interested in working on the Arctic.

Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P)

The Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) is a student-based project at the Belfer Center. We center our work on student volunteers. Students are offered the chance to travel both domestically and internationally, working with election officials and key stakeholders in the democratic processes in the U.S. and other countries. The student team meets weekly and works closely with Eric Rosenbach and Robby Mook to craft D3P's activities and scope. In the past, students have conducted election research across the U.S., and created and ran table top exercises for election officials.

Interested students may reach out to, for more information and details on team meetings.

Environment and Natural Resources Program

ENRP offers internship funding for HKS and Harvard College students pursuing internships on a topic related to energy, the environment, or natural resources, at organizations that do not offer them a salary.  More information on eligibility and application details can be found on our website.

Roy Family Fellowship

This fellowship is open to all two-year degree program candidates in the Master in Public Policy, Master in Public Administration, and Master in Public Administration/International Development program. It provides full tuition for two years through the generous support of the Roy Family Student Support Fund. This fellowship is not open to joint or concurrent degree candidates.  

Applicants must have demonstrated an interest in environmental and energy issues, either through public or private sector work experience or through related entrepreneurial experience as an undergraduate. Successful applicants have made a strong case that they intend to focus their studies at the HKS on environment or energy issues.  

Preference is given to candidates who demonstrates interest in public-private partnerships and market-oriented solutions to realize environmental or energy goals. The Roy Family Fellow will consult with Environment and Natural Resources Program faculty to assure that his or her curriculum choices will advance his or her understanding of and ability to contribute to environmental policy.  

The Future of Diplomacy Project (FDP)

The Future of Diplomacy Project hires one Research Assistant during the academic semester and another one during the summer. They serve as an ambassador of FDP to the student body. They are responsible for supporting event logistics, disseminating information about our guest speakers and research publications, and conducting research for the Executive Director, Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook. We post vacancies for these positions on the OCA website, send emails to PICs and post on our Facebook page.

Managing the Atom Project (MTA)

The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) occasionally offers research opportunities during the academic year for students to work with faculty, staff, and fellows. Interested students may reach out to MTA will be accepting applications early next year for summer 2020 internships.

Middle East Initiative

The Middle East Initiative has a variety of offerings for students at Harvard Kennedy School. We encourage you to explore some of these opportunities on their website or contact us at MEI to discuss your interests in depth.

Kuwait Foundation Fellowship

The Kuwait Foundation Fellowship for Outstanding Emerging Leaders is awarded on a competitive, merit basis to deserving applicants from the Arab World with a preference for students from Kuwait.  

It is expected that fellowship recipients will be active and engaged with the activities of tile Middle East Initiative. MEI encourages applicants who can demonstrate leadership potential and a passion for public policy issues and concerns in the Arab World to apply. They also value candidates who are entrepreneurial in their field, are strong collaborators and committed to grassroots application and involvement in their society's most pressing issues and concerns. 

The Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship (PETR)

The Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship hires one Research Assistant during the academic semester. They serve as an ambassador of PETR to the student body. They are responsible for supporting event logistics, disseminating information about our guest speakers and research publications, and conducting research for the Executive Director, Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook. We post vacancies for these positions on the OCA website, send emails to PICs and post on our Facebook page.

Additionally, the Project on Europe hires a Research Assistant for our Rafael Del Pino- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) Fellow each year. The fellow is in residence at the Harvard Kennedy School for the full academic semester and conducts research on a subject of their choosing. The Research Assistant helps the fellow conduct his/her research.

Technology and Public Purpose Project

The Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project led by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is a new initiative that works shape technological change for the public good. The TAPP Project offers a select number student research assistant positions on a rolling basis. Student Research Assistants work closely with other members of the TAPP team to conduct research and develop products related to emerging technologies and dimensions of public purpose.

You can apply for a paid research assistant position for the 2020-2021 academic year via the linked Google Form. Applications are due by Friday, October 2, 2020 at 11:59PM EST. 

The TAPP Project is hosting an Open House Trivia Event on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 12PM-1PM. For more information, please see the linked event page. 

Funding Support 

The Belfer Center occasionally funds HKS students (or officially recognized Harvard student organizations) for research, publications, and events related to the core interests of the Center. These decisions are made on an ad hoc basis and the point of contact for travel stipends, research funding, and event support is Grace Headinger.

All applications are accepted through the common application (below) in the fall-spring semester.

Policy Analysis Exercise and Student Papers

These papers and projects are examples of the Policy Analysis Exercise, Second Year Policy Analysis, and independent research by Harvard Kennedy School students whose work was supported, in part, by the Belfer Center.

PAE Travel Funding

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs provides travel/research grants to HKS students concentrating in International and Global Affairs working on their Policy Analysis Exercises through a competitive process.

Projects with connection to Belfer-affiliated faculty or related to the following topics will receive priority: science, technology, environmental policy, diplomacy, the military and international affairs.

