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Nuclear Scholars Initiative

The Nuclear Scholars Initiative aims to provide top graduate students and young professionals from around the country with a unique venue to interact and dialogue with senior experts on nuclear weapons issues.


Addressing an increasingly complex array of nuclear weapons challenges in the future will require talented young people with the necessary technical and policy expertise to contribute to sound decisionmaking on nuclear issues over time. To that end, PONI runs a yearly Nuclear Scholars Initiative for a group of select graduate students and young professionals. Those accepted into the program are hosted once per month at CSIS in Washington, DC, where they participate in daylong workshops with senior government officials, policy experts, and technical experts. Over the course of the 6-month program, Scholars are required to prepare a research product and write a blog post. The research product options include a journal article, an op-ed, a presentation or a collaborative research product. Scholars will be given the opportunity to develop their research product in teams throughout the program, be matched with a senior expert to review their research, and later publish in a journal produced by CSIS, present at a PONI conference or publish externally. The program runs from January to June.

The application cycle for the 2019 class is now closed.