Established in 1988, USIP’s Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship Program is a foundational component of the Institute’s peacebuilding mission. An integral part of USIP’s research efforts, Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows help to develop and advance knowledge, peacebuilding tools and policy recommendations for more effective strategy, policy and programs that build sustainable peace.
With this Request for Applications (RfA), USIP seeks applications from senior experts who will advance thought leadership and research supporting either of the two thematic areas: (1) Violent Extremism Disengagement and Reconciliation; or (2) Women, Gender and Nonviolent Movements.
Thematic Area One: Violent Extremism Disengagement and Reconciliation
The challenges involved in developing and implementing programs and policies to address people who leave violent extremist conflicts are manifold. Systematic approaches are needed to sustainably disengage people from violent extremism while minimizing risks to the communities involved, including intake and assessments, rehabilitation programs, criminal justice responses, and reintegration and reconciliation efforts. USIP seeks to improve policy and practice for individuals leaving behind violent extremism by investigating:
- How to facilitate and support disengagement from violence, violent groups, and violent ideologies; and,
- How to support communities building social cohesion and resilience.
USIP is interested in generating knowledge on the intersection between traditional fields of conflict and peace studies and newer understandings of terrorism and violent extremist-based conflicts.
Areas of research interest include: children in violent extremist contexts; women exiting violent extremism–roles, risks, recidivism, and resilience; and men exiting violent extremism–effective and sustainable pathways to reconciliation and/or restoration. Specific questions that pertain to future research may include: How can communities prepare for the unique challenges of youth reintegration after violent extremist conflict? How can peacebuilding approaches contribute to rehabilitation and reintegration of people exiting violent extremist conflicts? What approaches might be effective at reducing stigma against returning women? What social/political “quick fixes” exist that might exacerbate recidivism?
USIP seeks a senior expert who has worked in conflict zones. Applicants should have demonstrated experience in research, scholarship and/or practice related to conflict prevention, conflict management, and peacebuilding. The fellow will be expected to work extensively with USIP’s experts on this theme and to contribute original work in the form of research, publications, blogs, and expert panels.
Thematic Area Two: Women, Gender and Nonviolent Movements
Nonviolent action has been a transformative force for social justice, peacebuilding, and democratization across many fragile states over the past century. Women play critical roles in nonviolent movements as leaders, organizers, and frontline activists. Research indicates that nonviolent movements with prominent female participation are less likely to become violent and that greater gender equity contributes to the occurrence of more nonviolent movements in comparison to violent movements.
While there is evidence of a strong gender dimension to nonviolent action, this dimension remains poorly understood and is infrequently integrated into research and policy. In addition, in several recent cases, nonviolent movements with high levels of women’s participation have been followed by significant gender-based violence and little to no long-term improvement in gender equality. This research focused on the gendered dimensions of nonviolent movements will help inform policy to promote long-term improvements in gender equity, and specifically, to prevent and reduce violent conflict.
USIP seeks a senior expert with significant research and practitioner experience on nonviolent movements, whose work offers new perspectives on how nonviolent movements can contribute to violence prevention, gender equity, and long-term equality. The fellow will be expected to work extensively with USIP’s experts on this theme and to contribute original work in the form of research, publications, blogs, and expert panels.
Profile of Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows
Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows are residential fellowships at USIP headquarters in Washington, D.C. The competitions seek senior experts who have worked in conflict settings and have notable experience in research, practice, or policy. Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows will conduct research and write in their areas of expertise while engaging with experts at USIP headquarters and in the field. During their tenure, the fellows will become an integral part of USIP and will contribute to thought leadership and research efforts.
Applicants will be selected based on their potential to advance the understanding on one of the above thematic issue areas and on their potential to make original contributions to the field. Preference will be given to candidates whose geographic focus matches USIP’s regional and country priorities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Applications should be limited to 1,200 words. Please direct all inquiries about this RfA to JenningsRandolphFellows@usip.org.
Registration, Application Process and Due Dates
All applicants must register for this competition at usip.fluxx.io. To ensure your application is received, you must register for this specific competition—Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows—even if you have previously applied to other competitions at USIP.
When registering, please select “Policy, Learning and Strategy Center” as the center, and “Jennings Randolph Senior Fellows” as the program. Please enter the specific competition title you are submitting an application for: (1) Violent Extremism Disengagement and Reconciliation, or (2) Women, Gender, and Nonviolent Movements. Any inquiries regarding the online application system should be directed to JenningsRandolphFellows@usip.org.
- Registration opens on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 12:00 noon EDT, and closes on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 12:00 noon EDT.
- All completed applications must be submitted in the FLUXX system by Monday, March 30, 2020 at 12:00 noon EDT.
USIP will award up to two fellowships. USIP reserves the right to award two fellowships in the same thematic area or one in each area. The fellowships are eight-month appointments at USIP headquarters in Washington, D.C. Fellows receive a stipend of $11,500 per month. USIP will reimburse the costs of one round-trip airfare to USIP headquarters under the terms of the fellowship. Fellowships do not cover a housing allowance or health insurance. The start-date is negotiable for either the fall of 2020 or the winter of 2021.
 Violent Extremism Disengagement and Reconciliation (VEDR) is a proposed framework to infuse peacebuilding expertise into conventional rehabilitation efforts on violent extremism that generally focus solely on transforming a person’s beliefs about violent ideologies. Because belonging and social group identity are critical in violent extremism, prosocial and inclusive engagement between disengaging persons and local communities should be integrated in such responses to end long-term cycles of violence. Disengagement, Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation are not new concepts, but by applying them to people exiting violent extremism positions, peacebuilders can address security imperatives while empowering people and institutions to build sustainable peace and engage in direct action for peace.
 Erica Chenoweth. 2019. “Women’s Participation and the Fate of Nonviolent Campaigns.” One Earth Future Research report.
 Elisabeth Johansson-Nogues. 2013. “Gendering the Arab Spring: Rights and (in)security of Tunisian, Egyptian, and Libyan Women.” Security Dialogues 44(5-6): 393-409.