The Washington Institute’s Soref fellowship is for those with an advanced degree who are considering whether to pursue a career in government or journalism.

The fellowship is a one-year research position, designed primarily for those who have recently earned a PhD related to U.S. foreign policy or Middle East studies with strong knowledge of twentieth and twenty-first century Middle Eastern and North African history, politics, economics, and culture. Fluency in a regional language is much preferred. Exceptionally well-qualified individuals with masters’ degrees will be considered, as will those with law or MBA degrees. The fellowship is not available as support while working on a dissertation. Applications are welcome from those with some years of experience post-degree, such as university assistant professors. Nationals of all countries may apply.

The stipend depends upon experience; typically for someone who just received a PhD, the stipend would be about $50,000, along with generous benefits. The Institute provides the services of a research assistant shared with another senior fellow. Soref fellows work out of the Institute’s offices in downtown Washington, D.C. Depending upon the research topic, the Institute is prepared to finance a research trip to the Middle East. Fellows may be asked to speak on behalf of the Institute a few times at locations around the United States. The Institute’s communication staff will work with fellows to secure media interviews, to place op-ed articles in major outlets, and to have an active presence on social media. The Institute’s publication staff provides editing support.

Soref fellows conduct independent research and acquire firsthand knowledge of U.S. Middle East policymaking, contributing written analyses to the Institute’s PolicyWatch series, and publishing longer studies as monographs.

The Washington Institute studies the Middle East in order to better support U.S. policy in the region. Research proposals, therefore, should cover a topic relevant to U.S. Middle East policymakers. Since we are a small organization, we seek candidates who do not duplicate existing expertise of Institute staff members. For 2018, we are particularly interested in those studying Syria. We as an Institute do not have a point of view; our distinguishing characteristic is our scholars’ expertise about the region.  We expect scholars to offer perspectives that will be useful for U.S. policymakers. Scholars may well disagree with certain U.S. policies, but the Institute is not the place to come in order to lambaste U.S. policy.

Applications are usually submitted in the spring, although they may be made at any time. We typically decide upon fellows in the late spring and fellowships start in late summer, but that is not a rigid schedule. Please send the following materials:

  • Professional biography.
  • Scholarly writing sample, such as a dissertation chapter.
  • Policy writing sample or something written for a broad audience, such as a published op-ed even if it is not about the Middle East.
  • One or two research proposals that should not exceed 600 words each. Applicants, especially those without a doctoral degree, should explain why they are particularly well placed to write about the subject they propose to research. Please consider carefully how the proposed research complements rather than duplicates the work being done by existing Institute staff.
  • References.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis until the opening is filled. Interested applicants should send materials to:

Dr. Patrick Clawson, Director of Research
[email protected]
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036