The Monterey Trialogue Initiative (MTI) is a new and recurring annual program that will equip, educate, and engage young experts from China, Russia, and the West to think innovatively, inclusively, and internationally about global challenges. Lasting eight months, the fully-funded program is designed to take place alongside work or study.

Flags of several countries on either side of the corner of a building on campus

What does the program involve?

Every year, we will select fifteen to eighteen new fellows from China, Russia, and the West, using a rigorous application process. The MTI takes place mostly online, offering special lectures, roundtables, and opportunities to engage with leading experts from China, Russia, and the West.  Together, they will tackle five modules, comprising: Climate Change, Cyber Security, Nuclear Proliferation, International Systems and Civilizational Cooperation. Fellows will also have access to:

  1. An online hub – a website that functions as a platform for the interchange of nonconformist thinking and unadulterated ideas. This is a space for direct conversations that bypass conventional constraints on what is possible, including a Global Voices Series, Virtual Reality Rooms, Expert Insight Videos, Policy Papers, and other innovations.

  2. Monthly expert trialogues - roundtables where three leading experts – one from each region (China, Russia, the West) – debate topical questions on our core module challenges.

  3. Annual in-person week-long convention in Vienna. This will be the crowning experience of eight months of training, allowing fellows and experts to disseminate and discuss ideas at leisure.

Who will deliver the Monterey Trialogue Initiative?

Leading scholars and intellectual behemoths from China, Russia, and the West will deliver the expert-led components of the MTI, spanning Tutorials, Training, Roundtables, and Seminars. For this, we can call on a wide range of expertise from all regions and spectrums from our previous work and initiatives.

The MTI program will be overseen by two academics with years of experience in policy engagement, education, and content creation: Professor Anna Vassilieva, founding director of the Monterey Initiative in Russian Studies, which enhances the understanding of Russia among U.S. graduate students; and Dr. Jade McGlynn, director of the Monterey Trialogue Initiative and a tutor and course developer for the Oxford Opportunity Humanities Bridge, an annual hybrid skills-based education program.

The program will run from April to December 2022. With the exception of the online residential at the end of the course, which will be hosted in a place that is easy for everyone to visit, the program is run entirely online.

Why the Monterey Trialogue Initiative?

  • Rethinking international relations: the MTI places empathy at its heart. It is about envisaging a new way to practice international relations, looking beyond national confines to embrace and exchange the human experience. Be part of that change.  

  • Educational enhancement: Fellows will enjoy a range of educational and training opportunities, from negotiations task forces to cultural diplomacy workshops. 

  • Joining a community: The MTI is envisaged as the first step in creating the community of young, creative, global thinkers the world needs. After the Fellowship ends, fellows will remain a part of the MTI alumni community, invited to special events and offered further publication opportunities and support from their peers and the leadership team.  

  • Grow your professional network: Fellow will have access to leading experts – and their expertise – during the MTI, allowing them to develop connections that are important both to the ongoing success of our program and to their own careers. 

  • Publication opportunities: All MTI fellows will be provided with ample publication opportunities in various formats.

How to Apply

We are looking for bright (post)graduate students and emerging practitioners with a demonstrable interest in foreign policy and relations between the West, Russia and China. Specifically, we want to invite North American, European, Chinese, and Russian applicants who possess the following skills, strengths, and interests:

  • A top-grade undergraduate and/or graduate degree from a leading university in International Relations, Area Studies, or a closely related field
  • Enthusiasm and open-mindedness to engage with new and challenging topics and viewpoints
  • Fluency in English and one of either Russian or Chinese
  • A demonstrable interest in the international culture, politics, and history
  • Cultural sensitivity and empathy
  • Excellent time management skills: Applicants should be able to commit around 12-15 hours a month to the MTI (reading, writing blogs, attending roundtables, listening to lectures, etc.)
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Experience of and/or interest in working in the policy world

For the application, we would like you to send us the following:

  • Your CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Your course transcript (if relevant)
  • The details for one academic referee
  • A sample of your written work
  • The answers to the following questions. Answers should be no longer than 250 words in English:
  1. Which one policy would make the world a safer place and why?
  2. What is the main obstacle to better cultural understanding between the West and Russia OR China?
  3. As a fellow, what skills and attributes will you be able to contribute to the Monterey Trialogue Initiative and to your peers?

Fellowship applications will be open shortly.