Scoville Peace Fellowship

The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship was established in 1987 to recruit and train the next generation of policy and advocacy leaders on a range of international peace and security issues. The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship Program invites recent college and graduate school alumni to apply for full-time, six-to-nine month fellowships in Washington, DC. The fellowship was established to honor longtime nuclear arms control activist Dr. Herbert (Pete) Scoville, Jr., a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and dedicated public servant, who encouraged young people to become involved in arms control and national security. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide an opportunity for college graduates to gain practical knowledge and experience by contributing to the efforts of nonprofit, public-interest organizations working on peace and security issues.

The fellowship ensures a pipeline of the brightest, most dedicated, and diverse next-generation experts into leading think tanks and advocacy groups in order to inspire creative new approaches to the pervasive challenges to peace and security. Its goal is to bridge the gap between academia and the professional world by providing an entree for mission-driven grads eager to learn about and contribute to public-interest organizations.

Twice yearly, the fellowship’s Board of Directors selects a small group of outstanding individuals to spend six to nine months in Washington, DC. Scoville Fellows work full time at the participating organization of their choice. In the program’s first thirty-three years, one hundred and ninety fellowships have been awarded.

Outstanding individuals will be selected to work with nonprofit, public-interest organizations addressing peace and security issues. Applications are especially encouraged from candidates with a strong interest in these issues who have prior experience with public-interest activism or advocacy.

Scoville Fellows will choose to work with one of the twenty-six organizations participating in the program. With the assistance of alumni, board, and staff, fellows will select a placement which best matches their interests and the needs of the host organization. Participating organizations provide office space and support, supervision and guidance for fellows’ work. With the exception of Congressional lobbying, fellows may undertake a variety of activities, including research, writing, and organizing that support the goals of their host organization.


National Deadline: October and January

Each new Scoville Fellow gets to choose an organization that best suits his or her experience, education, and substantive interests. The organizations in turn meet with Scoville finalists ahead of their fellowship interviews; this process helps both finalists and organizations understand how potential fellows’ experience and interests might fit with organizations’ goals and needs. Once they each select an organization and begin their fellowships, Scoville Fellows have the opportunity to support research and/or advocacy efforts, and may undertake projects that their organizations may not have the capacity to initiate otherwise.

Each Scoville Fellow is supervised at the host organization by senior level staff. Fellows work on such issues as the control of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction; conventional arms sales; energy and environmental security; and regional security and peacekeeping. Depending on the fellow’s experience, the organization chosen, and the projects assigned, fellows may have the opportunity to conduct research for others in their office and write articles, blogs, factsheets, letters to the editor, op-eds, and reports. Fellows frequently help organize talks and conferences sponsored by their host organization, and participate in advocacy activities. Such activities may include the building of public awareness through outreach, participation in strategy and the crafting of effective messaging on an issue. Fellows may focus on a single project or topic for the duration of their fellowship or might work on several issues concurrently or sequentially.

The fellowship is not intended to provide office space for independent research that is unrelated to the work of the host organization. Fellows may also have the opportunity to attend coalition meetings, congressional hearings, and policy briefings. The program arranges meetings for the fellows with policy experts to facilitate discussions of issues and solicit career advice. Through their various activities, fellows have the opportunity to meet a broad network of people and learn about and experience the processes related to peace and security issues in Washington, DC.

Upon beginning their fellowships, fellows sign a free standing contract with his/her supervisors. The contract outlines the project(s) that the fellow will work on during the fellowship period as well as the products–research, publications, conferences–that will result. They also sign a document, prepared by the fellowship, that lists the expectations of the program and outlines the responsibilities of each host organization and fellow. These documents help both the fellow and his/her host organization understand the parameters of the fellowship. Each new fellow also selects two mentors–one an alum of the program, the other a member of the Scoville Fellowship board of directors–to provide counsel and support.

Scoville Fellows create a project, in partnership with their host organizations, related to one of four broad areas:
  • Nuclear Nonproliferation and WMD. This category includes but is not limited to: Nuclear nonproliferation and security; prevention of the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; defense spending and procurement; U.S. interactions with current, de facto, or potential nuclear powers; protection of nuclear and radiological materials.
  • Climate and Security nexus. This category includes but is not limited to: environmental concerns with security implications; disaster response with military personnel; international tensions arising from changing arctic region; regional and ethnic tensions exacerbated by resource competition.
  • Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. This category includes but is not limited to: current and potential incursions within or between neighboring countries; conventional weapons and arms trade; cross-border refugee movements; ethnic tensions with security implications; atrocity prevention; building international and regional institutions to resolve conflicts; development and implementation of novel conflict resolutions strategies; counterterrorism and terrorism reduction strategies; supporting international agreements that can lead to peace, prosperity, and sustainability.
  • Emerging Technology Threats. This category includes but is not limited to: questions related to the development, deployment, and use of drones, artificial intelligence, cyber warfare, satellites and space in a security context.
  • Global Health Security. This category includes biosecurity and pandemics.

Fellows receive a salary of $3,600 per month and basic health insurance compensation, plus travel expenses to Washington, DC. The program also provides $1,000 per fellow for professional development to attend relevant conferences or meetings that could cover travel, accommodations, and registration fees, or to take a language or policy course. The program arranges meetings for the fellows with policy experts and social networking events with alumni. Fellows also receive mentoring from a board member and a former fellow. Some lenders may permit Scoville Fellows to defer college loan payments during their fellowship. Check with your individual lenders.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must:

  • Have completed a baccalaureate degree by the time the fellowship commences
  • Preference is given to United States citizens, although a fellowship to a foreign national residing in the U.S. is awarded periodically
  • United States citizens living in the U.S. or overseas are eligible to apply
  • Non-U.S. citizens may only apply if they live in the U.S. and have a U.S. work visa for the duration of the fellowship. Non-U.S. citizens living outside the United States are not eligible to apply
  • The Scoville Fellowship is not intended for students or scholars interested in pursuing independent research in Washington, DC.

Selection Criteria

Prospective fellows are expected to demonstrate excellent academic accomplishments and a strong interest in issues of peace and security. Graduate study, a college major, course work, or substantial independent reading that reflects the substantive focus of the fellowship is also a plus. Prior experience with public-interest activism or advocacy is highly desirable. It is preferred, but not required, that such activities be focused on peace and security issues.

Experience with public-interest activism or advocacy such as:

  • Received a bachelor’s or master’s degree within the past few years
  • Have a background and strong interest in one or more of the approved policy issues addressed by the fellowship [link to list of issues]
  • Excellent academic accomplishments
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Prior experience with public-interest activism or advocacy is highly desirable
  • Considering a career working on international peace and security issues with public-interest organizations, the Federal Government, academia, or media

Preference will be given to individuals who have not had substantial prior public-interest or government experience in the Washington, DC area.

  • Completed online application form
  • Full curriculum vitae
  • A personal essay of no more than 750 words discussing the candidate’s qualifications, interests, fellowship objectives and career goals
  • A policy/opinion essay of no more than 750 words answering the following question: What is the greatest emerging threat to international peace and security and why? 
  • Official transcript(s) detailing the candidate’s entire college academic record including undergraduate, graduate and foreign study in a single PDF
  • Two (2) letters of reference

In-depth descriptions of each of these components can be found on the Scoville website

  • Complete two NCA forms:
  • Launch your online application 
  • Complete and submit application by one of the National Deadlines in either October or January