- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

Bridge Award Program

Washington, D.C.

Applications for the 2018-19 program will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Fellowship Description

The NSEP Bridge Award Fellowship is a cooperative initiative of The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), the Institute of International Education (IIE), and the National Security Education Program (NSEP). This award seeks to equip and empower Boren Fellows with the analytical and practical skills helpful to pursuing Asia-focused public service careers.

Responsibilities are varied and include conference and meeting organization, editing and proofreading, research and writing, fundraising and corporate development support, outreach, website editing and database work, and general office support. This award will afford Boren Fellows opportunities to gain further knowledge of Asia within their regional or functional areas of interest, to work within an organization that is focused on policy-relevant research, and to become better acquainted with the U.S. foreign policy process.

Kailani Cordell
Vice President, Operations and Human Resources

Applicant Information

Fellowship Eligibility
Fellowship Job Description
Fellowship Benefits
Applicant Instructions
About NBR
Frequently Asked Questions

Fellowship Eligibility

Applicants must have:

  • received a Boren Fellowship (graduate-level) award during the last two years
  • completed the overseas portion of the Boren Fellowship before beginning work at NBR
  • excellent research, writing, analytical, proofreading, editing, and computing skills; experience with databases and web-page development a plus
  • attention to detail and ability to work under pressure
  • knowledge of contemporary international relations and politics and/or economy of a relevant Asian region
  • knowledge of a relevant Asian language
  • motivation and the ability to be a self-starter who can work well both independently and as part of a team
  • extraordinary integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, and a felicitous capacity to work with everyone

Fellowship Job Description

Fellows are integrated into NBR’s programs and work on various projects. Duties of the Fellow will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Event management: providing administrative support to conferences, workshops, presentations, and briefings
  • Office Support: providing support to ensure the smooth-running of the office (e.g. answering phones, filing, etc.)
  • Outreach: assisting with design of government, corporate, and media outreach strategy, relationship development, and publications distribution
  • Program assistance: assisting projects by drafting and proofreading program descriptions, project concept papers; helping maintain program documentation, etc.
  • Publications support: reviewing, fact-checking, proofreading, and editing publications
  • Research support: providing research assistance for projects and program scholars
  • Other duties as assigned

Fellows are matched with projects within their area(s) of interest. The types of projects fellows work on vary from year-to-year. This year, special attention will be given to applicants who have a background in one or more of the following areas:

  • Asia's political and security affairs
  • Asia's energy, trade, and economic affairs
  • Advanced Chinese, Russian, or Japanese language skills (written and verbal)

To read more about current projects in these areas, please visit our Research page.

Fellowship Benefits

The program provides an opportunity for fellows to acquire or refine skills in:

  • bridging the gap between NBR’s research and the U.S. foreign policy processes
  • project management
  • analysis, research, and writing
  • team collaboration

The NBR work experience will help prepare fellows for positions in government through professional development and practical experience. One thing will hold true for all alumni of The Bridge Award Program: They will be young leaders capable of making a significant difference in how the United States relates to Asia. Their engagement in critical efforts to ensure that policy is well-informed by the best academic research available will shape their contributions as leaders and strengthen their impact in their various fields.

The annual salary is $35,000.

Applicant Instructions

To apply, submit the following materials through NBR's employment site (

  • resume
  • cover letter stating qualifications for and interest in applying for the fellowship, particular topical and regional research area, and how your background within that area(s) would contribute to NBR and its research agenda
  • contact information of three references (provide name, title, affiliation, phone number, and email)
  • brief writing sample on a topic related to field of study
  • application form

About NBR

NBR conducts advanced research on politics and security; trade, economics, and energy; and health and societal issues, with emphasis on those of interest to the United States. Drawing upon an extensive network of the world’s leading specialists and leveraging the latest technology, NBR bridges the academic, business, and policy arenas. At any given time, NBR directs 20–30 major research projects involving 150 scholars at universities and research centers worldwide.

Each fellow will be placed on projects that best match his/her qualifications and research interests. Our current research initiatives include:

  • Politics and Security: The Political and Security Affairs (PSA) group advances NBR’s mission of informing and strengthening policy by engaging in innovative, forward-looking policy research on political and security issues in Asia of critical importance to U.S. interests.
  • Trade, Economics, and Energy: The Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs (TEEA) group leads NBR’s efforts to conduct policy research on the rising economic importance of Asia to the United States.
  • Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy: The Center promotes smart trade that spurs innovation, creates jobs, increases competitiveness, and strengthens U.S. security and diplomatic relations by informing and empowering decision-makers in government, business, and the wider policy milieu.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us at

Is this fellowship only for Boren fellows?

Yes. Only Boren fellows who received Boren Fellowships during the last two years are eligible to apply.

I am a Boren fellow interested in the Bridge Award fellowship. I have two years to secure government employment following the completion of the Boren fellowship. If I participate in the Bridge Award program, will that mean I have just one year to secure government employment?

No. Participation in this fellowship does not count toward the two-year period before you have to secure government employment. If you participate in the Bridge Award fellowship you will still have two years from the date you complete the fellowship program to secure government employment as required by the Boren fellowship.

Does the Bridge Award fulfill the NSEP government service requirement?

No. The Bridge Award experience does not count toward the NSEP government service requirement.

Is this fellowship only for students who have a degree in international affairs?

No. NBR’s research spans a wide range of geographic and functional areas. This nationwide program attracts a similarly broad range of students whose degrees range from international relations to degrees in, for example, business, public health, and law. The candidate should “make the case” in the application showing how he/she would contribute to NBR and benefit from the fellowship experience. Bridge Award fellowships are awarded with preference for applicants who have an academic/professional background in Asian countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security, and whose experience and interests align with NBR’s research agenda.

How are fellows paid?

Each fellow will receive a fellowship award up to $35,000. The award and benefits are based on full-time employment (40 hours/week) for 12 months of service. Fellows are paid on a semi-monthly payroll schedule.

Will NBR provide housing?

No. Fellows will need to make their own housing arrangements.

How many fellowships are offered each year?

One fellowship position is available annually.

Bridge Award Fellows Sean Keith and Jennifer Oetken

Current Bridge Award Fellows