ISF’s Grand Strategy PhD Research Fellowship

Congratulations to the winners of the Grand Strategy PhD research fellowship!

The International Strategy Forum, in partnership with the Virtual Institute on Grand Strategy in the Age of AI, recently selected seven scholars for the Grand Strategy PhD Research Fellowship. These extraordinary winners have been selected because of their cutting-edge research into the intersection of geopolitics and emerging technology, and fellowship funding of up to $7,500 will go toward costs associated with travel or fieldwork for their dissertation research. Information about each winner can be found below. If you would like to be connected to a winner to learn more, please reach out to Nathalie Bussemaker at [email protected].

Yasir Atalan, American University: Yasir’s research explores the nexus between AI and strategic planning, focusing on the distinguishability and efficacy of military strategies generated by LLMs. The grant will fund an approach including the quantitative fine-tuning of LLMs, qualitative assessment within wargaming contexts, and statistically rigorous conjoint experiments to gauge perceptions.
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Eyal Hanfling, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyEyal’s research focuses on the impact of WhatsApp on Hindu-Muslim cooperation in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. The grant will fund a mixed methods approach, using relational interviews with Hindi-speaking WhatsApp users, quantitative analyses of social media content, and online and in-person survey and lab-in-the-field experiments.
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Julie George, Cornell University: Julie’s research addresses the question: under what conditions do dual-use emerging technologies proliferate in the international system? She investigates the likelihood of the proliferation of three emerging technologies: artificial intelligence, robotics, and cyber. The grant will fund a trip to Japan and South Korea to conduct semi-structured interviews with tech companies.
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Katharin Tai, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Katharin’s research addresses the question: Under what conditions do autocracies succeed in building digital tools that strengthen the state – and under what conditions do they fail? She uses the examples of the PRC and the GDR. The grant will fund a trip to China to conduct fieldwork.
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Huimin Li, University of Texas at Austin: Huimin’s research addresses the question: What explains the cross-national variation in digital rights protection in response to artificial intelligence? Her work focuses on the rights to privacy and non-discrimination, particularly emphasizing governments’ social objectives and responses. The grant will fund fieldwork expenses and the costs of administering a survey to 1,200 participants.
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Yiqin Fu, Stanford University: Yiqin’s research uses quantitative approaches and qualitative interviews to study the impact of China’s industrial policy in AI and Chinese developers’ relationship with open source software platforms. The grant will fund fieldwork and access to an investment database.
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Thomas González Roberts, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyThomas uses machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to model the near-Earth space environment and contribute to world order in outer space. His dissertation studies satellite behavior to evaluate how well space actors—from military superpowers to tiny start-ups—follow the rules that govern the space domain and ensure its peaceful use for generations to come. The grant will fund 16 days of travel to Central Europe.