Next Generation Scholars

In partnership with the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, the RGK Center provides new research and mentorship opportunities for promising UT undergraduate students interested in nonprofit management and governance, community revitalization, juvenile justice reform, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship.

The Strauss Center launched the Next Generation Scholars (NGS) program in 2010 with a focus on international security and law. The RGK Center joined the program in 2015 to add a focus on civic engagement, expanding the reach of the program by engaging more students and involving faculty members on a wider range of local, national, and international policy issues. Involving undergraduates in international affairs and civic engagement early in their career is an important part of the RGK and Strauss Centers’ missions to prepare the next generation of leaders to help develop solutions to the most pressing public policy challenges.

Program Components

This one-year program includes two key components: First, students will take a 3-credit research training and professional development course, taught in the Fall of 2016. This course is designed to introduce students to policy work, including basic skills in policy research, analysis, and writing. Students will be trained on designing research strategies and proposals, conducting policy analysis, writing resumes and statements of purpose, crafting op-eds and blog posts, and planning for the steps in their career development. This course will be led by Dr. Michael Mosser, Lecturer in the Department of Government, International Relations and Global Studies, and the Center for European Studies, and a Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar.

Second, the program also matches each selected student with a research agenda underway by a Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar or RGK Center Faculty Fellow to provide opportunities to directly engage in policy-relevant research and practice skills taught in the fall course. Students who perform well in the research training course in the fall will be eligible to then continue as a paid research intern for their respective faculty members at the Strauss or RGK Center in Spring 2017. Students promoted to full intern positions will be expected to commit approximately ten hours per week during the spring semester and will earn a stipend of $500 for the spring semester. Students may use this stipend for independent research, travel to a study abroad program or summer internship, travel to a professional conference, or other experiential and scholarly pursuits approved by Dr. Mosser. Funding permitting, and contingent on positive performance evaluations, students may have the possibility of continuing as research interns at the Strauss or RGK Center after the year-long Next Generation Scholars program concludes.

Application Guidelines

Applications for the 2016-2017 academic year will be accepted from February 25, 2016 to March 25, 2016. Please send your application materials, as detailed below, to Anne Clary.


  1. Students must plan to be registered UT undergraduate students in residence at UT during the fall and spring semesters of the 2016-17 academic year. Because this program provides the foundation for a potentially multi-year mentorship, preference will be given to students entering their sophomore or junior years.
  2. Students should have a GPA of at least 3.50.
  3. Students must be able to complete all activities required during the 2016-17 scholarship period, including the Fall 2016 course, Spring 2017 mentored research project, and regular attendance at Strauss and RGK Center public events.

Applications should include:

  1. A detailed cover letter that explains your academic and professional interests and why you are interested in participating in the intellectual life of the Strauss Center or RGK Center. The Strauss Center is an interdisciplinary center devoted to policy-relevant research on issues related to national and international security, law, and diplomacy. The Strauss Center's research focuses on factors contributing to the destabilization of nation states, diplomatic and military history and strategy, new approaches to diplomacy, intelligence and surveillance, the impact of science and technology on national security, evolving legal architectures to account for new threats in the 21st century, climate security and complex emergencies, and international development and security. The RGK Center focuses on nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, volunteerism and civic participation, aiming to contribute to and enrich national and international conversations about the future of the nonprofit sector. RGK Center research initiatives include topics in nonprofit management and governance, community revitalization, juvenile justice reform, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, global health initiatives and global civil society. Where possible, please identify which Strauss Center or RGK Center research program or faculty member best fits your fields of interest. You can read more about the Centers and their current research programs on their websites: and
  2. Resume with your complete contact information, including email address and phone number.
  3. Names and contact information of two references. One of these references should be a faculty member who can speak to your academic abilities and potential.
  4. One unofficial college transcript.

For questions about the program, please contact Anne Clary.