Application Fellowship for Ending Bioweapons Programs


As the world continues to battle the novel coronavirus that leads to COVID-19, it is a stark reminder of the devastation biological threats can cause. And while this ongoing pandemic arose naturally, it once again proves the grave threat biological weapons still pose to international security and stability. 

The Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) is developing creative solutions that could help to end this threat. As part of this work, we are pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2020-21 Fellowship for Ending Bioweapons Programs. Applications are due by 5pm Eastern Standard Time on May 1, 2020. Two 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, to be held in 3 different U.S. locations)

  • Opportunities to produce short written products and podcasts 

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 attend 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 15, 2020.

Requirements and Benefits: The activities outlined about and related research will require approximately 15-20 hours per month, plus additional time for workshop participation. Each Fellow will receive 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 individual references who we may contact. 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 May 1, 2020.

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

Andy Weber
Senior Fellow
Council on Strategic Risks

Christine Parthemore
Chief Executive Officer
Council on Strategic Risks