James C. Gaither Junior Fellows spend one year (beginning August 1st) at Carnegie in Washington, DC working with Carnegie’s senior scholars on social sciences research projects. Starting 2021-22, research assistant placements will be offered in the following fields (updated annually in October):
- Democracy, Conflict, and Governance
- U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
- Nuclear Policy
- Technology and International Affairs (including the Cyber Policy Initiative)
- Middle East Studies: requires Arabic reading proficiency.
- South Asia Studies: requires coursework in international relations theory, political theory, and international political economy, as well as quantitative data analysis skills.
- Asia Program
- China Studies: requires Mandarin reading skills.
- Japan Studies: requires Japanese reading skills.
- Economics: requires Mandarin reading skills and coursework in economics.
- Russia and Eurasia Studies: requires Russian reading skills.
- Geoeconomics and Strategy: requires coursework in U.S. foreign policy and international economic policy, as well as administrative work experience.
- NEW! Africa Program
Applicants may select only one of the available research placement types. More detailed placement information is available on the Carnegie Junior Fellows website.
Fields of Study
The fellowship program places no restrictions on the applicant’s major or field of study. However, UCI will give preference to candidates who can demonstrate the necessary social sciences methodological training, including consideration of completed and in-progress coursework and relevant research experience. Historically, most UCI nominees have majored in the School of Social Sciences.
Certain research programs require candidates to possess foreign language fluency or demonstrate significant academic background in a specific area, such as quantitative data analysis. In the competition for our two nomination slots, UCI will give preference to candidates who meet all such qualifications for their selected research placement type.
Recent Recipients & Honorable Mentions
- In 2021-22, Sauntharya Manikandan was a Finalist.
All Junior Fellows program applicants must be:
- Eligible to work in the United States for a full twelve months from approximately August 1 through July 31 following graduation. Students on F-1 visas who are eligible to work in the United States for the full year may apply for the program.
- Graduating seniors intending to finish the bachelor’s degree by July 31 (Summer Session I), or undergraduate alumni who have graduated during the last academic year.
- Anyone who has started graduate studies is ineligible for consideration.
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 research 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.
Junior Fellowships are one-year paid positions, beginning in August of each year. 2021-22 Junior Fellows will receive a semi-monthly gross salary of approximately $1,750 (equivalent to $42,000 annually). A full benefits package is also provided.
As we typically have far more applicants than our two* nomination slots, achieving campus endorsement (nomination) for this award is extremely competitive. In addition to displaying excellent academic backgrounds (in practice, a minimum 3.7 GPA) and at least one year of related research experience, nominees have well-written, carefully developed policy essays and very strong letters composed by faculty.
*Starting 2021-22: We may nominate 3 students if one of those students is from a historically underrepresented group.