KU Security Affairs Research Fellowship

Security Affairs Research Fellowship. Two open hands painted with to look like the world map. Africa, Europe, and part of Asia on the left had, Americas on the right hand.

This paid, semester-long fellowship provides students with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the global security environment and how the U.S. military determines the operational environment. The fellowship is a cooperative project of the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Fort Leavenworth, KU Center for Global and International Studies (CGIS), and KU Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREES).


The goal of FMSO is to examine unconsidered and understudied foreign perspectives (i.e. non-American perspectives) related to defense and security issues. The selected student will conduct research using unclassified, open-source materials, select pertinent foreign-language articles, translate an appropriate excerpt, and then write a commentary on the importance of the topic in understanding the operational environment. Some of these findings may be published in Operational Environment Watch (OEW), a monthly e-journal that presents non-American perspectives regarding unique aspects of defense and security issues. Among the users of this research are U.S. and foreign universities and organizations, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and throughout the U.S. Army and Department of Defense.


The student will be expected to submit a minimum of one commentary per month. This fellowship will be conducted remotely however the student will be asked to attend approximately three meetings per semester on the KU Lawrence campus to discuss the writing process and focus with FMSO staff. The successful applicant will receive $1,000 for tuition at KU. This amount will be paid directly to Student Account Services at the beginning of the semester. If more than one outstanding student applies, the top achieving student will receive the paid fellowship and the other(s) will receive unpaid fellowships.

All fellows, whether paid or unpaid, will receive the same benefits regarding learning opportunities and access to FMSO staff. Upon completion of the fellowship, the student will give a presentation on the submitted commentaries and fellowship experience to faculty and students. The student will receive a formal, official letter of recognition from the FMSO Director, documenting his or her expertise and work experience.

The fellowship is a great opportunity to learn more about global security and military operational environment analysis, deepen knowledge of a particular region or topic, and discover how open source foreign perspective materials are used in developing solid research products. It will require, on average, 10 hours a week for the duration of the semester.  


In addition to tuition assistance, students have the opportunity to receive the following benefits:

  • Publication in Operational Environment Watch;

  • Practical application of REES-studies;

  • Guided work experience in security analysis.


Required: KU graduate student or exceptionally well-prepared undergraduate student with deep interest in and knowledge of a specific geographic region; excellent research and writing skills. 

Preferred: Students with knowledge and foreign language skills of Asia Pacific, Northeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Balkans, Russia, Eurasia, and Central Asia. Preference will be given to students enrolled in a program through CGIS or CREES. 

How to Apply

The deadline for this fellowship has passed for this year. Please direct any questions to Dr. Esra Predolac at Esrap@ku.edu