The application process and timeline is coordinated with other HKS research centers, and all applications are accepted through the Common Application (found on KNet) in the fall semester. Please contact with questions.

We are committed to connecting students to policy-focused research, fellowship, and funding opportunities in the field of international affairs. External opportunities that may be relevant to our student body will be posted here. Please directly contact the sponsoring organizations for more information. This page was last updated on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. 

2021 Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program

Every year, the Center for a New American Security selects a bipartisan group of 20-25 emerging national security leaders to participate in the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program. This year-long, part-time professional development fellowship aims to bring together young professionals across sectors within the national security field to learn best practices and lessons in leadership. Next Gen fellows will have the opportunity to engage with thought leaders on leadership principles and national security through various engagements, including a monthly dinner series. The program culminates in a week-long international study tour to delve deeper into national security issues and leadership. There is no cost to participate in the program, though individuals are responsible for the cost of travel to CNAS for dinners and events. Please note: as COVID-19 concerns are ongoing, and in accordance with CNAS COVID-19 policy, programming will continue virtually.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be between 27 and 35 years old, as of January 1, 2021
  • Possess a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Have at least four years of professional experience in researching or executing U.S. national security policy
  • Be able to travel to Washington, D.C. for monthly dinners
  • Demonstrate a commitment to public service

Please note that applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM EST on October 11, 2020. Decisions will be conveyed to all applicants by the end of January 2021.

Complete applications include:

  • An application form (below)
  • Resume and letter of interest (as one PDF with resume first)
  • Nomination letter (submit below, or have nominator email to

Please note: do not apply through Indeed. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For more information about the program and application, please visit:

For questions concerning the Next Gen program, please contact


Call for Applications | Emerging Scholars Conference 2020 | University of Michigan (Nov. 19-20)

In November, the political science department at the University of Michigan will once again hosts its annual Emerging Scholars Conference. This special event, now in its tenth year, is designed to broaden the diversity of perspectives in political science by encouraging talented students from underrepresented backgrounds who are engaged in original research projects to apply to PhD programs at Michigan and elsewhere.

We especially wish to recruit graduate students into top political science programs who might not normally consider applying and yet are well qualified to do so. We understand diversity in broad terms: it includes underrepresented groups of all kinds, such as, for example, first-generation college students or first-generation Americans.

The Emerging Scholars Conference enables undergraduate students to discuss their research (whether completed or in progress) in a serious academic but low-pressure situation that exposes them to world of scholarly exchange at a higher level. Past events have been a great success with students presenting on a wide range of topics and methods that reflect early forays into original social science scholarship.

In previous years we have enjoyed bringing students and their advisors to Ann Arbor. Although circumstances do not permit an in-person event this year, we didn’t want to let the 10th anniversary slide by without a conference. Therefore, we plan to host a virtual conference with multiple sessions over a day and a half later this fall (Nov. 19-20, 2020). Invited scholars will participate in panels to discuss their research and will receive constructive feedback on the projects from faculty and graduate discussants, as well as other audience members. In other sessions, students will receive advice on applying to PhD programs and have the chance to talk with current students about life in graduate school.

Faculty mentors at the scholars’ home institutions play several critical roles. First, of course, they nudge their students to apply and submit a letter of support with the application. Second, mentors can help prepare the presentation and discussion of their research, as well as be available to debrief the students afterwards on their conference experience. Finally, we encourage mentors to attend their student’s panel as a familiar, reassuring presence, and they are welcome to attend other panels as well.

Do you know any promising undergrads who might appreciate seeing what graduate school in a top political science program is like? Encourage them to apply!  Participants are under no obligation to apply for graduate study to the University of Michigan. This program is focused on nurturing an interest in research and encouraging students to pursue these interests further. Please note that we unfortunately can only invite a fraction of interested applicants.

We welcome interest from current undergraduates as well as those who recently graduated but who have not yet applied to graduate programs. Please feel free to share this announcement broadly with colleagues and students.

Applications are due Monday, September 28 at Noon. We request the following materials:

(1) completion of the brief online application form, including a statement on how the applicant would bring novel or underrepresented perspectives to political science;

(2) a transcript (an unofficial copy is fine);

(3) title and abstract of the research paper the student plans to discuss;

(4) a brief writing sample; and

(5) a letter of endorsement from the student’s faculty sponsor that speaks to both the student’s promise for doctoral study and how the student will strengthen the diversity of the field (the advisor’s letter may be submitted separately via email to

Students should first complete the short application form (, which will offer an opportunity to upload the other materials. Materials may also be submitted via email ( with the subject heading “Emerging Scholars.” Students may, at their option, also include a current resume or curriculum vitae. We anticipate making decisions and issuing invitations on or about October 12.

Questions about the application process may directed to Megan Gosling, the graduate program coordinator, at or 734-764-9598.