19 Fellowships for Peace and Conflict Studies to Apply to in 2024

Feb 14, 2024
A large group of diverse people from all over the globe holding a large blue placard that says peace with a vector image of a white dove holding an olive branch.
Rotary International offers a multitude of fellowships for students and professionals wanting to pursue peacebuilding and international change.

In a world of complex challenges, pursuing peace has become more crucial than ever. Peace, both a state of being and a collective endeavor, requires dedicated individuals with the knowledge and skills to address its diverse dimensions. Fellowships are pivotal in nurturing such individuals, providing a platform for learning, collaboration, and action. From supporting innovative projects by young leaders to enabling seasoned professionals to make a meaningful impact, these fellowships traverse academic, cultural, and geographical boundaries. In this article, we explore diverse fellowship opportunities that empower individuals to cultivate peace in a dynamically changing world. Discover how these programs, spanning various fields and regions, contribute to the global tapestry of peacebuilding and social change.

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Fellowships for Students:

Projects for Peace Summer Grants

Encouraging global youth, the Projects for Peace Summer Grants program funds innovative projects addressing key world conflict issues and promoting peace. 125 or more student leaders receive $10,000 to implement “Projects for Peace” worldwide, fostering skills as peacebuilders. The initiative encourages the development of scalable, innovative, and community-based projects that address the root cause of conflict. Project proposals should demonstrate a novel approach to problem-solving, sensitivity to the affected community/culture, and project sustainability. Applicants must also provide a detailed budget for how the funds will be used. The project typically will take place over the summer, and students must attend an affiliated university.

Read our interview with Lia Soorenian and Rosalyn Leban, two successful Projects for Peace grantees interested in sustainability.

USIP Peace Scholar Fellowship Program

The U.S. Institute of Peace annually awards 18 fellowships to doctoral students researching international conflict, peacebuilding, conflict management, and security studies. The program encourages applications from minority and underrepresented students interested in international relations, peace and conflict studies, security studies, diplomacy, international policymaking, and other related academic disciplines. The fellowship is 10 months long, from September to the following June, and provides $20,000 to recipients. Applicants should be at the dissertation level and participate in the annual workshop in Washington, D.C., submit progress reports, as well as attend virtual round table discussions.

Dalai Lama Fellows

The Dalai Lama Fellowship is a transformative program empowering young leaders (ages 20-35) to address global challenges such as economic disparity, violence, gender inequity, inter-religious cooperation, and environmental sustainability. Through a unique curriculum, personalized coaching, and community learning experiences, fellows engage in compassion-in-action projects in categories like health, education, social justice, and environmental sustainability. The fellowship’s Head, Heart, and Hands curriculum combines contemporary leadership theories with wisdom from contemplative traditions. Fellows also benefit from 1-on-1 coaching, small-group learning, and an annual Contemplative Leadership Assembly. Upon completion, fellows become LifeLong Fellows, continuing their journey in a supportive community, contributing back, and effecting positive change. The program, with 229 fellows from 56 countries, emphasizes diversity and lifelong commitment to leadership development.

Learn about Sara Pan Algarra’s Dalai Lama Fellowship Experience and Application Tips.

Kroc Institute’s Visiting Research Fellows Program

The Kroc Institute’s Visiting Research Fellows Program welcomes academic and alumni scholars focused on peace research for a semester or full academic year at the University of Notre Dame. The program seeks research proposals aligned with themes such as the intersection of gender, race, and class in peacebuilding, international mediation, media, technology, and peacebuilding and peace accords matrix. Academic fellows are expected to present clear project descriptions, emphasizing significance and relevance to the Kroc Institute, with options for single-semester or full-year fellowships. Application instructions include a cover letter, research project proposal, Curriculum Vitae, and two confidential letters of recommendation.

Dorothy Marchus Senesh Fellowship

The Senesh Fellowship supports women from the Global South and developing world pursuing graduate programs aligned with International Peace Research Association (IPRA) goals. The IPRA’s missions include advancing peace studies through research and investigation into the causes of conflicts and analyzing alternatives to violence. Fellows receive $5,000 per year for two years upon admission. Awards prioritize financial need, making it an excellent opportunity for impactful projects.

