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Call for Applications: 2021-2022 Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Institute Fellowships

The call for applications for the 2021-2022 Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Institute closed on Sunday, November 14, 2021.

OpenOctober 12, 2021 — November 14, 2021
DeadlineNovember 14, 2021

Call for Applications

The call for applications for the 2021-2022 Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Institute closed on Sunday, November 14, 2021. 

The CWAR Institute uses innovative and collaborative approaches to train next generation Cold War historians in archival research methodologies. The institute has two goals: to stimulate original scholarship on the interplay between soft and hard power in the cold and hot wars between 1945 and 1991; and to demonstrate the power of cooperative scholarship through innovative archival practices.

The year-long CWAR Institute fellowship program trains M.A. and Ph.D. level students through a combination of online seminars, discussions, and in-person research experience at Cold War archives and culminates in conferences and publications. Competitively selected successful applicants will join the institute as CWAR Fellows to hone critical research skills in historical and archival methodologies, further their own research agendas in Cold War history, improve their communication and presentation skills, and develop a network of supportive professional contacts.

The CWAR Institute builds on the success of the Cold War Archives Research Fellowship, previously organized by the European Institute at Columbia University, and the Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR), previously organized by the Wilson Center in cooperation with The George Washington University.

Program Schedule

Each month, up to two meetings will be held via Zoom beginning in December 2021 and concluding in May 2022. Meetings will take place on Friday afternoons or early evening (Eastern Time) and will not exceed 90 minutes in length.

These sessions will include lectures and panels on archival and primary source research methodologies, research workshops, and informal happy hours. Invited speakers may include archivists from the U.S. government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations; historians working in the fields of Cold War history, diplomatic history, and international history; and experts on specialized topics such as the Freedom of Information Act, conducting oral history interviews, and digital research tools.

An in-person research trip and concluding conference will be held from May 23 through June 1, 2022. Public health conditions permitting, we will visit the Donald and Vera Open Society Archives in Budapest for research from May 23-27, and will participate in the Student Conference at the Cold War History Research Center, Corvinus University, May 31-June 1.

The Wilson Center will provide travel, meals, and hotel accommodations for the CWAR Fellows for any activities held in person.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

M.A. and Ph.D. students in history, international relations, government, journalism, sociology, and public policy, as well as area and regional studies are eligible to apply.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. Applicants must be available to attend virtual meetings held on Friday afternoons (EDT) 1 to 2 times per month from December 2021-May 2022, and must be available to travel to Budapest for in-person collaborative research and a concluding conference in late May/early June 2022 (public health conditions permitting, or the sessions and conference will be held via Zoom). Applicants are required to explicitly commit to the mandatory training sessions and field trip in their applications.

We anticipate awarding 12 to 15 CWAR Fellowships in 2021-2022. The conveners will review all of the applications and make selections based on the strengths of the individual proposals and the qualifications and experience of the applicant. Preference will be given to candidates with a serious historical dimension to their work that is grounded in Cold War studies. We will also seek to assemble a diverse group of students with complementary research interests and agendas.

Application Materials

Applications should include:

  • a completed application cover sheet;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a one to two page (12 pt. font, double spaced, 1” margins) proposal outlining how participation in the program will benefit your studies.
  • and a writing sample with their application (seminar paper, published article, thesis-dissertation chapter, etc.).

In addition, one letter of recommendation should also be submitted directly by a recommender. All materials can be submitted to


Conveners & Partner Institutions

The CWAR Institute is an initiative of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program organized in collaboration with a number of international scholars and organizations. It is led by by Dr. Victoria Phillips (London School of Economics), Dr. Christian Ostermann (Wilson Center), Dr. Charles Kraus (Wilson Center), Mr. Nick Cohen, and Dr. Csaba Békés (Corvinus University of Budapest).

The European Institute at Columbia University, the Center for Civil-Military Operations, West Point Military Academy, and the Cold War Group at The George Washington University serve as partner organizations.

Click here to learn more about the CWAR Institute.