The Black Sea fellowship program aims to strengthen U.S. expertise and understanding of Black Sea countries while facilitating mutual connections between Americans and their regional counterparts. The fellowship will provide a unique opportunity for fellows to understand the nuances of the Black Sea region. It will ultimately produce alumni capable of developing rigorous expertise that can meaningfully contribute to U.S. foreign policy. Fellows will complete research projects, including field research, that provide new insights into their chosen topic and tangibly contribute to advancing American understanding of the region. At the end of the program, fellows will be integrated into the Black Sea Program’s alumni group and MEI will offer fellows the opportunity to become Black Sea Program contributors and/or non-resident fellows.

Black Sea Research fellows will be affiliated with the MEI Black Sea Program for five months in 2024 (May-September 2023). Throughout this fellowship program selected fellows will receive training and mentorship, conduct research, travel to the region, and participate in policy dialogue. Part of the fellowship will take place in hybrid/online mode. Fellows will spend at least one week of their fellowship in Washington, DC. Three to eight weeks fellows will undertake field research in one country of their choice (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, or Ukraine).


Candidates must be:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • At the graduate- or post-doctoral level in international affairs, political science, economics, European/East European studies, or a related discipline.
  • The ideal candidate should have substantial research or study experience relating to the Black Sea region, as well as demonstrated interest in one or more of the research areas covered by the MEI Black Sea Program: political, economic, security, democratic, and/or governance challenges in the Black Sea with direct relevance to U.S. foreign policy.

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