The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide is pleased to announce a new research fellowship focused on increasing knowledge of early warning for mass atrocities in countries that the Early Warning Project has determined to have a high risk for mass atrocities.
The Early Warning Fellow will work with the Simon-Skjodt Center’s research director, staff, and collaborators to define priority research questions, plan associated research activities focused on mapping potential scenarios for mass atrocities, conduct primary research, and present results to policy makers and other interested audiences.
For three consecutive years, Mali has come in the top 15 “high” risk countries in our Early Warning Project Statistical Risk Assessment for onset of mass killing (2014, 2015, 2016). Mali has consistently scored high in our elite threat model, which focuses on future coup attempts and new civil wars as proxy measures of factors that could either spur incumbent rulers to lash out against threats to their power or usher in an insecure new regime that might do the same. At the same time, northern Mali is facing continued insecurity due to armed groups and the ongoing fight between militants and peacekeepers, while criminal gangs and inter-group tensions are escalating violence in the country’s central regions.
This Fellowship will explore the scenarios that might lead to state- or nonstate-led mass killing in Mali in the coming 1-2 years.
The Simon-Skjodt Center is dedicated to stimulating timely global action to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to catalyze an international response when they occur. Our goal is to make the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities a core foreign policy priority for leaders around the world through a multipronged program of research, education, and public outreach. We work to equip decision makers, starting with officials in the United States but also extending to other governments, with the knowledge, tools, and institutional support required to prevent—or, if necessary, halt—genocide, mass atrocities, and related crimes against humanity.
In partnership with Dartmouth College, the Simon-Skjodt Center created the Early Warning Project, the first system of its kind to combine state-of-the-art methods to produce risk assessments of the potential for mass atrocities around the world. The first part of the system uses statistical forecasts to assess which countries are most at risk for a new onset of state-led mass killing. The second part of the system continually elicits predictive judgments on the state of risk in specific places, making it possible to track changes in risk during the interval between quantitative assessments.
The Early Warning Project opens exciting possibilities for research that can advance our understanding of the risks and drivers of mass atrocities, improve the accuracy of early warning efforts, and lead to new or improved prevention tools. The Simon-Skjodt Center established an Early Warning Fellowship program to continue to advance this work and foster further engagement and development in the field of mass atrocity prevention.
The Fellowship Program aims:
The Fellowship is intended to provide Early Warning Project audiences with a deep-dive into dynamics in a country by describing scenarios that might exacerbate or minimize the risk for mass atrocities and the dynamics that contribute to the risk of mass atrocities, as well as outline policy options that the US government and international community can take to mitigate that risk. (See our report on Zimbabwe for an example of this kind of analysis.) The report should put the Early Warning Project’s statistical risk assessments into context with the political realities in that country, as well as the policy options that reflect those realities.
The Early Warning Project Fellow will work with members of the Research Team to facilitate and co-lead field research, co-draft a public report on risks of mass atrocities and potential preventive actions, and participate in policy outreach on the results of the research. The Fellow will help prepare for field research, including developing a set of meetings with a wide variety of experts and stakeholders, coordinating logistics, and participating together with members of the Research Team in all meetings. The Fellow will work closely with the Research Team to analyze the information gathered and co-draft a report, which the Simon-Skjodt Center will release publicly. After the report is complete, we anticipate convening roundtable meetings in Washington and other relevant cities to discuss the results of the research. We would expect the Fellow to present results and participate in these meetings in person, as well as in a number of private briefings, including with US officials.
Each Fellow will be paid a total amount of $15,000, which is intended to include in-country travel expenses, research, and administrative costs associated with the Fellowship. Long-distance travel costs and any costs incurred after the Fellowship’s completion—i.e. travel to presentations and meetings—will be reimbursed separately by the Museum upon submission of valid receipts. Please note that Fellows are not eligible for employment benefits and are responsible for their own health insurance.
Applications for Early Warning Fellowships will be evaluated based upon the following factors:
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
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