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The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies presents a one-of-a-kind curriculum that combines advanced language training with experiential learning and international practicum.

Advanced Russian language students who plan to pursue careers in a range of policy spheres can gain a nuanced, accurate, and clear-eyed understanding of contemporary Russia that can be applied in U.S. policy-making circles, NGOs, and the international business community.

Research Trip to the Russian Far East

A fully funded experience, the research trip takes successful applicants to Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, and other cities in the Russian Far East to meet with high-ranking international affairs officials and journalists, as well as researchers and professors at prestigious academic institutions. Participants use these unique resources to complete large-scale research projects relating to this key region. Learn More

Internships and Research Projects

GIRS supports its students in undertaking internships and research projects in the Russian Federation, helping them identify opportunities through which to pursue their academic interests and funding their research activities. In 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. In 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.  In the 2017, students interned at the nonproliferation-focused NGO, the PIR Center and will attend the 2017 Moscow Nonproliferation Conference, organized by the Center for Energy and Security Studies."

Learn more about past internships and participants on our blog.


GIRS has funds available for three Institute students to undertake an internship and/or research in Russia in summer/fall 2018. Funding covers round-trip travel, accommodation allowance, and miscellaneous expenses. Only students with advanced Russian language skills will be considered.

Inquiries may be addressed to Professor Anna Vassilieva.

Three students will be selected based on the following:

  • An essay in Russian describing your background and interest in Russia, three-pages long and submitted by email to Professor Anna Vassilieva by April 1

  • An up-to-date résumé

  • A detailed research/internship proposal, including desired placement, focus of research/internship, and a deliverable (in English or Russian)

  • An oral interview after review of the above submissions

Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection by April 15