International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars

The Program

The International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) for Tenured International Relations Scholars offers tenured academics from a variety of scholarly backgrounds practical experience in the foreign policy-making field. The fellowship is geared toward professors whose research and teaching is connected to peace and security issues and who seek a twelve-month placement at a U.S. federal government agency, in Congress, or with an international organization.

The fellowship helps close the gap between research and practice on peace and security as well as enrich the teaching and scholarship of tenured academics by enabling selected fellows to become practitioners. The program also benefits policymakers by exposing them to critical scholarly research relevant to the foreign policy and national security issues facing the United States and the world.

The IAF-TIRS exposed me to a wealth of new information about U.S. foreign policy pertaining to security, economics, and humanitarian matters. I use these insights to inform my teaching to better link theory and practice in international affairs in the classroom.
George Shambaugh, Associate Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University (2017 IAF for TIRS)


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Applicants must be full-time tenured professors at a U.S. college or university whose research and teaching focuses on international relations or U.S. foreign policy.
  • Applicants must have arranged a paid sabbatical with their home university.
  • Applicants must hold a PhD.
  • Applicants must propose to spend a year working on peace and security issues in the U.S. government or at an international organization.
  • Strong preference is given to candidates with no significant previous work experience in the U.S. government or at an international organization.

Fellowship Award

The fellowship is for twelve months. Selected fellows will begin their one-year fellowship between June and September. Fellows must arrange a paid sabbatical with their home universities. The program will match 50 percent of the fellow’s base salary for the academic year at their university (up to a maximum of $80,000 for the year) as well as provide modest assistance for moving expenses for those who need to relocate for the fellowship. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance. No indirect costs can be deducted from the stipend award.

For those seeking to spend the fellowship year in the U.S. government, CFR will work with the fellow to identify a U.S. government agency willing to serve as a host. The placement is made at the discretion of the host agency. Placement at some U.S. government agencies may be contingent on the fellow’s successfully obtaining a security clearance, which is granted solely by the U.S. government.


How To Apply

The IAF for Tenured International Relations Scholars program is on hold and will not be accepting applications for the 2022-2023 fellowship year. Interested candidates who meet the program's eligibility requirements should check back for updates beginning in spring 2022.


A list of former fellows can be found online by visiting the Historical Roster of CFR’s International Affairs Fellows for Tenured International Relations Scholars.

Kasahun Woldemariam
As a fellow based at the U.S. Mission to the African Union in Ethiopia, I gained invaluable experiences that will inform my research and teaching for years to come, linking theory with practice and helping students to connect their knowledge to actual decision-making.
Kasahun Woldemariam, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Spelman College (2018–2019 IAF for TIRS)

2020-21 Fellows

Affiliations at the time of the award.

Michael Woldemariam

Associate Professor, Boston University

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

Steven A. Cook, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies and Director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars

[email protected]