Recognizing that a wide variety of perspectives and viewpoints is the best way to promote critical and creative thinking while combating intellectual rigidity, the Modern War Institute at West Point invites all interested parties to submit applications for its Fellow and Adjunct Scholar programs. MWI is seeking military and national-security professionals, analysts, and academics—from the United States as well as its allies and partners.


The Modern War Institute is a research center at West Point devoted to the study of contemporary conflict and the evolving character of modern war. The institute publishes original digital content—including commentary and analysis articles, book reviews, and multiple podcast series; conducts innovative research; and convenes interdisciplinary panels, speaker series, and conferences. MWI informs discussion and debate within the US Army, joint force, and defense and national-security communities, and educates the next generation of military leaders. MWI’s Fellow and Adjunct Scholar programs assemble a group of accomplished and experienced thinkers, scholars, and practitioners of modern war. The purpose of the program is to enhance the rigor of the institute’s research program, contribute to MWI publications, and advise and participate in MWI programming and events.

We are looking for individuals who can carry out innovative and original research and help to advance discussions about the ethical design, generation, support, and application of landpower and the associated capabilities to accomplish missions in the contemporary operational environment. Specific areas include, but are not limited to: leader development, moral and ethical issues, geocultural and political subjects, technology, urban warfare, civil-military relations, lethality, asymmetric warfare, military innovation, grand/military strategy, “gray zone” competition against potential peer and near-peer adversaries, and autonomous systems. In simple terms, MWI is interested in the perspectives and insights from every intellectual discipline.

At this time MWI does not know how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the structure, format, and timing of our fall flagship War Studies Conference, which brings together a select group of military leaders, scholars, and policymakers at West Point to discuss an issue related to modern war at the strategic and operational level. Fellows and Scholars with expertise and interest in the theme of the conference will be invited to participate.

Program Description

The Adjunct Scholar position is highly competitive and open to senior scholars who have published widely in their fields or previously served in senior military or government roles in the United States or its allies and partners and whose research interests align with MWI’s mission statement of enhancing the West Point curricula and our understanding of the changing character of modern warfare. The Fellow position is open to scholars, journalists, current or former members of the military, and other professions. We are recruiting from all ranks and professional backgrounds and seek a diverse pool of applicants.

Scholars and Fellows are unpaid.


The purposes of the program are:

1. To contribute to ongoing discussions about topics related to modern war by publishing original articles with MWI.

2. To expand our ability to conduct rigorous research on modern war by tapping into the intellectual talents of the best and most original thinkers in their respective fields.

3. To enhance our ability to carry out innovative programming, from speaker series to panel discussions, by allowing us to draw from a larger network of scholars, panelists, moderators, and guest lecturers.

4. To build MWI’s presence in the wider military and foreign-policy arenas beyond West Point as the primary source for information on modern war and warfare.

5. To foster a community of scholars, analysts, journalists, and practitioners all devoted to the study of modern war.


Our Fellow and Adjunct Scholar programs are open to individuals of any age committed to the ideals of the institute and the US Army. Applicants do not need to be US citizens. Candidates should have an in-depth understanding of the contemporary battlefield, and should possess a deep background in military affairs, a theoretical and practical understanding of modern warfare, and some experience in the field. They should be senior professionals who have ideally published widely in their disciplines, whether it is a book, peer-reviewed research, or opinion essays in major publications. We value diversity and encourage professionals from all disciplines and backgrounds to apply.


Applicants selected for the Fellow and Adjunct Scholar program will be expected to:

1. Generate new knowledge and contribute to ongoing debates broadly related to modern war by doing at least one of the following:

– Contribute articles to MWI’s website at least twice annually while they remain affiliated with the Fellow or Adjunct Scholar program.

– Publish at least one opinion essay related to modern warfare in a major publication, including their MWI affiliation in their taglines.

– Author an original research project, analysis paper, or report related to one of MWI’s issue areas.

2. When possible, make at least one visit to campus to participate in MWI programming and engage in informal faculty discussions.

3. During the visit to West Point, give one guest lecture to a Defense and Strategic Studies course or a relevant course in another department. (MWI will share Fellows’ and Adjunct Scholars’ CVs with other departments and research centers that overlap with their research interests).

4. Be available to serve as an external peer reviewer for MWI-sponsored research.

5. Include their affiliation with the “Modern War Institute at West Point” in their taglines for essays, op-eds, academic research, blogs, and other publications broadly related to modern war.

Application Procedure

Applicants should send a CV, a published writing sample, and a one-page cover letter detailing three items: first, their relevant work and research experience; second, a proposed research project, panel idea related to their own expertise, or description of proposed topics for articles submitted for publication by MWI, including why it is militarily relevant and how it fits into MWI’s mission statement; and third, how the larger West Point community of cadets, faculty, and alumni would benefit from their scholarship and vice versa, how their research would benefit from an affiliation with West Point. CVs should be as concise as possible and include only relevant publications and work experience. Please send in PDF format with subject line “MWI Fellow Application” or “MWI Adjunct Scholar Application” to no later than 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.