Skip to main content

Call for Applications: 2023-2024 Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Institute

Applications from graduate students for the 2023-2024 Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Institute are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is Sunday, September 10, 2023.

OpenJuly 24, 2023 — September 10, 2023
DeadlineSeptember 10, 2023

Call for Applications

Applications from graduate students for the 2023-2024 Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Institute are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM ET, Sunday, September 10, 2023.

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 two-semester 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 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 and The George Washington University.

Click here to learn more about the CWAR Institute.

Program Schedule

The 2023-2024 CWAR Institute will consist of online meetings and seminars focused on archives, research methodologies, presentations from fellows, a week-long in-person trip to an archive, and an in-person workshop. 

Sessions of the online meetings will rotate between presentations by CWAR Fellows and lectures and seminar-style discussions with invited archivists, historians, and other practitioners. 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.

All CWAR Fellows will be required to give a 10-15 minute presentation on the state of their research during one of the online meetings. These are not intended to be formal paper presentations; rather, they are opportunities for CWAR Fellows to share, with a supportive group of peers, more about themselves, their research interests and ideas, and challenges they anticipate in the course of conducting archival research and writing a dissertation.

The CWAR Institute will conclude with an in-person research trip to the Donald and Vera Open Society Archives in Budapest and a workshop for CWAR Fellows. At the workshop, CWAR Fellows will be expected to present a research paper of their own and to comment on and discuss the work of their peers.

The anticipated schedule is as follows:

Online Meetings and Seminars:

  • Friday, October 27, 2023, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, November 17, 2023, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, December 1, 2023, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, January 12, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, January 26, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, February 9, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, February 23, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, March 8, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, March 22, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, April 5, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, April 19, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET;
  • Friday, May 3, 2024, from 12:00PM-1:30PM ET.

In-Person Component: Research at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives and Workshop in Budapest, Hungary

  • Sunday, May 11, 2024, through Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

While in Budapest, CWAR Fellows may also have the option of participating in a Cold War history conference for graduate students at Corvinus University.

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 participate in all virtual and in-person components of the CWAR Institute, and must be available to travel to Budapest for in-person collaborative research and concluding workshop in May 2024. Applicants are required to explicitly commit to the mandatory training sessions and field trip in their applications.

Applicants are encouraged to review the website and collections of the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives before applying.

We anticipate awarding 12 to 15 CWAR Fellowships in 2023-2024. The conveners will review all of the applications and make selections based on the strengths of the individual proposals. 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.

The selection committee anticipates announcing the results of the call for applications by late September or early October 2023.

Application Materials

All application materials should be submitted to by the deadline.  Your application should include the following:

- a completed application cover sheet;

- a brief curriculum vitae (3 pages max);

- a one to two page (12 pt. font, double spaced, 1” margins) proposal outlining how participation in the program will benefit your studies;

- a writing sample (seminar paper, published article, thesis/dissertation chapter, etc.);

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

Questions about the program may be submitted to prior to the application deadline.

Conveners, Partner Institutions, & Background

The CWAR Institute is convened by Dr. Victoria Phillips (London School of Economics), Dr. Christian Ostermann (Wilson Center), Dr. Charles Kraus (Wilson Center), and Mr. Nick Cohen.

The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at the Central European University, the Cold War History Research Center at Corvinus University, European Institute at Columbia University, the Center for Civil-Military Operations, West Point Military Academy, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, and the Cold War Group at The George Washington University serve as past and present partner organizations.

Click here to learn more about the CWAR Institute.