Visiting Fellows Program

The Visiting Fellows program offers intensive training to junior and mid-career professionals in foreign ministries and other relevant government departments, national export control and regulatory bodies, journalists, research and academic institutions to obtain an in-depth understanding of the nonproliferation and disarmament regime and related international policy-making process.

Established in 1991, the Visiting Fellows program is one of the world’s first professional training programs devoted to WMD nonproliferation, arms control, and disarmament issues. With its original focus on practitioners and researchers from the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union, the program expanded in the late 1990s to include candidates from East Asia, and then again in the mid-2000s to other regions of the world to include in particular countries representing the Non-Aligned Movement.

Spring 2023 fellows with program director Jean du Preez.

Spring 2023 fellows with program director Jean du Preez.

Since the program’s inception, over 320 experts have participated from over thirty countries, including Argentina, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Belarus, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile,

China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Yemen as well as regional organizations such as the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) and United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).

Visiting Fellows alumni continue to play important roles in their countries, representing their governments at high-profile international nonproliferation meetings and conferences, and even serving as ambassadors or national representatives at international organizations. Others contribute to their nations’ nonproliferation and nuclear security capacity-building efforts by developing and teaching academic and training courses on relevant topics. Training at CNS inspired some experts from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine to establish their own think tanks and research centers focusing on WMD nonproliferation.


The program provides Visiting Fellows with an interdisciplinary curriculum combining policy and technical aspects of nonproliferation and arms control issues, as well as nuclear security and WMD-related technologies. The curriculum is designed to enable selected Visiting Fellows in-depth understanding of legal, political, regional, and technical aspects of WMD nonproliferation, and develop the skills necessary to have a positive impact on arms control and nonproliferation policy in their respective countries and in the international arena.

Five young ladies celebrating and holding up their certificates

Fall 2015 fellows from Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Mali proudly display their program completion certificates.

About the Program

The Visiting Fellows Program is 3-4 months in duration and offered twice a year on location at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California. The program coincides with the academic calendar of the Middlebury Institute – the Spring session typically runs from early February to mid-May, while the Fall season is normally offered from early September to mid- December.

Program instructors include U.S. and international experts with backgrounds in history, political science, international relations, nuclear physics, and life science. Throughout the program, fellows interact regularly with CNS/MIIS experts and professors and visiting experts, deepening their knowledge of current WMD policy, science, and technologies.

The curriculum consists of a series of focused lectures and seminars on international nonproliferation and disarmament topics taught in a small-group seminar format by CNS experts and visiting scholars. As an integral part of the program, Visiting Fellows are required to complete a research paper on a nonproliferation topic of their choice and to present the findings at a seminar near the conclusion of the program. Visiting Fellows are also able to audit selected MIIS Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Master’s degree-level courses, including the Introduction Weapons of Mass Destruction Nonproliferation course, the Science and Technology for Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies and the popular Arms Control simulation course.

Program Structure

  • Offered twice a year (spring and fall) in Monterey, California
  • One semester long (about three-and-a-half months)
    • Spring session: early February – mid-May
    • Fall session: early September – mid-December
  • A limited number of qualified candidates will receive a full stipend to cover their tuition fee, housing, health insurance and a daily living expense allowance. Provided space is available, additional candidates could be admitted for a fee, which will be determined on an individual basis
  • Program is offered in small-group settings (4-7 participants/session)
  • Upon successful completion of their training and their research presentations, fellows receive program certificates

Program Participants

Visiting Fellows are typically selected from emerging and developing countries, and could include:

  • Diplomats, experts, and officials from national governments
  • Non-governmental experts from think tanks, academia, and industry
  • Researchers/scientists/engineers
  • University instructors
  • Other professionals

Leaders and participants in front of the CNS building and sign

Fall 2021 fellows from Bulgaria, Japan and Ukraine with CNS founding Director, Prof William Potter and Visiting Fellows program manager Mr Jean du Preez


Qualified candidates must:

  • Be full-time professionals
  • Demonstrate professional engagement and interest in the field related to WMD nonproliferation and nuclear, biological, and chemical security and public safety, or other related field
  • Demonstrate written and verbal English fluency
  • Qualify for U.S. J1 visas

Application Procedure

Visiting Fellows are typically selected at least 3 months prior to the start of the program.


The deadline for applicants for the Spring program is September 15, and March 31 for the Fall program.


Interested candidates are invited to email the program manager of the Visiting Fellows program with the following application material:

  • Current resume/CV
  • Letter(s) of recommendation from current/past supervisors/mentors
  • A brief statement of purpose (about 500 words) explaining current experience in the field of nonproliferation or related fields and the relevance of this fellowship to professional goals

Contact Information

For more information about the Visiting Fellows Program, please contact Jean Du Preez, CNS Program Director for Education and Training: [email protected].