About Nuclear Scholars Initiative

The Nuclear Scholars Initiative aims to provide top graduate students and young professionals from around the country with a unique venue to interact, dialogue and gain in-depth knowledge on nuclear weapons.

Benefits/Opportunities

Addressing an increasingly complex array of nuclear weapons challenges in the future will require talented next generation professionals with the necessary technical and policy expertise to contribute to sound decision-making on nuclear issues over time. PONI runs an annual Nuclear Scholars Initiative for a group of select graduate students and young professionals from diverse and inclusive backgrounds and perspectives. The Nuclear Scholars Initiative aims to provide top graduate students and young professionals from around the country with a unique venue to interact, dialogue and gain in-depth knowledge on nuclear weapons. Those accepted into the program are hosted once per month at CSIS in Washington, DC where they participate in daylong workshops that include discussions with senior experts, professional development seminars, break-out discussions, debates, simulations and table-top exercises. Topics of discussion range from deterrence, regional analysis, arms control, nonproliferation, nuclear security, and emerging technology.

Over the course of the six-month program, Scholars are required to prepare a research product and write a short analysis piece for the Next Generation Nuclear Network. Scholars can produce a variety of research products including a journal article for PONI’s annual journal, an op-ed, a presentation for a PONI conference or participate in a collaborative research project. Scholars will be given the opportunity to develop their research product in teams throughout the program and be matched with senior experts and members of the Mid-Career Cadre to review their research.

PONI can cover travel costs for select participants located outside of the Washington, DC. The 2021 class will run from January to June 2021. 

Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, we are prepared to host the meetings virtually. At this time we can not confirm if the meetings will be in-person or not. The program will run from January 2021 – June 2021. If you are selected, you will be notified the dates of the meetings and if they will be held in-person or virtually. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns reach out to Simone Williams at swilliams@csis.org.