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Immediate Release

Department of Defense Announces Awards for the 2022-2023 Cohort of the Minerva-United States Institute of Peace and Security Dissertation Fellows

The DoD announced today the selection of the 2022-2023 cohort of the Minerva-USIP Peace and Security Dissertation Fellows. Partnering with the USIP’s Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowship program, this prestigious award received more than 80 applicants from 52 U.S. universities. Those chosen for the Peace and Security Scholar Fellowship show great potential to advance the peacebuilding and security fields and to positively influence policy and practice.

“These awards complement the success of USIP’s Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace to expand support for advanced graduate students and create opportunities for ongoing support and engagement,” said Dr. Bindu Nair, Director of the Basic Research Office. “We are proud of the doctoral candidates being funded through this collaboration with the U.S. Institute of Peace and look forward to seeing their projects develop.”

The 2022-2023 Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellows include –

Minerva-Funded Peace and Security Scholars:

  • Muhammad Omar Afzaal (Brown University), “Picking Your Battles: A Story of Pakistan’s Perceptions.”
  • Bernard Atieme (George Mason University), “Politics of the Belly: Why People Engage in Election Violence.”
  • Tara Chandra (University of California, Berkeley), “Untangling Dynamics in Civil Conflict: Explaining Insurgent Behavior Toward Civilians.”
  • Kaitlyn Chriswell (Harvard University), “Do Criminal Groups Make or Break Citizens?: The Effect of Criminal Organization Presence on Citizen-state Interactions.”
  • Tonya Dodez (Indiana University, Bloomington), “Fight or Flight? Explaining Citizen Reactions to Violence in African Elections.”
  • Thalia Gerzso (Cornell University), “Judicial Resistance: The Role of Courts in Electoral Disputes.”
  • Geoffrey Hoffman (University of California, San Diego), “China's Impact on Global Internet Freedoms and Cybersecurity Risks (Working Title).”
  • Michael Kriner (Cornell University), “Authoritarians Keeping the Peace? An Analysis of the Impact of Authoritarian Regimes' Participation in Peace Operations.”
  • Manuel Melendez Sanchez (Harvard University), “Criminal Electioneering: How and Why Criminal Groups Influence Elections.”
  • Sehar Sarah Sikander Shah (The Graduate Center, City University of New York), “The Politics of Post-Counterinsurgency Statebuilding in Northwestern Pakistan.”
  • Drew Stommes (Yale University), “Armed Political Parties and Their Violence.”
  • Sam Winter-Levy (Princeton University), “War by Other Means: The Politics of Proxy Warfare.”

    USIP-Funded Peace Scholars:
  • Brandon Bolte (Penn State University, non-stipendiary) “Organizing Inter-Insurgent Cooperation.”
  • Alex Diamond (University of Texas at Austin), “An Uncomfortable Peace: Everyday State Formation in Rural Colombia.”
  • Daniel Hirschel-Burns (Yale University), “The Ideological Socialization of Civilians During Civil War.”
  • Christine Kindler (Howard University), “Postmemory in Rwanda: Fostering Intergenerational Dialogue through Peace Conversation Circles.”
  • Gabriella Levy (Duke University), “Variation in Public Responses to Violence Against Civilians."
  • Scott Ross (George Washington University), “Networks of Protection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
  • Leyla Tiglay (Ohio State University, non-stipendiary), “Nuclear Policy in the Age of Decolonization: French Nuclear Tests in the Sahara, African Peace Mobilization, and the Advent of the Global Nuclear Order 1957-1967."
  • Priscilla Torres (Duke University), “Community Dispute Resolution and International Peacebuilding: Competitors or Complementary Actors? Evidence from Liberia and Central Asia.”

Since 2016, the Minerva Research Initiative has joined with the U.S. Institute of Peace to award non-residential fellowships to students enrolled in U.S. universities, supporting careers in research, teaching, and policymaking.  Minerva Research Initiative fellowships support basic research contributions related to broad concerns of conflict management and peacebuilding, including security and stability.

To learn more, visit https://minerva.defense.gov/Programs/US-Institute-of-Peace-Collaboration/.

About USD(R&E)

The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre.