Breakthrough Institute 2010 Summer Fellowship Program:
Public Policy Think Tank Offers Paid Fellowship Focused on Climate, Energy, National Security, and Counterterrorism Policy
December 16, 2009–The Breakthrough Institute, a leading public policy think tank, is seeking up to ten of the country’s top young writers and thought leaders for a paid fellowship in Summer 2010 as part of its young leaders initiative, Breakthrough Generation. Fellowships are highly competitive — in 2009, 5 percent of applicants were accepted — and involve cutting-edge writing, research, and analysis on energy/climate and national security/counterterrorism issues. Breakthrough Fellows have published in the Harvard Law & Policy Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, and the Huffington Post, and their projects have been cited in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.
For 2010, Breakthrough Fellows will divide into an energy and climate team and a national security team, which will work closely with Senior Breakthrough Institute staff, including Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, Breakthrough’s founders and two of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment 2008. Energy and climate fellows will focus on quantitative and qualitative analyses of the global energy economy and policies designed to decarbonize the economy and make clean energy cheap and abundant. The national security fellows will focus on scientific analyses of the terrorist threat and policies to prevent terrorism.
Potential project topics include:
Climate and Energy
- Analyzing various clean energy technology pathways, their potential to contribute to energy and climate objectives, and policies to spur their adoption.
- Developing energy technology and innovation policies capable of driving price and performance improvements to make clean energy cheap and abundant.
- Examining clean energy economic competitiveness and its implications for national economies.
- Examining the relationship between energy efficiency and economic growth, and the role of energy efficiency measures in climate mitigation policies.
- Investigate the most effective counterterrorism methods using scientific standards of evidence and scientific theories.
- Investigate the relationship of security to modernization and human rights over the sweep of human history.
The Breakthrough Institute has a history of recreating older political paradigms with big ideas. In 2002, Breakthrough co-founded the Apollo Alliance and the New Apollo Project for clean energy, which is one of President Obama’s main priorities. In 2004, Shellenberger and Nordhaus wrote “The Death of Environmentalism”, an essay that triggered a national debate about the future of environmentalism and interest group liberalism. Their 2007 book, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, was called “prescient” by Time Magazine. Wired Magazine said “the book could be the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Silent Spring.” Breakthrough’s climate and energy analysis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. Most recently, the Breakthrough Institute was profiled on National Public Radio for their work promoting an investment and innovation centered framework for addressing climate change.
The Breakthrough Institute succeeds by tapping cutting-edge progressive thinking, sharp analysis, and superb communication to create and advance ideas capable of achieving the broad social and ecological transformations America and the world need.
Fellowships pay $300 per week and are awarded to individuals aged 18-25 who will be closely involved with Breakthrough’s high-level work. Activities and projects include writing short articles and op-eds, researching and writing policy white papers, and conducting interviews with the nation’s top political and policy experts. Fellows will work 40 hours per week for ten weeks during Summer 2010 from Breakthrough’s central office in Oakland, CA.
To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume or CV, and three writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your cover letter, please indicate why you are interested in working with the Breakthrough Institute, making reference to Breakthrough’s policy work, the “Death of Environmentalism” essay, and/or Break Through. If you are interested in applying and your library does not have a copy of the book, please notify us and we will send you a copy free of charge. In your application please indicate if you are interested in participating in the climate/energy track or the national security track. Applications are due by 5:00PM PST on March 15th, 2010. Writing samples should include at least one oped-style piece and one research paper (these do not have to be published). Personal recommendations are welcomed but not required.
Here is what a few of Breakthrough Generation’s previous summer fellows had to say about their experience working with the Breakthrough Institute:
“The Breakthrough Generation fellowship may be the single most positive influence on my young adult life.” Danny Spitzberg (MS Candidate, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
“What I enjoyed the most were the sharp, creative and ambitious individuals I was given the opportunity to work with and learn from, the ideas and issues we tackled together, and the strong sense of cohesion that I felt in the team from day one and throughout the entire fellowship.” William Oman (MPA Candidate, London School of Economics).
“The Breakthrough Generation Fellowship was many things to me, but first and foremost it was always a learning experience and a challenge.” Johanna Peace (BA, Sociology, Wellesley College, Class of 2009).
For more information, contact Devon Swezey at Devon@thebreakthrough.org
See the 2009 Breakthrough Generation Fellows:
Clockwise from left: Danny Spitzberg, William Oman, James Burgess, Devon Swezey, Yael Borofsky, Johanna Peace, Leigh Ewbank, and Juliana Williams. With Jesse Jenkins, Teryn Norris, and Michael Shellenberger (Top from left)
Mailing list: Join our mailing list here for updates.
Blog contributions: We welcome guest contributions to our blog, which can be submitted here.
Invest in our work:
Please contact us if you are interested in making an investment in our work. Tax-deductible donations to Breakthrough Generation should be made out to “Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers — Breakthrough Institute Fund — BT Gen.”
The Breakthrough Institute
c/o Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
437 Madison Avenue, 37th Floor
New York, NY 10022