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NDC - News- Call for applications for the<br> 3rd Early-Career Nuclear Strategists Workshop

Call for applications for the
3rd Early-Career Nuclear Strategists Workshop

  • 08 Mar. 2021
  • |
  • Last updated: 08 Mar. 2021 14:09

A Virtual Research Division Event

Call for applications: 3rd Early-Career Nuclear Strategists Workshop (ECNSW)

The NATO Defense College (NDC), in cooperation with NATO HQ’s Nuclear Policy Directorate, is opening a Call for applications for the third edition of its Early-Career Nuclear Strategists Workshop (ECNSW) which will take place from 7 to 9 July 2021. Applicants should be nationals of a NATO country, under the age of 40, and either enrolled in a PhD programme (any discipline) or already hold a PhD. Given the current COVID-19 emergency, this year’s edition will be held online.

Government officials working in a relevant area who meet the age limitations and wish to attend may also submit a request by contacting


  • The workshop will consist of a limited number of panels;
  • Each panel will include a leading scholar in the field, and up to three early-career scholars who will present their work;
  • The NDC Research Division intends to publish the best papers presented at the workshop (2500-3500 words long), and strengthen this network of scholars and policy-makers;


The workshop aims at enhancing and disseminating the necessary competencies, understanding and skills with regard to the concept and practice of nuclear deterrence, in order to forge a new generation of nuclear strategists.
The workshop has three main goals:

  • To promote awareness and expertise on nuclear issues.
  • To train a community of young experts from different backgrounds, on these subjects.
  • To facilitate dialogue and understanding between the academic and policy-making worlds, and create a network.

Application process

Candidates are invited to send their application by email to by 26 May 2021, including a one-page CV, a one-page cover letter illustrating their interest and past experience, as well as to submit either a 300-word abstract or a full 3500-word essay of the paper they wish to present. NDC plans to publish the best papers presented during the workshop. Policy-makers, members of the Armed Forces as well as students and researchers are welcome to apply as non-presenting participants.

Rationale and topics

During the Cold War, nuclear strategy played an integral part in the NATO-USSR confrontation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, the world changed dramatically: although more players acquired nuclear capabilities, the knowledge and expertise on nuclear issues and deterrence progressively atrophied – due not least to the focus on other security issues and threats. Today, we are witnessing the return of the nuclear dimension into what has become an increasingly complex and constantly evolving global security environment. For these reasons, a renewed emphasis on nuclear issues, in general, and on nuclear deterrence in particular, is needed. As stated in the 2010 Strategic Concept, NATO “will remain a nuclear alliance as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world”. Composed of different factors, nuclear deterrence requires specific competencies, understanding and skills from scholars and practitioners. Thus, the Alliance needs a new group of thinkers, scholars and practitioners who understand the various dimensions of nuclear issues in depth. The ECNSW aims to contribute to this goal.

Past editions of ECNSW have focused on nuclear strategy, nuclear doctrine, nuclear posture, nuclear deterrence, nuclear modernization and technological change, strategic stability and emerging technologies, nuclear sharing and NATO as a nuclear alliance, arms control and disarmament, nuclear history as well as targeted focus on nuclear issues related to non-NATO countries such as China, Russia, India, and North Korea.

In order to facilitate the discussion, NDC reserves the right to cap the number of participants.

NDC Research Division