Call for Applications: Fellowship for Ending Bioweapons

As the world continues to battle COVID-19, it is a stark reminder of the devastation biological threats can cause. Biological threats still pose grave risks to international security and stability, whether they arise by nature, by accident—or through deliberate work to weaponize infectious diseases. 

The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) is developing creative solutions that could help to address this threat. As part of this work, we are pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2021-22 Fellowship for Ending Bioweapons. Applications are due by 5pm Eastern Standard Time on April 7, 2021. Four to five Fellows will be selected. 

In this one-year Fellowship, you will work with leading experts committed to biological threat reduction, including former government officials who helped dismantle Cold War-era bioweapons programs, private and public sector innovators, and more. Activities will include:

  • Monthly Zoom meetings with mentors from CSR and its network, in which Fellows will explore specific questions focused on reducing bioweapons threats.
  • Three workshops among Fellows and select experts to deeply explore dynamics behind ending state-scale bioweapons programs (timed for after the COVID-19 crisis abates, the current plan is to hold them in 3 different U.S. locations with discussions that may occur during the work week).
  • Opportunities to produce written products, podcasts, and more. 

At the end of this Fellowship, you will have deep knowledge of what it will take to end bioweapons programs and a strong network among biosecurity and biotechnology experts. Moreover, you will have contributed unique ideas to the battle against biological threats. 

Eligibility: The Fellowship is open to applicants with a graduate degree or progressing through a PhD program, and demonstrable interest in analyzing and addressing biological threats. Fellows must be citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada.

Location & Travel: Fellows may work from any geographic location with strong Internet access for conducting monthly video conferences. Fellows must commit to attending three workshops currently planned to be held in person in different U.S. cities. Travel costs will be covered by CSR. 

Duration: The fellowship lasts for one year, beginning May 17, 2021.

Requirements and Benefits: The activities and related research discussed above will require approximately 15-20 hours per month, plus additional time for workshop participation. Some of this time may be during normal work hours. Each Fellow will receive a stipend of USD $1,000 per month.

Application Instructions: All applicants should complete a CSR form at this link and upload a resume, cover letter, and writing sample under 700 words. In your cover letter, please suggest two individuals who we may contact for recommendations. CSR will conduct telephone interviews with a small number of applicants in finalizing the selection of Fellows. 

Applications are due by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on April 7, 2021.

About the Council on Strategic Risks

The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) is a nonprofit, non-partisan security policy institute devoted to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing core systemic risks to security in the 21st Century, with special examination of the ways in which these risks intersect and exacerbate one another. Its team members, advisors, and Board have experience in some of the highest U.S. government leadership positions in biosecurity. They hold deep ties to leading biotech innovators and current government officials, and have extensive global networks. This Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of Open Philanthropy.

Project Leads

Christine Parthemore
Chief Executive Officer
Council on Strategic Risks

Andy Weber
Senior Fellow
Council on Strategic Risks


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