MIT Political Science Student Awards


Mark S. Bell (PhD'16) has been awarded the 2017 APSA Kenneth Waltz award for the best dissertation on international security, for his dissertation titled "Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy." more...

Andreas Wiedemann recieves Horowitz Foundation grant for this research titled “Borrowed Dreams: Household Debt and the Social Policy Mismatch in Germany, Denmark, and the United States.” more...

Meicen Sun has been named among the winners of the MIT Karmel Writing Prize. Sun won first prize in two categories: 1)Enterprise Poets Prize for Imagining a Future and 2)Obermayer Prize for writing on the History of Innovation. more...

Blair Read and Gabriel Nahmias have each won an NSF Graduate Research Fellowships to support their 2017-2018 doctoral work. Congratulations on this well deserved award! more...

Andrew Miller was awarded a Project Launch Grant for his project "Understanding Animism's Role in Criminal Syndicate Power." more...

Elizabeth Dekeyser, Mayumi Fukushima, and Reid Pauly have each been awarded a Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship. Awards are granted to support Ph.D. dissertation research on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, strategic studies, area studies, and diplomatic and military history. more...


Yuliya Klochan '18 (political science and philosphy) named 2017 Burchard Scholar.

Ketian Zhang, Stephen Wittels, and Fiona Cunningham have each been awarded a World Politics Fellowship grant by the Smith Richardson Foundation. Awards are granted to support Ph.D. dissertation research on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, strategic studies, area studies, and diplomatic and military history.

Nicolas Dumas, Sara Plana, and Andrew Halterman have each been awarded NSF graduate research fellowships to support their 2016-2017 graduate studies. Congratulations to all three on this well deserved recognition!

Dean Knox won the John Williams Prize from the Society for Political Methodology. The prize recognizes the best dissertation proposal in political methodology.

Jeremy Ferwerda (PhD'15) is awarded the American Political Science Association's 2017 Gabriel A. Almond Award which is awarded annually for the best dissertation in the field of comparative politics. more...


Leyatt Betre '16 (political science & physics), Marina Crowe '16 (political science), Linda Jiang '16 (biology and mathematics, minor in applied international studies), Joseff Kolman '17 (political science & physics), Taylor Rose '16 (political science & management science), Jesus Moreno '16 (materials science and engineering, minors in political science and economics), Kristen Murray '16 (aeronautics and astronautics, minor in political science) named 2015 Burchard Scholars.

Krista Loose and Lena Andrews honored as 2015 Graduate Women of Excellence by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

Rachel Esplin Odell is awarded a 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellowship (NSF GRPF). Three additional Political Science graduate students recieved Honorable Mention for their submission; Nina McMurry, Elizabeth Dekeyser, and Marsin Alshamary.

Andreas Wiedemann recieved a 2015 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF).

Nicholas Miller recieved the 2015 APSA Helen Dwight Reid Award, given annually for the best dissertation sucessfully defended during the previous two years in the field of international relations, law, and politics.

Nicolas Miller recieved the 2015 Kenneth Waltz Dissertation Prize, awarded annually by the International Security and Arms Control Section of the American Political Science Association.

Noel Anderson and Alec Worsnop have each been awarded a Dissertation Fellowship from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. These very competitive fellowships support dissertation write-up and are aimed at “research that can increase understanding and amelioration of urgent problems of violence and aggression in the modern world."

Dan de Kadt has been selected the co-winner of the Fiona Macgillivray Award for the best Political Economy paper presented at the previous year’s annual APSA meeting. The award is for his co-authored paper, “Agents of the Regime? Traditional Leaders and Electoral Clientelism in South Africa.”

Justin DeBenedictis-Kessner was selected as the 2015 Norton Long Young Scholar of the Urban Politics section of the American Political Science Association, for his paper, “Asleep at the Switch: Local Public Services and Municipal Accountability.”

Reid Pauly's paper "A Norm in All But Name: Paul Nitze, McGeorge Bundy, and the Idea of Nuclear Non-Use" has won the Doreen & Jim McElvany Nonproliferation Challenge" run by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. The paper will be published in The Nonproliferation Review and is accompanied by a monetary prize.

Amanda Rothschild and Mark Bell have jointly won the 2016 Patricia Weitsman Graduate Student Paper Award from the International Studies Association. Mark won for his paper “Beyond Emboldenment: The Effects of Nuclear Weapons on State Foreign Policy,” and Amanda for her paper entitled, “Tipping Theory: Origins of Great Britain's Suppression of the Slave Trade and Implications for Today's Collective Action Problems.”


