An Insider’s Look at the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Fellowship Experience

Dec 16, 2020
Gabriella Gricius, a current North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Fellow

The North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Fellowship (NAADSN) supports five graduate student research assistants each year to conduct policy-relevant research on contemporary defense and security topics.  To facilitate their intellectual growth and professional training, fellows will be exposed to advanced research techniques, methods and theories from various disciplines in a mutually-supportive team setting. The program prepares fellows for subsequent careers in the Canadian Armed Forces, public service, private sector, or not-for-profit sectors.

We talked to Gabriella Gricius, a current North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Fellow, to learn more about the program and get some application tips.  

1. What inspired you to apply for the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Fellowship? 

I applied for the NAADSN Fellowship in August 2020 because I thought it offered a really interesting opportunity to get involved in studying human security and the Arctic in a format outside of university. What was also very appealing to me was, as I am a Fellow during the pandemic, that I am able to do my duties completely remotely while also attending school full-time. In many cases, fellowships require an in-person presence and this remote ability made the opportunity even more exciting. 

I’ve recently started my Ph.D. at Colorado State University in Political Science focusing on International Relations, Comparative Politics and Environmental Policy. From the get-go, I knew I wanted to write my dissertation and relate it to the Arctic in some way, shape, or form. So, once I started classes, I also started looking for opportunities to work within the Arctic space or doing something that had to do with Arctic policy. My main goals were to gain more information about the Arctic and use the research skills that I had developed both during my Ph.D. and MA towards the Arctic and find new interesting avenues for research. 

2. What have you enjoyed most about your fellowship so far?

So far, the fellowship has been absolutely wonderful! I’m working with Dr. Wilfred Greaves on putting together a literature review of human security in Europe. Generally, this involves setting aside time each week to do this research with twice-monthly meetings where we discuss my progress. NAADSN also offers a wide range of events that are very interesting for my research! There are always webinars offered on a variety of different topics such as Arctic security, Russian & American actions in the Arctic, and Indigenous Voices amongst many other interesting fields. While the work itself is fairly isolated (I work at home in my office), I quite like the ability to work on my own schedule and relatively independently. Dr. Greaves has also given me the opportunity to extend my research into a variety of different formats, publish it if I want to, and also apply what I’ve learned in different contexts. 

3. What tips would you give others applying to the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Fellowship? 

To my knowledge, NAADSN offers fellowships as they require them for certain projects. I was lucky enough to find the call for applications on Twitter and applied soon after. The process was pretty straightforward – I applied and received the information that I had been accepted a few short weeks later. For this fellowship, I think one of the most important aspects of my application was my ability to speak German and Dutch fluently because it’s played an important role in this particular project. 

Gabriella Gricius is a Ph.D. Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Colorado State University in the subfields of International Relations, Environmental Policy, and Comparative. She is also a Graduate Fellow at the North American and Arctic Security & Defence Network (NAADSN) with Trent University. Her research focuses on Arctic politics, critical security and decolonial theory as well as Russian foreign policy in the Arctic. Shealso writes for a variety of online publications including Foreign Policy, Global Security Review, the European Leadership Network, Responsible Statecraft, and Riddle Russia amongst many others. She is fluent in English and German and has working proficiency in Dutch and Russian. 

For the last year, Gabriella worked as the Director of Research for The International Scholar, a project aimed at introducing 80+ young scholars to research in International Relations. Prior to that, she acted as a Senior Research Associate for the Public International Law and Policy Group’s Amsterdam (PILPG-NL) office for three years.

Interested in applying? Bookmark the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Fellowship to your ProFellow account.

© Victoria Johnson 2020, all rights reserved