The Strauss Center launched the Next Generation Scholars (NGS) program in 2010 with the goal of providing new research and mentorship opportunities for promising UT undergraduate students interested in careers in international security and law. This program now also includes a focus on civic engagement, expanding the reach of the program by engaging more students and involving faculty members on a wider range of local, national, and international policy issues. Involving undergraduates in international affairs and civic engagement early in their career is an important part of the Strauss Center’s mission to prepare the next generation of leaders to help develop solutions to the most pressing public policy challenges.

Program Components

This one-year program includes two key components: First, students will take a 3-credit research training and professional development course, taught in the fall of 2020. This course is designed to introduce students to policy work, including basic skills in policy research, analysis, and writing. Students will be trained on designing research strategies and proposals, conducting policy analysis, writing resumes and statements of purpose, crafting op-eds and blog posts, and planning for the steps in their career development. This course will be led by UT professors and Strauss Center Distinguished Scholars. 

Second, in the spring semester, the Next Generation Scholars will work on a collaborative policy research project and report. Students should expect to maintain regular contact and meet biweekly for short meetings to assess progress on research and writing. The exact schedule for the spring will be determined at a later date to work around students’ course schedules. Students will also be awarded a stipend of $500 for the spring semester. 

Learn more about our 2019-2020 class of Next Generation Scholars here.

Application Guidelines

Applications for the 2020-2021 cohort are now open. The application deadline is April 30, 2020.  Please see below for additional information regarding application requirements.


  1. Students must plan to be registered UT undergraduate students in residence at UT during the fall and spring semesters of the 2020-2021 academic year. Because this program provides the foundation for a potentially multi-year mentorship, preference will be given to students entering their sophomore or junior years.
  2. Students should have a GPA of at least 3.50.
  3. Students must be able to complete all activities required during the 2020-2021 scholarship period, including the Fall 2020 course, Spring 2021 mentored research project, and regular attendance at Strauss Center public events.

Applications should include:

  1. A detailed cover letter that explains your academic and professional interests and why you are interested in participating in the intellectual life of the Strauss Center. The Strauss Center is an interdisciplinary center devoted to policy-relevant research on issues related to national and international security, law, and diplomacy. The Strauss Center's research focuses on factors contributing to the destabilization of nation-states, diplomatic and military history and strategy, new approaches to diplomacy, intelligence and surveillance, the impact of science and technology on national security, evolving legal architectures to account for new threats in the 21st century, climate security and complex emergencies, and international development and security.
  2. Resume with your complete contact information, including email address and phone number.
  3. Names and contact information of two references. One of these references should be a faculty member who can speak to your academic abilities and potential.
  4. One unofficial college transcript.

We will select a short list of finalists for interviews prior to making the final awards.

Please submit application materials via email to Lindsay Stanek at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.