Rotary Peace Fellowship

The Rotary Peace Fellowship annually awards up to 130 fully funded fellowships to accomplished leaders worldwide. These centers provide a comprehensive program combining academic training, practical experience, and global networking opportunities aimed at enhancing the capabilities of peace and development professionals to serve as effective catalysts for peace. The fellowships cover tuition, fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and internship and field-study expenses. Each year, up to 50 fellowships are awarded for master’s degree programs (15-24 months) and up to 80, 1-year professional development certificate studies, catering to individuals committed to community and international service. Rotary’s approach to peace is rooted in viewing it as a dynamic expression of human development, aligning with its humanitarian service mission and focus areas.

Want to know more about the Rotary Peace Fellowship? Read an overview plus application tips from successful fellow Mark Flanigan!

Education Fellows Program

The Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue initiated the Education Fellows Program to honor Daisaku Ikeda’s educational legacy and promote research on Ikeda/Soka studies in education, Soka meaning “value-creating.” This field explores the philosophies of Japanese educators Ikeda, Toda, and Makiguchi, shaping educational practices globally. The Education Fellows Program supports doctoral dissertations, offering up to three fellows $10,000 annually for two years. Fellows engage in intrinsic and extrinsic research on Ikeda/Soka studies and attend a seminar in Cambridge, MA. The program encourages participation in conferences, networking, and ongoing collaboration to advance research in the field. Eligible candidates must be doctoral candidates beyond their coursework’s final year at an accredited U.S. or Canadian university.

Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholarship

Rotary Global Grant Scholarships provide funding for graduate-level coursework or research internationally, spanning one to four academic years. Additionally, these grants may sponsor vocational training teams, comprising professionals engaging in learning experiences abroad or imparting knowledge to local communities. Eligible fields of study should align with Rotary’s focus areas, encompassing peacebuilding, disease prevention, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education, community economic development, and the environment.

Learn about multi-fellowship winner Luisa Banchoff and how her experiences in Rotary and other programs led her to a fully funded graduate program!

Fellowships for Professionals:

KAICIID Fellows Programme

The KAICIID Fellows Programme, facilitated by the KAICIID Dialogue Centre, is a year-long hybrid training initiative designed to foster peace through interreligious and intercultural dialogue. This ongoing capacity development and networking initiative connects a diverse global community of religious leaders, educators, and dialogue practitioners spanning Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and other backgrounds. The program, comprising international and regional cohorts, involves three residential training sessions and offers small grants for fellows to execute dialogue projects aligned with the needs of their institutions and communities.

Read our exclusive interview with KAICIID Fellow Reverend Paul Mdumi here!

James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace annually presents around 15 one-year fellowships through the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program. These fellowships target outstanding recent graduates and seniors who have not begun graduate studies. Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States for 10-12 months. Junior Fellows assume roles as research assistants to senior scholars at Carnegie and receive compensation for their full-time commitment over the year. The program aims to train the next generation of international scholars to tackle global issues and peacebuilding. Eligible to work in the U.S., fellows assist senior scholars, with positions starting in October. The application process must begin with colleges and universities handling internal nominations.

Blossom Hill Foundation Fellowship

The Blossom Hill Fellowship program funds innovative initiatives addressing the needs of children and youth affected by conflicts in the Middle East. By offering fellowships to social entrepreneurs, Blossom Hill invests in the next generation of leaders aiming to break the cycle of violence in their communities. The fellowship, valued at up to $50,000 annually, supports projects positively impacting war-affected Middle Eastern communities. Fellows undergo a competitive selection process, including vetting proposed ideas, budget approval, and interviews. The program emphasizes impact measurement, sustainability, and scalability. Fellows benefit from the guidance of a “thought partner” and networking opportunities. The fellowship is renewable based on project evaluation, and successful fellows may reapply for additional funding. Evaluation focuses on personal integrity, commitment to social change, demonstrated need, innovation, and impact measurement.

Peace Corps Response Program

The Peace Corps Response Program offers short-term, impactful assignments globally for qualified individuals, particularly professionals and Returned Volunteers with advanced degrees or specialized certifications. Assignments vary from 3 to 12 months, allowing experienced individuals to contribute their skills. Applicants must be U.S. citizens aged 18 or older and meet specific eligibility criteria, including significant professional experience, medical background for Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), or past Peace Corps Volunteer service. Explore current opportunities and filter based on criteria to discover roles aligning with your interests.

