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The Dual Degree Master`S Program In Nonproliferation Studies Announces Scholarship Contest. Submission Of The Documents Within The Framework Of The Enrollment Campaign Is Under The Way

May 12, 2021

MOSCOW, MAY 12, 2021. PIR PRESS. «Those who strongly desire to reach their goal will come up with a ladder. In the case of the Dual Degree Program, the ladder had already been invented, and all that remained was to gain determination, perseverance and to climb it. At some point, the NTI scholarship turned into an exciting new obsession, my real chance to become an XXI century superhero. Indeed, in a global vision, nuclear nonproliferation explores how to protect humanity from weapons capable of destroying every living organism on Earth, leading to total annihilation. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to become a scholar and to devote myself to confront this danger», – Konstantin Larionov, 1st year student of the Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies, 2020 scholar.

The Dual Degree Master’s Program “WMD Nonproliferation, Nuclear Policy, and Global Security”, developed jointly by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS, USA), and PIR Center, is announcing a scholarship contest that partly covers the costs of studies for Russian students. The support of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) made it possible to provide the scholarship.

The Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies is an important component of international educational and training activities in the field of nonproliferation and disarmament. It is a high-quality, innovative educational product that meets the demands of the times.

The agreement on the launch of a joint master’s program was reached in 2015. At that time, three co-founders of the program, MGIMO, MIIS and PIR Center, signed the respective documents on its establishment. Later, in 2016, the first enrollment of students took place. Since 2016 more than 40 students from different parts of the world have become the program’s students. In addition to Russian and American students, young people from Canada, China, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, and the Republic of Korea have received education under the program. The 4th cohort of the program is graduating in June, 2021. Now the students are finishing their master’s thesis and are preparing for defense of the thesis before the state commission headed by General of the Army, Hero of the Russian Federation, PIR Center Executive Board member Vyacheslav Trubnikov.

The education process within the Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies takes two years. The first semester is held in MGIMO (Moscow); the second and third semesters are spent in MIIS (Monterey). The fourth semester is devoted to thesis preparation and an internship in international organizations (for instance, the IAEA, OPCW, UNODA, CTBTO) and national structures specializing in the development of peaceful nuclear energy, nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, global security in general. At the end of the education, the graduates are awarded two master’s degrees: one from MIIS with a degree in nonproliferation and terrorism studies and the other from MGIMO with a degree in international affairs.

The Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies is quite unique because it encompasses not only disciplines on nonproliferation of WMD, nuclear energy and arms control, but also introductory courses on the theory and history of international relations, courses aimed at mastering the methods of political analysis. 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 organizations.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly affected the implementation of the Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies and changed the format of studies of 4th and 5th cohorts. Due to the difficulties caused by the termination of flights and the closure of borders, the spring and autumn semesters were held in the online format. However, it did not have a negative influence on the quality and efficiency of the educational process and examination. In the second half of the year students of the program are expected to return to the full-time in-person education process.

Meanwhile, the submission of the documents for the 2021 enrollment campaign is under the way. The dossier submission is two-fold – the required information is to be sent to both the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey and MGIMO in Moscow. The costs of education in the program can be partly reduced by receiving, for example, an NTI scholarship (the amount of the NTI scholarship is determined on a case-by-case basis).

To participate in the scholarship contest, you need to:

  1. Apply to the program (full package of documents) by visiting the MIIS website, register on the website, and submit documents to the MGIMO Enrollment Commission (until July 1).
    NOTE: during the scholarship competition, applications will be considered only for those candidates who have submitted a full set of documents specified in the requirements of the MIIS and MGIMO.
  2. Demonstrate your interest in nuclear nonproliferation, peaceful nuclear energy, and global security issues, as well as experience in research, information other work in this area. For this reason, please, send to PIR Center at the following:
  • The proposed topic of the master’s thesis and its brief justification (no more than 0,5 – 1 page in English);
  • Materials that confirm interest and experience in the topic of the master’s degree, even if it is only academic (in Russian or English);

Such materials may include:

— a list of publications on the topic in any language with valid links or sample publications;

— a list of conferences, seminars, courses on the subject of Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies where you managed to deliver a speech, preferably with valid links to the pages of these events on the Internet;

— scientific and study works, including essays, term papers, dissertations or dissertation chapters, theses of speeches, etc. (in any language);

— any other materials that can confirm your interest in the main topic of the program.

If there are no publications and/or study papers on the main issues of the master’s program, the candidate can prepare and submit an essay on the topic “Key challenges to the NPT review process in XXI century” (in English).

Documents for the scholarship contest should be submitted to PIR Center atedu@pircenter.orguntil July 1, 2021 (if the preparation of any documents is in the process, you must inform the organizing committee of the scholarship contest). The results of the contest and decisions on the granting of scholarship are planned to be announced by July 10, 2021. The contest committee reserves the right to invite the candidate for an online interview.

The NTI scholarship is a true journey into the world of nonproliferation. It allows to acquire a qualitative education and consequently get a prestigious job. The Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies is famous for its graduates. Among them, for example, is Daria Selezneva, Junior Researcher at the Center for International Security at the IMEMO RAS and a consultant at the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe. As Daria notes, thanks to the NTI scholarship, she became a 1st cohort student of the Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies (2016-2018). During her studies, she built a network including many experts on nonproliferation issues, became an intern at UNODA, and took part in the 2nd session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference. Adlan Margoev, who also completed his master’s degree in 2018, currently works as an analyst at the Institute for International Studies (IIS), MGIMO. He considers the Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies as “a concentrate for powerful professional growth in the field of nonproliferation and international security”. Moreover, according to Adlan, “PIR Center, MGIMO and MIIS provide this concentrate undiluted so that you can get as much as you can over the two-year period”.

Natalya Artemenkova, a graduate of the 2nd cohort (2017-2019), currently works in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In her words, NTI scholarship not only provides a unique opportunity to gain knowledge from prominent experts in the field of nonproliferation from the MIIS but also offers new global career prospects for scholars and work on exciting projects in research centers around the world. Alexey Polyakov, the student of the 3rd cohort (2018-2020), despite all the difficulties of the «pandemic year», was also able to get a job in the area of expertise. Now he works in the Department of International Cooperation of the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM. “The opportunity to receive financial support in the form of grants and scholarships is a great help for Russian students. Information in CV on the presence of two diplomas at once, from Russia and the United States, makes the search for a job after or even before graduation less disturbing: you feel not so much looking for a job, but offering your skills and competencies within the labor market. Such an inner feeling undoubtedly changes things in favor of the graduate”, – Alexey sums up.

The Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies provides a unique opportunity to get specialized education in the field of international security and WMD nonproliferation and join the community of highly professional experts in this area. The program was highly estimated by the Dean of the School of International Relations, Vice-Rector for Science and Research of MGIMO Andrey Baykov. During the open-door day at MGIMO, he stressed that the program was unique as it concerned a wide range of issues and distinguished itself by the highest level of experts, and allowed you to practice in specialized UN agencies. PIR Center Director Vladimir Orlov notes: «Unique. One of the best in the world in its field. This is about our Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies… For most ambitious bachelors who dream about connecting their professional life with international security and nuclear issues (in civil service, business, international organizations, and think tanks): it’s time to apply!». Don’t miss it!

You can send your questions about admission to the Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproliferation Studies, scholarship contest and the nuances of the educational process to