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Careers at cPASS

The Center for Peace and Security Studies (cPASS) has up to 3 postdoctoral positions available for the next four academic years ( 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023). CVs will be reviewed from January to March but will be accepted year round.

Each position is also renewable at the discretion of the cPASS Director.  Research at cPASS targets new and emerging security issues such as emerging modes of conflict and new modes of deterrence.  cPASS is devoted to applying innovative thinking and diverse methodologies (experiments, deductive modeling, statistical analysis, case studies, archival research and “big data”) to traditional security issues made more dynamic and difficult by the increased complexity of interstate competition and conflict. We emphasize a team-based, multi-method approach to research that combines qualitative and quantitative perspectives.

Postdocs will work closely with the Center Director in conducting cPASS research activities such as data collection, analysis, preparing project reports and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, preparing and delivering oral presentations to diverse audiences, overseeing qualitative research or supervising project labs, and mentoring graduate and undergraduate research activities.

Click here for position information

Student Opportunities


cPASS hopes that graduate students will be inspired to think about political conflict broadly in ways that treat means as part of the process, rather than simply as an exogenous solution.  Even those without a substantive interest in security may find it appealing to plug into some of the methodological work that we are beginning to undertake. We hope to build a community of scholars who can educate and help each other throughout their careers.

Not only can we involve students in the research cPASS is already doing, but we will make resources available to support students in the development of their own research agendas. Many of our graduate students conduct field research during their time at UC San Diego, spending six months in Washington, DC or ten months in Beijing. cPASS will soon be supporting these efforts by offering $5000 grants for selected projects. These grants will make it easier for graduate students to run pilot studies and discover research questions that will enable them to pursue larger grants through the National Science Foundation or Fulbright-Hayes Program on their own.

Student Publications

  • Carcelli, Shannon and Erik Gartzke. “Blast from the Past: Updating and Diversifying Deterrence Theory” Journal of Global Security Studies (under review).
  • Gartzke, Erik, Shannon Carcelli, Andres Gannon, and Jiakun J. Zhang. “Signaling in Foreign Policy” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Foreign Policy Analysis, ed. Cameron Thies (Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • Gartzke, Erik, Shannon Carcelli, and Jeffrey Kaplow. “Nuclear Arms Regime Dataset.” Paper presented at International Studies Association Annual Conference, February 2017.
  • Zhang, Jiakun, and Jon Lindsay. “The Commercial Peace in Space and Cyberspace: Cautious Optimism about US-China Relations.” Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, April 2016.
  • Gannon, Andres, Erik Gartzke, and Jon Lindsay. “After Deterrence: Explaining Conflict Short of War.” Paper presented at the CDD Annual Workshop, August 2017.
  • Gannon, Andres. “You Cruise, You Lose: An Analysis of US Cruise Missile Usage” Working paper.

Funded Conference Travel and Events for Graduate Students

  • Deterring Complex Threats: The Effects of Asymmetry, Interdependence, and Multi-polarity on International Strategy, Santa Barbara, CA (Sept ‘15)
  • Deterrence Across Domains, Borrego Springs, CA (Jan ‘16)
  • Social Media in Forecasting, La Jolla, CA (May ‘16)
  • New Look at 21st Century Deterrence, Washington, DC (May ‘16)
  • DOD Annual Minerva Meeting and Program Review, Washington,DC (Sept ‘16)
  • ISA – West, Los Angeles, CA (Sept ‘16)
  • ISAC-ISSS, Notre Dame, IN (Nov ‘16)
  • Annual Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit, Arlington, VA (March‘17)
  • West Coast International Relations of East Asia, Los Angeles, CA (April‘17)
  • SMA Conference, Joint Base Andrews, MD (April ‘17)
  • Political Networks Conference, Columbus, OH (June ‘17)
  • CDD Annual Workshop, San Francisco, CA (August ‘17)

Graduate Student and Postdoc placements

  • Rupal Mehta, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Jeff Kaplow, College of William and Mary
  • Blake McMahon, Air War College
  • Peter Schram, Vanderbilt University
  • Jiakun Jack Zhang, Princeton University
  • Shannon Carcelli, Princeton University

Undergraduate Research Assistants

cPASS also provides motivated UCSD undergraduate students with paid research assistantships at the center. These opportunities provide undergraduates with hands-on experience with academic research and develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their future careers. The program also increases the research productivity of the center and enables graduate students to develop the sort of mentoring experience that will help them become better faculty members later in their careers.

External Opportunities: Fellowships and Grants

Please contact Lea Williams at if you are interested in any of the following opportunities:

Careers with U.S. Strategic Command:

Student Opportunities with Cybercom: 

Student Programs with the United States Intelligence Community:

Internships with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory:  

Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS)

The University of California, San Diego's Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) program is an eight week summer research academy for students. STARS offers student participants a rigorous research opportunity with esteemed UCSD Faculty.

See below for an example of a STARS student's presentation from this program:

Alejandro Robles 2018 STARS Presentation