Nuclear Security Fellows Program

Nuclear Security Fellows Program


With the support of the Stanton Foundation, the Security Studies Program hosts the Nuclear Security Fellows Program for junior faculty as well as pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scholars. The Nuclear Security Fellows Program seeks to stimulate the development of the next generation of thought leaders in nuclear security by supporting research that will advance policy-relevant understanding of the subject.  With the support of the Stanton Foundation, fellowships are available for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scholars and for junior faculty.  Fellows are expected to produce policy-relevant research, including book manuscripts, draft articles, dissertations, chapters in edited volumes, or reports.  Nuclear security as a subject of study is an umbrella term that includes nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, nuclear weapons, nuclear force posture, and, as it relates to nuclear security, nuclear energy. 


Fellowships are available to scholars with a PhD or equivalent degree (e.g., MD or JD) from the United States or abroad.  PhD candidates must have at least three chapters of their dissertation completed, and their dissertation topic must be in nuclear security.  Proposed research for the fellowship must be consistent with the mission of the program described above.

Stipend Information

All fellows will receive a ten-month stipend.  Fellows are expected to be in residence at MIT.  Stipends at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and junior faculty level will be competitive and commensurate with experience.  MIT’s health insurance is included.  Office space and supplies, use of a computer, and access to MIT’s libraries and other facilities will be provided.

Application Procedures

Each applicant should submit a packet that includes:

  • Completed one-page form (download here)
  • Prospectus for research project or dissertation (no more than 1,500 words), including a statement regarding how it relates to nuclear security
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation (sent directly from the recommender to the email address below)
  • A short writing sample pertinent to the application (pre-docs should submit at least three completed dissertation chapters)
  • A graduate school transcript (for pre-doctoral candidates only)

Please do not submit supplemental materials such as books or lengthy manuscripts

Please submit all application materials electronically, by email, to

Applications for these fellowships for the 2024-2025 academic year will be accepted until December 8, 2023.  Decisions will be announced in January 2024.


The Stanton Foundation

Frank Stanton, the president of CBS News from 1946-1971, established The Stanton Foundation. During his 25 years at the network's helm, Stanton turned an also-ran radio network into a broadcasting powerhouse. Stanton died in 2006, aged 98 years.

According to information provided by the foundation, Stanton was a strong defender of free speech and was determined to use television as an "instrument of civic education." For example, in 1960, he supported the first televised presidential debates with Richard Nixon and John Kennedy, which required a special act of Congress before they could proceed. These debates were credited with helping Kennedy win the presidency, and have since become a staple of U.S. presidential campaigns.

Throughout his life, Stanton was interested in international security and U.S. foreign policy. He served on several presidential commissions charged with preparing the United States for the challenges of living in a nuclear world. In 1954, Dwight Eisenhower appointed Stanton to a committee convened to develop the first comprehensive plan for the nation's survival following a nuclear attack. Stanton was responsible for developing plans for national and international communication in the aftermath of a nuclear incident. According to a statement from the foundation, "The Stanton Foundation aims, through its support of the Nuclear Security Fellows program, to perpetuate his efforts to meet [such] challenges."