Peace Corps Volunteers

Peace Corps Volunteers undertake a 27-month journey, including three months of training followed by a two-year service commitment abroad. Volunteers collaborate with governments, schools, NGOs, entrepreneurs, and other entities, contributing to sectors such as education, business, agriculture, information technology, and environmental conservation. Service locations span 75 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America, Europe, the Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. Volunteers receive a living allowance, complimentary travel, and transition rewards upon successfully completing their service. The program is open to all U.S. citizens aged 18 and above, regardless of their educational background or professional experience. Peace Corps seeks individuals with a global perspective and a dedication to making a positive impact. Refer to the website for opportunity-specific deadlines.

Community Solutions Program

The Community Solutions Program is a year-long leadership program for international professionals addressing environmental, peace and conflict resolution, transparency, and gender issues. Fellows, aged 26-39 from eligible countries, spend four months with U.S. host organizations for hands-on professional experience and improve their technical skills. Fellows also partake in a graduate-level leadership course to enhance management skills and plan project initiatives to carry on in their home communities. Benefits include J-1 visa support, travel, and a living stipend. U.S. citizens and residents are ineligible. Check the fellowship website to determine which countries are eligible in each region.

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship

The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, a highly selective national program, offers college graduates an exclusive opportunity to delve into key peace and security issues in Washington, DC. For 6-9 months, fellows work with nonprofit, public-interest organizations addressing peace and security issues. Fellows, supported by a salary, function as full-time junior staff members at their chosen organization. The program facilitates meetings between fellows and policy experts. Fellows receive office space, guidance, and access to an alumni network and can undertake a variety of activities at their host institution, including researching and writing. Candidates with prior activism or advocacy experience are encouraged to apply.

Watch the video interview with Rachel Santarsiero, who won the Herbert Scoville Fellowship and other fellowships on her way to a fully funded master’s.

Western Union Foundation Fully Funded Accelerator and Fellowship

The Western Union Foundation and Watson Institute present a fully-funded fellowship program targeting young entrepreneurs and community leaders from globally marginalized, refugee, and forcibly displaced communities. This year-long initiative aims to empower leaders with the skills and experiences necessary to enhance access to economic opportunities and foster community transformation for social change. Each Fellow stands to receive $1,000 in Seed Funding to kickstart or expand their ventures. The program includes virtual meetings and workshops on funding, team management, data, and entrepreneurship. The fellowship ends with a summit where participants put their projects to local leaders and other entrepreneurs.

Åland Islands Research Fellowship

Åland Islands Peace Institute invites global peace, law, and political science researchers for multiple weeks to several months. Applicants from around the globe are eligible to apply, especially individuals from regions with experience in territorial autonomy, sustainability, and resource management issues. The institute’s research focuses on self-government and conflict issues and broadly promotes peace. The program works towards increasing knowledge and dialogue on peaceful societal development. Due to the nature of funding, research fellowships must be planned well in advance, and the resources available may vary from year to year. Candidates should have at least a master’s degree, although a PhD is preferred.

Benjamin Lay Fellowship Program

The Benjamin Lay Fellowship Program extends a $2,000 stipend to college students participating in a 10-week leadership training and internship initiative grounded in Quaker history and values. This program fosters engagement in creative, impactful service-learning projects focusing on peace and social concerns, all endorsed by local monthly Meetings of the Religious Society of Friends. Emphasizing remote participation, the program includes a leadership development component anchored in Quaker values, providing students with a unique blend of historical insight and practical experience.

CFR International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars

The International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) offers a unique opportunity for U.S. citizens who are full-time tenured professors in the U.S. with research and teaching focused on international relations. This twelve-month fellowship provides practical experience in foreign policy through placements at U.S. federal government agencies, in Congress, or with international organizations. The program aims to bridge the gap between research and practice, enhancing the fellows’ teaching and scholarship while benefiting policymakers by exposing them to critical scholarly research on foreign policy and national security issues. The fellowship includes financial support, with the program matching 50% of the fellow’s base salary (up to $80,000) and providing assistance for moving expenses. Fellows are selected based on scholarly qualifications, professional experience, and the merits of their proposed research addressing relevant U.S. foreign policy topics.

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