Amanda Rothschild awarded the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies.This fellowship, created by Lady Bird Johnson to support scholarship in presidential studies and to honor Harry Middleton, is awarded to up to two scholars annually whose research highlights how history can inform current and future policy issues.

Yiqing Xu awarded the 2014 Society for Political Methodology’s John T. Williams Dissertation Prize. According to the Prize Committee, Yiqing’s dissertation’s "main methodological contribution" is “the development of a new method for causal inference in time-series cross-sectional data, which he refers to as the ‘Generalized Synthetic Control Method.’”

Laura Chirot awarded a Boren Fellowship for the proposed project "Private enterprise development and foreign investment" in Vietnam.

Halide Bey (’15 Biology; Political Science), John W. Halloran, Jr. (’15 Political Science) & Sofia Essayan-Perez (’15 Brain and Cognitive sciences; minor, applied international studies) named 2014 Burchard Scholars

Noel Anderson, Mark Bell, Alec Worsnop, and Brian Haggerty awarded the Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship for 2014. Awards are granted to support the research and writing of policy-relevant dissertations through funding of fieldwork, archival research, and language training, with preference to those projects that could direclty inform U.S. policy debates and thinking.

Ben Armstrong, Elizabeth Dekeyser and Nina McMurray each received Honorable Mentions from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The NSF received over 14,000 applications and offered only 2,000 awards (including Honorable Mentions).


Joseph Torigian awarded an Individual Advanced Research Opportunities (IARO) Program fellowship, applied to research in Russia using the Soviet archives.

Ben Morse's proposal has been funded by the International Growth Centre, with co-PIs Robert Blair (Yale University, Phd Candidate, Political Science) and Sabrina Karim (Emory University, Phd Candidate, Political Science), to run a research project on Security Sector Reform in Liberia to begin in summer 2014.


Erica Dobbs – Mellon/ACLS writing grant

Dean Knox – National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Laura Chirot – National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Amanda Rothschild – National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention

Jeremy Ferwerda – awarded SSRC IDRF, Krupp Fellowship

Joshua Shifrinson – Predoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs (GWU), Truman Library research grant, a Tobin Project Nat'l Security Fellowship, and an O'donnell research grant from the Scowcroft Institute.

Sameer Lalwani – Smith Richardson Fellowship


Amanda Rothschild – finalist for the Undergraduate Awards of Ireland & Northern Ireland for her essay on, "When is the international community justified in using force to protect human rights?"

Paul Staniland2011 Kenneth N. Waltz Award from the APSA's International Security and Arms Control section for best dissertation

Keren Fraiman – USIP Peace Scholar Award and a Schusterman Israel Scholar Award

Greg Distelhorst – 2011 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant - Political Science Program

Timea Pal – Graduate Dissertation Research Fellowships from the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University.

David Weinberg – George C. Marshall Foundation / Baruch Fund for excellence in US diplomacy or military history

Keren Fraiman – Schusterman Israel Scholars Award and a United Stated Institute of Peace Fellowship

Miranda Priebe – Smith Richardson award

Tobias Harris – awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for field research

Josh Shifrinson – 2011-2012 awarded a research fellowship with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs & a Woodrow Wilson Center Title VIII Research Grant; Tobin Project National Security Fellowship

Nathan Black – 2011-2012 awarded a research fellowship with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship; Tobin Project National Security Fellowship

Peter Krause – 2011-2012 awarded a Post-doctoral fellowship at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University to be a Junior Research Fellow

Peter Swartz – awarded research funding from Indiana University Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business: Initiative on China and Global Governance for the proposal: "Making Markets both at Home and Abroad:  The Evolution of China's Futures Exchange for Copper".

Sameer Lalwani – awarded a Carroll L. Wilson Award for "The War Within: Explaining State Strategies of Counterinsurgency and Consolidation (A Pakistan Case Study)."

Nicholas Martin – awarded a Carroll L. Wilson Award for "The Role of State Ownership in the Environmental and Technological Upgrading of China's Coal and Electricity Industries."

Samantha Kacos – State Department Critical Language Scholarship this summer for study of Persian/Farsi in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Joseph Adams – State Department  Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic, and am a finalist for the Fulbright (Syria).

Kristin Fabbe – awarded Mellon/ACLS dissertation completion fellowship.