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 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 Young Leaders
The Belfer Young Leaders and Graham T. Allison, Jr. Student Fellowship Programs help 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 student fellowship program also aims to impart to students the importance of community, service, and leadership.
The fellowships are 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 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 student 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 application for current MPP students who will be in their second year of study during the 2021-2022 academic year is now closed.
Click below to register for an information session on the Center's student fellowship opportunities and the application process.
2020-2021 Belfer Student Fellows
The Belfer Center was pleased to welcome its inaugural class of Summer Student Researchers during Summer 2020. This program offers select research opportunities to current HKS students, including recent graduates.
Summer Student Researchers 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.
Belfer Summer Student Researchers - Summer 2021
Belfer Summer Student Researchers - Summer 2020
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.
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 | "Applied Leadership: Lessons from the Field - Government, Military and Private Sector" featuring Brooke Carr, Russ Porter, Bernie Schoukroun, Bill Putnam, 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:
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.
Co-Chairs: Izzy Ernst and Aoibheann Thinnes
Defense Chair: Usha Sahay
Diplomacy Chair: Abby Horgan
Development Chair: Hannah Barton
Community & Finance Chair: Valerie Moreyra
Professional Development Chair: Anamika Madhuraj
Communications Chair: Norah Griffin
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. Last updated on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
Middle East Initiative Research Assistant Opening
Middle East Initiative (MEI) Postdoctoral Research Fellow Kelly Stedem is seeking applications for a remote research assistant starting immediately and working through June 30, 2021.
Description: Postdoctoral Fellow at the Middle East Initiative seeks a temporary research assistant (up to 29 total hours of work) with strong Arabic language skills. The selected RA will assist in creating a database of crimes utilizing articles (1974- present) from Lebanese newspapers available online through the Harvard Library and an external archive (memoryatwork.org). The RA will describe and catalog these articles in Excel, but will not be required to provide full translation of the text. RA will be required to submit completed work at end of each week for review. All research will be conducted remotely.
Required Skills: RA candidates must have demonstrated knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic. Familiarity with the Lebanese civil war and Lebanese politics is preferred. Candidates must have access to the Harvard library (online).
How to Apply: Interested students (graduate or undergraduate) should email MEI Postdoctoral Research Fellow Kelly Stedem (Kstedem@hks.harvard.edu) with an updated resume and short (1-2 paragraph) statement of interest. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Pay Rate: $17.00 / hour
Scope of Project: 29 total hours, to be completed by June 30, 2021
National Cyber Power Index Research Assistant Opening
Belfer’s National Cyber Power Index captured international attention when it was released in September 2020 as the first holistic measure of national cyber power with media coverage across leading outlets including the Economist, Financial Times and Cyberscoop. The NCPI is the first holistic index to measure 30 countries cyber power across seven objectives: destruction, defense, surveillance, information control, commercial gain, intelligence collection, and norms and standards. It is built on a novel methodology combining both a national government’s intent with its capability.
The Research Assistant(s) would join the founding team of five practitioners from experience from government, defense, private sector and academia. Our objective is to ensure that the 2021 National Cyber Power Index (NCPI) continues to be a useful tool for policymakers across the world.
-Design and execution of workshops with experts from intelligence, private sector and government to refine the methodology
-Interview experts to supplement the extensive data capture
-Collection of data to strengthen the existing database of national cyber strategies and measures of capability
-Drafting of the 2021 report and accompanying country analysis
The Research Assistant(s) would have significant autonomy and responsibility from the start. We are looking for creative and driven self-starters with a keen interest in national security and cyber issues starting immediately. The commitment is 10 hours per week.
To apply and for more information on the role, please contact Eric Rosenbach at email@example.com.
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. MTA will be accepting applications early this year for summer 2021 internships.
The Middle East Initiative offers a variety of opportunities for students at Harvard Kennedy School, including occasional openings for student interns and research assistants. MEI also participates in the Belfer Center’s Summer Research Assistant Program and provides funding for summer internships with regional organizations and for winter PAE/SYPA research. MEI generally offers January term field study courses each year. We encourage you to explore more detailed information about these offerings on our website.
Further questions and student resumes may be submitted to Mikaela Bennett, Coordinator for Research Programs and Student Engagement, at email@example.com.
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 the 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 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.
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.
Research assistant positions for the 2020-2021 academic year are now closed. Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year will open in Fall 2021.
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.
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs provides research grants to HKS students concentrating in International and Global Affairs working on their Policy Analysis Exercises through a competitive application 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Friday, February 19, 2021.
LCWINS Applications for Summer 2021 Fellows and Interns
The Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS) is seeking a part-time, paid fellow to support the staff.
LCWINS’ mission is to improve national security by ensuring that women, in all their diversity, have equal space at the policy-making table. LCWINS is an organization of women and allies from across the political spectrum working to advance gender inclusion at the highest levels of the U.S. national security and foreign policy workforce. LCWINS is seeking a fellow to help ensure the success of the organization’s substantive work, while also handling the day-to-day administration of LCWINS.
The LCWINS Fellow will undertake the responsibilities listed below, and will also have the opportunity to do research in support of the organization and draft written products for internal and external audiences. Some potential areas for research and writing include: women and diversity in leadership, employment law, law related to non-profit organizations and political activities, policies that improve women’s hiring, impacts of COVID on women in the national security workforce, retention, promotion, and diversity and inclusion in national security.
The Fellow will also be responsible for managing the LCWINS Intern. This fellowship is an incredible opportunity for exposure to LCWINS’ vast network of senior women leaders, to learn the ins-and-outs of nonprofit management and to gain supervisory experience.
The Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS) is seeking a part-time, paid intern to support the staff.
LCWINS’ mission is to improve national security by ensuring that women, in all their diversity, have equal space at the policy-making table. LCWINS is an organization of women and allies from across the political spectrum working to advance gender inclusion at the highest levels of the U.S. national security and foreign policy workforce. LCWINS is seeking an intern to help ensure the success of the organization’s substantive work, while also handling the day-to-day administration of LCWINS.
The LCWINS Intern will undertake the responsibilities listed below. Primarily, the intern will aid in the administration of LCWINS, including: helping to organize the Google Drive, tracking organizational data in spreadsheets (such as event RSVP information, donor information, database nominee information, Leadership Council member information), drafting correspondence for the organization, and keeping the LCWINS website updated. The intern will work under the direction of the LCWINS Fellow and also aid in the research, writing and policy projects the Fellow is undertaking, as the Fellow directs.
This internship is an incredible opportunity for exposure to LCWINS’ vast network of senior women leaders, as well as an opportunity to learn more about the fields of national security and nonprofit management.
For more information on the position and how to apply, click here. Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2021.
We are committed to supporting students' academic outputs and writing at the Belfer Center.