Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship

The Program

Nuclear security is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. The spread of nuclear weapons to unstable and hostile states, the risk of conflict between nuclear armed nations, and the potential for terrorist groups to acquire nuclear arms all demand new thinking and creative policy solutions. The Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship (SNSF) Program, made possible by a generous grant from the Stanton Foundation, offers younger scholars studying nuclear security issues the opportunity to spend a period of twelve months at the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) offices in New York or Washington, DC, conducting policy-relevant research.

CFR awards two fellowships annually. The fellowships will be awarded on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments and promise, and on the merits of the specific research projects proposed. The fellows could work on a wide range of issues, including nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, nuclear weapons, nuclear force posture, and, as it relates to nuclear security, nuclear energy. While in residence full-time at CFR, fellows will be expected to lead a project of their own design, conduct original research, and write at least one policy relevant document. Fellows are expected to participate fully in CFR's intellectual life. The scholars selected as SNSFs will be mentored by the fellows of CFR’s David Rockefeller Studies Program.

How to Apply

Interested candidates who meet the program's eligibility requirements can apply online. This year's application deadline is December 15, 2015.


The SNSF Program seeks to stimulate the development of the next generation of thought leaders in nuclear security. Qualified candidates must be postdoctoral fellows or junior faculty in a tenure-track position at a recognized university. Junior faculty at law schools or with a law degree as their terminal degree are also eligible. The program is intended for those who are pursuing a career in academia and is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas.

Fellowship Award

The duration of the fellowship is twelve months, preferably beginning in September. The program awards a stipend of $110,000 for junior faculty and $80,000 for postdoctoral fellows. Payment will be made in twelve equal monthly installments. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR, and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.

2015–2016 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows

Amy J. Nelson, Research Fellow, SIPRI North America; and Policy Analyst, U.S. Department of State

Elizabeth Saunders, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University


A list of former fellows can be found online by visiting Historical Roster of CFR’s Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows.

Contact Us