Scholarships are available for internships and/or research projects in Russia in the summer or fall. Funding covers round-trip travel, an accommodation allowance, and miscellaneous expenses. Only students with advanced Russian language skills will be considered.
- 2018: Students will travel to Moscow in September 2018 to research the current state of US-Russia private-sector and university-to-university cooperation and the effect on multi-track diplomacy. The students will seek to identify successful areas of cooperation and will produce a written report of their findings in English and in Russian. They will also provide recommendations for future areas of student exchange between MIIS and MGIMO.
- 2017: Students interned at the nonproliferation-focused NGO, the PIR Center, and attended the 2017 Moscow Nonproliferation Conference organized by the Center for Energy and Security Studies.
- 2016: Students traveled to Moscow to engage in collaborative research projects on nonproliferation and nuclear terrorism issues, as well as to Abramtsevo to participate in a Russian-language intensive course on international security.
- 2015: Students spent time in Chechnya researching the role of women in contemporary Chechen society, in the Far East exploring carbon sinks in Russia’s forest reserves, and in Moscow undertaking peer-to-peer research collaboration on physical nuclear security.
2018 Scholarship Recipients
Lennox Atkinson & Annelise Plooster
Moscow, US-Russian Cooperation
Lennox Atkinson (left) and Annelise Plooster will travel to Moscow in September to research the current state of US-Russia private-sector and university-to-university cooperation and the effect on multitrack diplomacy. Their research will focus on US-Russia knowledge share and technology cooperation, which has overcome the barriers of sanctions enacted following the Crimean Crisis in 2014.
Panayiotis Xenophontos, a DPhil student at the University of Oxford and MSSR 2018 fellow, spent two weeks in the summer of 2018 conducting research in the archives at the Hoover Institution and the Cecil H. Green Library at Stanford University. The main archives relating to Joseph Brodsky at Stanford are the Diana Myers and the Ramunas Katilius archives; both of these individuals were friends of the poet before and after his exile from the USSR in 1972. The intimate personal correspondences between Brodsky and his friends shed light on his own poetry and the socio-political environment he lived in. Pany's research at Stanford will form an integral part of his DPhil thesis on the topic of ‘Memory in the works of Joseph Brodsky.’
Moscow, Nonproliferation Issues
In the summer of 2017, Libiao undertook an internship at the PIR Center in Moscow. The focus of his internship was a scientific paper that he prepared and defended. The topic coincided with his scientific interests: Russian-Chinese cooperation on the DPRK’s nuclear program. The PIR Center gave him access to first-hand Russian academic resources and opinions from Russian experts. He also assisted with administrative work at the PIR Center, which helped him better understand the workflow of Russian scientific research center. Libiao was able to enhance his Russian language abilities by using it in daily life as well as in a professional context.
John Nunes participated in translation/ interpretation training at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) by attending graduate-level classes and lectures in simultaneous & consecutive interpretation and written translation. John practiced with some of Russia’s most promising young interpreters, many of whom will go on to work at organizations like the United Nations, PACE, and OSCE. The advice, exercises, and experience will help John in his remaining time at MIIS and in his professional career.
Moscow, Russian NGOs
Katie Boynton traveled to Moscow to participate as one of only two Americans in the summer program of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. She conducted research on the history of Russian NGOs, particularly those involved in psychiatric work, and learned how they fit in modern-day Russia. Katie learned how Russian NGOs work and are perceived all over the world, which led to a better understanding of how the organizations can be improved.
Julia Diamond and Sarah Bidgood
Abramtsevo, Nonproliferation Issues
Julia Diamond and fellow GIRS student Sarah Bidgood participated in a Nuclear Workshop co-organized by the Nuclear Risk Reduction Project (NRR) and the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF) in collaboration with National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI). After working with their respective peer research groups, Julia and Sarah presented their projects at Stanford University. Julia also served as a participant in PIR Center’s International School on Global Security in Abramtsevo, Russia. She was the only American in the 2016 program.
Moscow, Nonproliferation Issues
Sarah Bidgood attended the PIR Center’s International School on Global Security for Young Specialists in Abramtsevo, Russia, where she was the only American of 24 participants. She then traveled to Moscow for the opening conference of the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF), a program that facilitates collaborative research projects in critical areas between young experts from both countries. Sarah is serving in a working group that focuses on nuclear security issues. The conference provided the first opportunity for Sarah to meet her teammates in person. They will continue to research and develop their topic remotely over the next eight months and will present their findings at a capstone conference at Stanford University in the spring. Sarah’s participation in both the PIR Center International School on Global Security and the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum were made possible in part by funding from the Institute’s Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS).
Grozny, Chechen Studies
Kathryn Smart worked in Moscow as an English tutor for a Chechen family, became fluent in Russian and then decided to attend the Middlebury Institute's Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program. She took the course, Islamism in Russia, in which she started researching Chechen female suicide bombers. This summer, Kathryn plans to study with the history department at Grozny State University to research a woman’s role in Chechen culture and Islam, with the goal to discover cultural and political influences on a woman’s decision to join militant groups in the North Caucasus.
Tankhoy, Environmental Issues
Meagan Braun spent the Summer of 2012 participating in the Tahoe-Baikal Institute’s Summer Environmental Exchange, where students compared development and conservation at Lake Tahoe and Lake Baikal. The team presented the resulting recommendations to the local planning agency and management team of the Baikalsky Zapovednik. This fall, Meagan will study Russia’s massive forest reserves and international funding for its use as a global carbon sink. While estimates vary, Russia’s forests absorb up to 1 billion tons of carbon annually. Russia could benefit by attracting international investment as well as conserving its natural heritage. Meagan will conduct research while in the Russian Far East on forest management, the ability to implement better management practices, and the feasibility of attracting foreign investment for conservation. Afterwards, she plans to recommend potential funding opportunities and best practices.