Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Center for International Security and Cooperation Stanford University

CISAC Employment

Marilie Coetsee (left), former research assistant, and Associate Director of Research Lynn Eden

The Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), part of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), is a multidisciplinary community dedicated to research and training in issues of international security. The Center brings together scholars, policymakers, area specialists, business people, and other experts to focus on a wide range of security questions of current importance.

CISAC grew out of Stanford University's pioneering commitment to explore concerns about the escalating arms competition that marked the decades following World War II. With the founding of the Arms Control and Disarmament Program in 1970, Stanford University became one of the first academic institutions in the nation to commit faculty and resources to the study of the critical issues surrounding the Cold War. Today it has expanded its mission to also focus on nuclear risk reduction, biosecurity and global health, cybersecurity, terrorism and homeland security, governnance, migration and transnational flows. 

Social Science Research Assistant

This is fixed-term position. The term ends Aug. 31, 2017, but may be extended based on programmatic need and funding availability. 

Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) is seeking a full-time research assistant to support CISAC co-director Dr. Amy Zegart.  

CISAC is one of the nation's leading interdisciplinary, university-based research and training centers addressing critical international security issues. The Center draws on scholars from a range of disciplines, integrating political, regional, and scientific expertise in international affairs, and applying this expertise to policy-relevant solutions.

Dr. Zegart is seeking a research assistant with outstanding academic credentials to conduct research, draft reports, support teaching and lecture activities, and assist with a range of administrative needs. The candidate will explore, write about, and otherwise work on international security issues such as U.S. national security agencies and their effectiveness, managing political risk, and the proliferation of drone technology and its implications for signaling and coercion dynamics.

Duties include, but are not limited to:

•    Assist Dr. Zegart with research on international security issues.

•    Assist with drafting, formatting, and fact checking articles and other pieces authored by Dr. Zegart.

•    Assist with preparation of funding proposals and reports, including researching, compiling data, and drafting.

•    Coordinate a team of undergraduate research assistants.

•    Assist with teaching and public appearances by drafting and preparing PowerPoint, talking points, and other presentations.

•    Design and execute programs (including workshops, meetings, events) to further objectives of CISAC projects, including hosting distinguished visitors.

•    Manage finances for Dr. Zegart’s sponsored grant projects, including reviewing monthly expenditure statements and tracking expenses for sponsored projects.

•    Process reimbursements and payments.

•    Prepare correspondence.

•    Assist with course preparation and administration, including developing materials, handling all logistics, and overseeing teaching assistants for Dr. Zegart’s Political Risk course.

•    Coordinate and support development of CISAC’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

•    Collaborate closely with the administrative assistant in charge of Dr. Zegart's calendar, programs and initiatives at the Hoover Institution.

•    Work closely with other CISAC staff to support events and programs where needed.


The ideal candidate is a skilled and tenacious researcher with first-rate analytical capabilities, superb people skills, and a can-do team orientation. The candidate is an exceptional writer, able to produce near-publishable or publication-quality work independently. He or she is extremely well organized, self-motivated, detail-oriented, proactive, and able to handle multiple complex tasks in a fast-paced environment. He or she has a familiarity with international security issues and international relations subjects and wants to work on the world’s most challenging international security problems. He or she has the poise, maturity, and diplomacy to interact with some of the world’s leading scholars, government officials and other dignitaries. The candidate exercises absolute discretion when handling sensitive information.

Applicants should have an excellent academic track record in international affairs, political science, history, international relations, or a related field. Advanced research skills are required, including library, archival, and online research. Exceptionally strong web-based research skills are mandatory, as is a deep familiarity with web-based academic resources. The candidate should be familiar with maintaining and preparing footnotes, bibliographic checking, and fact checking. The candidate should have familiarity with a range of administrative responsibilities, including scheduling, office organization, and answering phone calls. The candidate should have outstanding Word, Power Point, and Excel skills. Lastly, the candidate must be an excellent team player, good communicator, and problem solver.

A Bachelor’s degree required and one year of applicable experience desired. A background check will be required for all final candidates. For consideration please submit resume and cover letter to the Stanford Job Search page, #63354.