Accelerator Initiative

The Accelerator Initiative offers a unique mentorship and career development opportunity to a small cohort of early-career women working in nuclear policy, international security, or technology policy.

Participants in the Accelerator Initiative have the opportunity to participate in events organized by the Stanley Center as part of our nuclear policy work for one calendar year. (Travel support is provided.) Each participant develops a research question over the course of the year, to be expanded into a policy paper with support and feedback from an expert advisor of her choice.

Applications for the 2020 Accelerator Initiative are open until December 13, 2019.

Stanley Center Work in Nuclear Policy

Through our nuclear policy work, we seek to support global efforts to halt the spread and avoid the use of nuclear weapons by advancing governance solutions that manage or leverage disruptive technologies. In the last few years, this has included projects that examined the implications of additive manufacturing for nonproliferation, the cybersecurity of nuclear command and control, the utility of distributed ledger technology for nuclear safeguards, and the potential impact of social media dynamics on crisis decision-making. We advance our work on these topics by convening leading decision-makers and analysts from governments, international organizations, academia, NGOs, and the private sector.

More on our work

Participants in the Accelerator Initiative are invited to join these dialogues, hone and demonstrate their expertise, expand their networks, elevate their profiles, and deepen their interest in issues at the intersection of emerging technologies and nuclear weapons policy.

About the Policy Paper and Expert Advisor

Participants in the Accelerator Initiative develop an original policy paper for publication. The paper should examine issues that enhance understanding and awareness of the risks or opportunities associated with the effects of emerging technologies on nuclear weapons policy  (4000-6000 words in length).

As initiative participants take part in our events related to nuclear policy, they keep an eye out for interesting subject matter, potential research questions, and relevant experts who could serve as their advisor in researching and writing a policy paper. Initiative participants choose their own advisor, with Stanley Center staff facilitating the initial conversations as needed.

Advisors work with Accelerator Initiative participants in a role similar to a thesis advisor: holding regular meetings (or phone calls), discussing and developing research questions, providing feedback on a research prospectus, and reviewing drafts of the paper produced. At our discretion, the Stanley Center publishes and promotes the policy papers authored by Accelerator Initiative participants.

2020 Accelerator Initiative

The 2020 Accelerator Initiative will take place throughout the 2020 calendar year. Participants will be invited to the nuclear policy dialogues, workshops, and roundtables organized by the Stanley Center for Peace and Security (approximately one event per month). The length of events vary from an evening, to a full-day meeting, to a 3-day workshop. Locations for planned events include Vienna, New York, Seattle, DC, and California. Participants will be expected to attend events as their schedules permit. Applicants should consider the time and travel commitment before applying for the initiative.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for the Accelerator Initiative should meet the following requirements:

  • Identify as a woman working (or seeking work) in nuclear policy, international security policy, technology policy, or a related field;
  • Be within the first seven years of a career in the relevant fields; and
  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, applicants should consider their availability to travel in 2020 to attend events organized by the Stanley Center. Participants are not required to attend every event, but will be expected to attend as many as their schedule permits.

How to Apply

Applications should include the following materials:

  • Resume or CV;
  • A writing sample of less than 2500 words that demonstrates your approach to questions at the intersections of nuclear weapons policy, technology, and international security; and
  • A brief statement (one page or less) on why you are interested in participating in the Accelerator Initiative and how it would contribute to advancing your career.

Finalists will be asked to submit a letter of support from an employer or advisor supporting the candidate’s participation in the initiative, attendance at events, and writing the policy paper. (Please do not submit this letter with your initial application. You will be contacted if it is needed.)

To apply for the initiative, submit the application materials to Luisa Kenausis with the subject line “Accelerator Initiative Application – [your name]” by 11:59 PM, Friday, December 13, 2019.

All applicants will be notified of final decisions before the end of December, 2019.

Still have questions? Ready to apply?

Contact us for more information.