MOSCOW, July 2, 2021. PIR PRESS. «Bachelor students have just completed their studies in the first stage of higher education and are preparing to enter the next stage and choose a direction to hone their skills and knowledge. PIR Center Education&Training Program is aimed at training and promoting specialists in the field of global security, disarmament and nonproliferation and offers a unique program implemented jointly with MGIMO of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, USA – the International Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy, and WMD Nonproliferation. We extend submission period for the NTI Scholarship application which covers a substantial part of the Program`s tuition fee for the students from Russia», – Elena Karnaukhova, PIR Center Education&Training Program Coordinator.
The general submission campaign for the International Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy, and WMD Nonproliferation is gradually coming to an end. However, PIR Center is extending the period of acceptance of documents from Russian applicants for the NTI Scholarship until July 9th. To help Russian applicants finally choose a future master’s program and decide to become a part of the international community of professionals in nonproliferation and disarmament, we are pleased to present 10 facts about our Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies.
FACT № 1. Origins of the Program
The International Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies was launched by MGIMO, PIR Center and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), USA. The inception of the Program was announced during the NPT Review Conference in May 2015. The development of this Program is in line with the objectives of UNGA Resolution 57/60 (2002) on disarmament and nonproliferation education. In November 2015, MGIMO, MIIS and PIR Center signed the agreements, and 2016 was marked by the full implementation of the program, the creation of which became a genuine breakthrough in education in the field of nonproliferation, disarmament and global security and a manifestation of effective interaction between the Russian and American academic and scientific community.
FACT № 2. Our Graduates
The Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies trains specialists in the field of nonproliferation, disarmament, peaceful nuclear energy development and global security in general. Our alumni work in civil service, specialized international organizations, business, and academic field. Graduates of the Program receive diplomas from the two universities – Russian and American. Upon successful completion of the Program, they obtain master’s diplomas in International Relations of MGIMO and Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies of Middlebury Institute of International Studies, MIIS.
FACT № 3. Features of the Academic Curriculum
Academic curriculum of the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies is distinctly diverse: students study issues of international security, WMD nonproliferation regimes, arms control and disarmament, regional challenges to WMD nonproliferation, WMD terrorism, cybersecurity, nuclear security, nuclear energy development, and international cooperation in this field. The hallmark of the Dual Degree M.A. Program is its schedule that encompasses not only specialized subjects, but also introductory courses in theory and history of international relations, Russian foreign policy, methodology of applied analysis of international problems. The confluence of general theoretical, specialized courses, and continuous research activities ensures a high level of training of our students and their competitiveness in the diplomatic and scientific fields after graduation.
FACT № 4. Our Tutors and Invited Experts
“The scientist is not the one who gives the right answers, but the one who raises the right questions”. This is the motto that the professors of the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies follow. They not only pass on their experience and knowledge, but also guide students in the complex world of global security, place the necessary tags, fuel interest, inspire, and support. Among them are Evgeny Buzhinsky, Lieutenant-General (Retired), Chairman of PIR Center Executive Board; Elena Chernenko, Member of PIR Center Executive Board and Special Correspondent of the Kommersant Publishing House; Mikhail Lysenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (ret.), Associate Professor of the Department of International Law of MGIMO, Member of PIR Center Advisory Board; Alexander Nikitin, Director of MGIMO Center for Euro-Atlantic Security, Member of PIR Center Advisory Board; Vladimir Orlov, Director of PIR Center and Professor of MGIMO; Vyacheslav Trubnikov, General of the Army, Hero of the Russian Federation, Board Member of IMEMO RAS, Member of PIR Center Executive Board; AlexeyUbeev, Member of PIR Center Advisory Board; Sergey Veselovsky, Associate Professor at the Applied International Analysis Chair of MGIMO. Of course, this is not the full list of Russian experts who contribute to the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies.
At the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, MIIS, USA, students are working with Dr. William C. Potter, Director of James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS); Jeffrey Knopf, Professor and Program Chair of Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies; Jeffrey Lewis, MIIS Professor and Director of East Asia Nonproliferation Project (EANP) at CNS; George Moore, Scientist-in-Residence at CNS; Philipp Bleek, MIIS Associate Professor in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program; Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, Scientist-in-Residence at CNS; Edward J. Lawrence, Professor Emeritus at MIIS, and many others. Experts of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP) are also an integral part of the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies.
FACT № 5. Education Process and Partners
The education process within the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies takes two years. Before COVID-2019 pandemic students spent their 1st semester in Russia, attending courses at MGIMO and PIR Center. The second and third semesters have been held in the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS, USA). Finally, during the last semester before graduation students finish their master’s theses and do internships in international organizations (for instance, the IAEA, OPCW, UNODA, CTBTO), national authorities, commercial structures and think tanks specialized in the development of peaceful nuclear energy, nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, global security in general.
The educational process is directed by three leading scientific and educational institutions of Russia and the US. It proves that we can cooperate, and we do it successfully and effectively! MGIMO is one of the main Russian universities for training specialists in the field of international relations, which has the best experience in our country in creating master’s programs with foreign partners. It is the alma mater for many specialists in the field of international relations! PIR Center is a leading Russian non-governmental organization in the field of nonproliferation and arms control. PIR Center has many years of experience in interacting with Russian and foreign government agencies, international organizations, think tanks and universities. PIR Center has an expanded international network of alumni and experts all around the world who are the members of PIR Center Alumni Community – the most valuable asset of PIR Center. Our foreign partner who develops the Dual Degree M.A. Program in the US is the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, USA. This center of scientific thought on the Pacific coast is a world leader in nonproliferation training. Together with MIIS, we maintain fruitful and close cooperation with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the MIIS, as well as with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation, within the walls of which our students can find excellent opportunities to gain practical experience in international organizations. The support of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) has made it possible to provide the Russian students with the scholarships which covers a substantial part of the program`s student fee for the students from Russia.
