The Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Fellowship Program offers unique opportunities for mid-career professionals focusing on international relations. The program affords fellows the opportunity to broaden their perspective of foreign affairs and to pursue proposed research, with a placement at either CFR or another institution in New York City or Washington, DC.
Fellows are recruited year-round. The duration of each fellowship is generally twelve months. The program awards a stipend, which varies with each fellowship. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR. More information on each fellowship is listed below.
The International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) for Tenured International Relations Scholars offers tenured international relations professors hands-on and practical experience in the foreign policymaking field by placing selected fellows in U.S. government agencies or international government organizations for a period of twelve months. Fellows must arrange a paid sabbatical with their home universities. The program will match the fellow’s sabbatical funding from their university (up to a maximum of $80,000 for the year). The program is only open to tenured professors whose work focuses on international relations or U.S. foreign policy and who have arranged a paid sabbatical with their home university. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, hold a PhD, hold a full-time, tenured position at a college or university, and propose to spend a year working in the U.S. government or an international organization working on peace and security issues.
Launched in 1967, the IAF is a distinguished program offered by CFR to assist mid-career scholars and professionals in advancing their analytic capabilities and broadening their foreign policy experience. The program aims to strengthen career development by helping outstanding individuals acquire and apply foreign policy skills beyond the scope of their professional and scholarly achievements. CFR awards approximately ten fellowships annually to highly accomplished individuals who have a capacity for independent work and who are eager to undertake serious foreign policy analysis. The IAF Program is only open to mid-career professionals who have a demonstrated commitment to a career in foreign policy. The program welcomes applicants from a broad range of professional, academic, and personal backgrounds. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas.
Launched in 2016, the IAF in Canada seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between rising generations of leaders and thinkers in the United States and Canada. The program provides for one to two U.S. citizens per year to spend six to twelve months hosted by a Canadian institution to deepen their knowledge of Canada. The program is open only to mid-career professionals who have a demonstrated commitment to a career in foreign policy and have an interest in U.S.-Canada relations. The program welcomes applicants from a broad range of professional, academic, and personal backgrounds.
Founded in 1997, the IAF in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd., seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the rising generations of leaders in the United States and Japan. The program provides a selected group of mid-career U.S. citizens the opportunity to expand their professional horizons by spending a period of research or other professional activity in Japan. The IAF in Japan is only open to mid-career U.S. citizens who have a demonstrated commitment to a career in foreign policy and have an interest in U.S.-Japan relations. The program welcomes applicants from a broad range of professional, academic, and personal backgrounds. Knowledge of the Japanese language is not a requirement.
The IAF in International Economics offers business economists as well as university-based economics scholars hands-on experience in the U.S. government to expand their range of thinking and work on international economic policy. CFR awards one fellowship annually. The program is open only to mid-career business economists and university-based economics scholars who have demonstrated commitment to a career in international economics and related fields. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens and hold a PhD in economics or a closely related discipline.
The IAF in Nuclear Security, sponsored by the Stanton Foundation, offers university-based scholars valuable hands-on experience in the nuclear security policymaking field and places selected fellows in U.S. government positions or international organizations for a period of twelve months to work with practitioners. CFR awards approximately two fellowships annually. The IAF in Nuclear Security is only open to faculty members with tenure or on tenure-track lines at accredited universities and who propose to spend a year working in government or at an international organization. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are eligible to work in the United States and be between the ages of twenty-nine and fifty.
Made possible by a generous grant from the Stanton Foundation, the fellowship offers scholars studying nuclear security issues the opportunity to spend a period of twelve months at CFR offices in New York or Washington, DC, conducting policy-relevant research. CFR awards two fellowships annually. 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 only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas.
The Historian-in-Residence Fellowship offers distinguished historians the opportunity to spend time at CFR writing a book about a significant historical event that offers lessons that can be applied to modern-day foreign-policy challenges. CFR awards one fellowship for a period of up to twenty-four months. The program, made possible by a generous grant from David M. Rubenstein, is open to university or college professors as well as to historians unaffiliated with an institution who have an outstanding record of historical writing and research. The fellow has the choice to work at CFR’s office in New York or Washington, DC.
Launched in 1949 with support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship seeks to promote the quality of responsible and discerning journalism that exemplified the work of Edward R. Murrow. One CFR resident fellowship is awarded each year to a distinguished foreign correspondent or editor. The program enables the fellow to engage in sustained analysis and writing, expand his or her intellectual and professional horizons, and extensively participate in CFR’s active program of meetings and events.
Each year, the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and the Air Force, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Commandants of the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps nominate an outstanding officer from their respective services as a candidate for a Military Fellowship. CFR usually awards four to five such fellowships annually. The program enables the selected officers to broaden their understanding of international relations by spending a year in residence at CFR’s headquarters in New York.
Established in 1999, the National Intelligence Fellowship provides an opportunity for an outstanding senior intelligence officer to participate in and contribute to CFR activities and events. Each year, candidates from the intelligence community are nominated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
For more information on the David Rockefeller Studies Program, contact: