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Transparency International – Defence & Security is a global programme of Transparency International dedicated to fighting corruption in the defence and security sector globally. We work with governments, militaries, civil society, multilateral organisations, and defence companies to work towards a world with open governments served by transparent defence institutions that are accountable to ordinary people and whose primary purpose is the protection of all citizens. We’re a diverse and ambitious team with a wide range of backgrounds, from government and public service, to the military, academia and civil society.

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Graduate Fellowship — Research & Advocacy Assistant

Application Closing Date: January 6, 2020

Job Start Date:  Early-February 2020

Duration:  Early-February to Mid-May (Spring semester) 2020 with possible extension

Location: Washington, DC

Pay: $15/hour


Transparency International Defense and Security Program (TI-DS) works towards a world where governments, armed forces, and arms transfers are transparent, accountable, and free from corruption.  It works to accomplish these goals along three advocacy and research pillars:  responsible defense governance, conflict and insecurity, and industry integrity.  It is a thematic program under the overall Transparency International (TI) movement, a world-renowned anti-corruption movement based in Berlin, Germany with over 100 worldwide chapters.  TI seeks a world in which government, business, civil society, and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.  TI-DS is hiring a graduate student research fellow to assist with all aspects of research and advocacy.   This is a paid fellowship.

As part of TI-DS global efforts, TI-DS has a Washington, DC-based office (TI-DS/US) that conducts US-focused research on the linkages of corruption, conflict, and US national security.  As part of US-focused advocacy efforts, the US office engages with civil society, Departments of Defense and State, other government agencies and experts, and industry.  The research and advocacy fellow will be responsible for providing general administrative assistance to the TI-DS/US team’s daily operations and support a variety of research and advocacy-associated tasks as requested by the TI-DS/US team manager.

The Research and Advocacy Assistant will be involved in a research agenda focused on the links between US security assistance, corruption, and conflict.  These include research into specific aspects of potential or actual corruption in various sectors of defense-related exports and their associated laws and regulations.  The fellow will also be involved in extensive educational and advocacy efforts with coalitions of civil society groups, government experts, and industry representatives, providing an excellent opportunity for the fellow to develop associated advocacy and networking skills.


Responsibilities & Scope of Work:
  1. Provide general support in the implementation of TI-DS/US research projects
  2. Provide general administrative support in the daily operations of the US Research & Policy team
  3. Provide ad hoc research support as needed, including figure and fact checking of reports and production of simple tables and presentation slides
  4. Attend events on corruption and arms export-related issues and report back to colleagues
  5. Assist with event planning and logistics (workshops, meetings, media launches, etc.)
  6. Assist in developing and implementing social media campaigns
  7. Complete at least one portfolio piece of their choice, such as writing/publishing an op-ed or blog. Receive credit as co-author on appropriate research piece if warranted by quality and quantity of work on a specific project
  8. Support the refinement of the Fellowship Program curriculum, giving critical feedback to TI-DS/US staff in order to improve the process for future fellows


Knowledge, Experience, Skills

This fellowship is designed for a graduate student in the Washington, DC-area seeking paid, part-time employment to expand their research, advocacy, and networking skills within the broader agenda of the nexus of corruption and conflict.  Experience and skills sought include:

  • Current enrollment in a graduate school program
  • Experience organizing events with diverse partners
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills and the ability to manage priorities
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and outside of a standard office environment
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Professional language proficiency in English; additional languages are an advantage
  • Good MS Office skills
  • A strong interest in good governance, defense, and corruption-related issues
  • Current or prior employment in defense or law enforcement is an advantage, but not required. Examples include former active duty military, current or former military reservist/national guard, former police officer, Department of Defense or State civilian. There are no prior specialty codes or minimum rank requirements.  Any veteran applicant must have been honorably discharged; current reservists or national guard must be in good standing
  • Additional data analysis skills are an advantage, but not required
  • Specific academic course work, prior advocacy work, or professional background in a corruption-related subject is an advantage, but not required


Compensation & Expectations:
  • TI-DS/US Fellows will be compensated as a consultant at the rate of $15/hour at the end of the months they work over the course of the Spring 2020 semester (early February through mid-May) for hours worked that month.  An extension beyond the Spring semester is possible.  Fellows are expected to work on average 15 hours per week, though specific hours per week can be adjusted to account for mid-terms, final exams, school breaks, etc.
  • TI-DS/US does not provide any housing or meal stipends. Local travel will be required as part of this internship; travel costs (metro, parking, etc.) will be reimbursed, but no travel stipend will be provided for standard travel to/from the daily work location.
  • TI-DS/US does not provide a computer or other IT equipment; the Fellow is expected to use their own laptop and Wi-Fi.  TI-DS/US will provide email accounts, cloud storage services, Zotero bibliographic software storage, and other virtual office requirements as needed.
  • TI-DS/US is a small office and does not have a permanent office location; the Fellow is expected to be able to work from home or another appropriate location such as a library.  There will be weekly in-depth check-ins and well as ad hoc updates as required.


To apply:

Qualified applicants should submit, preferably via email, a cover email (mentioning the source of the application), a resume or CV in English (PDF), and a writing sample (a published blog, op ed, or other public writing OR an unpublished writing sample of 3000 words or less) to  Deadline is 5pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday, January 6, 2020.