FACT № 6. Extracurricular Activities
In addition to completing a comprehensive curriculum, students regularly take part in extracurricular activities, meet with experts in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and global security, and with the support of PIR Center visit various Russian corporations, organizations, and authorities such as the MFA and the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
However, while the COVID-2019 pandemic has limited live communication, PIR Center organized a series of extracurricular activities for the Dual Degree M.A. Program 5th cohort students within the fall semester of 2020.
On November 27, the II Timerbaev Debates took place. During the event, students discussed the Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons (TPNW) and its influence on global security. The debate was attended by reputable foreign experts such as Tariq Rauf, the former Head of the Verification and Security Policy Office at the IAEA, and Thomas Hajnoczi, the former Head of the Disarmament Department in Austrian MFA. They commented on the students’ arguments and gave them some practical recommendations to present and defend their positions in a more effective manner.
On December 11, PIR Center together with James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies held the online seminar «Russia-US Dialogue on Nuclear Nonproliferation: History and Looking to the Future» for the 1st and 2nd years students of the dual degree master program. Russian students presented the US views on current Russian nuclear policy when American students talked about views from Russia on US nuclear policy. All participants discussed recommendations to overcome misperceptions in relations between the two states. Summing up the seminar Academic Advisors from PIR Center and MIIS sides, Vladimir Orlov and William Potter, stressed the importance of preserving and encouraging the US-Russian dialogue on the expert-level.
On December 23, PIR Center organized an online meeting of the students of the dual degree program with Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov. The discussion was held under Chatham House Rules and was devoted to current challenges in the spheres of strategic stability, arms control, and disarmament as well as Russian approaches to those issues.
FACT № 7. Career opportunities and Internships
The fourth semester within the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies, in addition to completing work on dissertations, is devoted to the development of career opportunities for our students, specifically to internships. MGIMO, MIIS and PIR Center assist our students in finding the most suitable place to start their careers. They have an opportunity to train in national government bodies, international organizations, research and analytical centers, commercial structures. Popular places of work among students are the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP). PIR Center also attracts Program’s students to its project “Young Experts in the NPT Review Process”. The project is aimed at increasing the representation of Russian organizations and experts in the NPT Review process, so that the weight of Russian public and expert diplomacy matches the initiatives of Russia to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
Our graduates note that the level of professional training on the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies fully meets the needs of their employers and world education standards in the field of nonproliferation and global security. After graduation, students need a short period of time to adapt to work in structures and organizations at both national and international levels.
FACT № 8. Unique Scientific and Educational Interests
In the modern world, a true scientist and diplomat must understand and determine new challenges and threats to security as well as traditional issues of disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation. This is what distinguishes our graduates. We also elaborated on the fact that during the whole training period our students are assisted by qualified and sensitive advisors. As wise men say, if you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it. Active and inspiring support of scientific advisors from Russia and the United States help students of the Dual Degree M.A. Program boldly undertake the study of the most unexplored and burning issues in global security. They are not afraid of difficulties, because a logically structured educational plan and persistent support at MGIMO, PIR Center and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies help them in researching unusual topics and contributing to the analysis of unexplored issues. The professionalism of the teaching staff not only ensures a high level of education, but also serves as an excellent impetus for future experts in the field of nonproliferation and global security. Students note that a friendly atmosphere during classes and exams helps to get the most out of the Program, and the skillful leadership of mentors ensures high results in defending master’s theses.
FACT № 9. Scholarship Opportunities for Russian Students
Thanks to financial support provided by our partner – the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Russian students have a possibility to cut tuition fee. NTI Scholarship covers a substantial part of the Program`s student fee for the students from Russia. To receive a NTI Scholarship, applicants should demonstrate their interest in nuclear nonproliferation, peaceful nuclear energy, and global security issues, as well as experience in research, information other work in this area. According to all scholars of the Program since its inception in 2016, the NTI Scholarship is a true ticket to journey into the world of nonproliferation. It allows to acquire a qualitative education and consequently get a prestigious job.
FACT № 10. Pandemic is not a hindrance for the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies
The Program has been implemented for 5 years. And even the pandemic 2020 year did not become an obstacle for us: our students returned home but have not stopped their productive scientific and educational activities. The results speak for themselves: high scores in exam sessions, high-quality final master’s theses, praise from scientific leaders and an immense horizon of opportunities for our graduates. Self-improvement combined with competent mentoring from scientific advisers, helped students maintain and build up the knowledge and skills acquired during the two years of training. We are glad that the COVID-2019 pandemic did not disrupt the schedule of internships for our students. Despite the closed borders, all our students managed to build bridges between the bastions of nonproliferation and global security and usefully spend about 3 months of internship in state entities and international organizations.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to become a student of the International Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy, and WMD Nonproliferation and open up new career and scientific horizons!
Find more about the NTI Scholarship: https://www.pircenter.org/en/pages/1033-4971147.
Read more about feedback of our tutors, students and graduates about the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies: https://www.pircenter.org/en/pages/1181-2637561.
The International Dual Degree Program «WMD Nonproliferation Studies, Nuclear Policy and Global Security» is the first international M.A. Program on WMD Nonproliferation. The Master’s program is developed by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), Moscow State Institute of International Relation (MGIMO), and PIR Center. For the more information on admissions, entry requirements and educational process do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.