Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program

UCI (Big 7 Pre-Application) Mandatory Advising Deadline:

October 29, 2019 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time for Fall 2020 fellowship placements

Access the Carnegie Junior Fellows Pre-Application between September and October annually to begin the mandatory advising process.

For reference only: 2019 Carnegie Application Cover Form and Instructions/FAQ


The Endowment’s James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program offers 12 to 14 one-year, paid fellowships to provide research assistance to Associates working on various Carnegie Endowment projects such as democracy, conflict & governance, U.S. foreign policy & diplomacy, nuclear policy, technology & international affairs, Middle East policy, South Asia policy, China policy & Japan policy & Economic (Asia Program) policy, Russia/Eurasia policy, and Geo-economic and Strategy policy.

Junior Fellows have the opportunity to conduct research for books, co-author journal articles and policy papers, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, activists, journalists and government officials.


Applicants must be excellent UCI graduating seniors or students who have graduated during the previous academic year. Graduate students are ineligible.

As this is a paid, full-time position, you must be eligible to work in the United States for a full 12 months following your graduation, from August 1 to July 31. Students on F-1 visas who are eligible to work for the full year term may apply.

The fellowship does not stipulate a minimum GPA. However, to be competitive, SOP advisors recommend that applicants achieve at least a 3.7 GPA and demonstrate a strong record of noteworthy accomplishment, professional competence, and dedication to ambitious career goals in international affairs or academia. Relevant qualifications may include completion of a significant amount of coursework relating to the proposed field of research, 1 or more years of research experience, publications or presentations, and/or significant work experience/internships relevant to the selected research area.

Certain research programs require candidates to possess foreign language fluency or demonstrate significant academic background in a specific area, such as quantitative data analysis.

Please note that external scholarship agencies will consider all of your credit-bearing coursework from any college or institution as part of the review process (including CSU, community colleges, private colleges or other UC campuses/Extension programs, and including units earned while in high school). Grades from other colleges will be included in calculation of your overall GPA for eligibility purposes.

SOP Required Advising Process

Campus endorsement (nomination) is a required component of the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program application. You may NOT apply directly to the Carnegie Endowment. Working with SOP staff advisors during Fall quarter to produce a competitive fellowship application is mandatory.

To begin the SOP advising process, in late October, graduating seniors, and alumni within 1 year of graduation complete a Carnegie Junior Fellows Pre-Application. Candidates select and apply to a specific research program at Carnegie. This research area determines applicable selection criteria for your placement (such as required language or data analysis skills) and also the application essay questions to which a candidate must respond.

In early November, SOP staff review Pre-Applications, determine whether you are eligible for the scholarship and the research program you have chosen, and meet with potential applicants to discuss their candidacy and subsequent steps. Eligible candidates will receive an invitation to join our Big 7 Canvas Course, where you will find prompts, deadlines, and detailed instructions for how to prepare the following application first-draft materials, which will be used in the nomination review committee meeting.

All candidates submit:

  1. A 1-page Application Cover Form;
  2. A 1-page Essay on why you would like to be a James C. Gaither Junior Fellow;
  3. A 1-2 page Resume or C.V., targeting the desired qualifications for the specific research program you have selected;
  4. Transcripts for all coursework for which you have received college credit;
  5. A 3-page Essay responding to the prompt for their selected research program;
  6. 2 Letters of Recommendation, submitted to SOP, from faculty or other supervisors who can attest to your research qualifications.

Please note: As of late September 2019, 2020 application materials have not yet been distributed to campus representatives, but will be available in early October and distributed to eligible students who complete the UCI Pre-Application. In the meantime, you may refer to the 2019 Carnegie Application Cover Form and Instructions/FAQ as samples. Please note that the 3-page essay prompts change every year.

Recommenders should provide signed letters on letterhead directly to SOP by email at, campus mail (zot code 5695), or dropped off in person at our office (193 Science Library, in the Writing Center). Draft letters, or supportive comments from recommenders, that are received by November 6, 2019 will receive consideration in the campus endorsement (nomination) process. Letters for the 2 UCI nominees will be due on November 26, 2019.

2 nominees will receive detailed feedback for revision of their materials in November, and work closely with staff advisors in December to prepare a final revision for submission to Carnegie.

Selection Procedures

Fellows are selected from a pool of nominees from close to 400 colleges. UCI may nominate 2 graduating seniors or recent alumni to receive endorsement on the campus level.

After submitting applications for final review by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about 30-40 nominees will receive interviews, from which 12-14 Junior Fellows will be selected. Applications are judged on the quality of the written essay, related academic study and/or work experience, grades, recommendations, and personal interviews.

FEBRUARY: Students selected for interviews will be notified via phone. Students not selected for interviews will receive a letter (with a copy to the participating school).

FEBRUARY-EARLY MARCH: Approximately 30-40 finalists will be interviewed.

MARCH 31: Final selections will be made by this date and candidates will be notified.

AUGUST 1: All fellowships begin.


Junior Fellowships are one-year paid positions, beginning in August of each year. 2019-20 Junior Fellows will receive a gross salary of approximately $3,291 per month (equivalent to $39,500 annually). A full benefits package is also provided.

For More Information

Further information is available on the Carnegie website. Potential applicants would be wise to look over the available research programs and recent publications to understand the Carnegie Endowment’s unique perspective and focuses.

Questions about the campus advising and endorsement (nomination) process may be directed to the Scholarship Opportunities Program at 949-824-0189 or We are located within the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication, on the first floor of Science Library (Building 520).

SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only.

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