The UNC-TISS National Security Fellowship Program (NSFP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a ten-month postgraduate research fellowship for military officers (lieutenant colonels and colonels) and civilian government officials. It is part of the Senior Service College Fellowship Program and is hosted by UNC’s Curriculum on Peace, War and Defense (PWAD) in cooperation with the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS). Upon completion of the program fellows receive credit for Senior Service School.


The NSFP is geared to military and government officials interested in leveraging the research power of academia to help address the complex challenges of military and government leaders today and in the future. National Security Fellows have the opportunity to study a wide range of academic disciplines offered by constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina System including: national security, public policy, public affairs, medical/ veterinary/health, language, culture, engineering, business, agriculture and others.

Fellows pursue a supervised research project of relevance to the U.S. Army and the university. The NSFP director (currently Dr. Wayne Lee) and faculty advisers in the departments of their concentration work with each fellow to tailor academic studies and identify experiential activities that are an essential part of the program. Each fellow must write a scholarly paper aimed at senior policy makers that recommend solutions to pressing or potential future organizational issues and concerns. Additionally, fellows audit classes at UNC System institutions and Triangle Institute of Security Studies (TISS) affiliated institutions; participate in select Kenan-Flagler Executive Development Institute modules; and facilitate and attend guest lectures sponsored by TISS. After they leave UNC, fellows are UNC alumni and are welcomed to participate in annual NSFP programs and events.

University Status

National Security Fellows will hold a research appointment to the university and will receive privileges commensurate to their status. They will have full access to the resources of the university and will participate actively in intellectual and social activities that form university life. Fellows will have access to a shared office space in the Peace, War, and Defense area in Hamilton Hall (Hamilton 402).


The fellowship program runs from mid-August through June. Participants should plan to arrive in the area prior to the beginning of classes to secure housing, receive household goods, enroll children in school and determine the most suitable form of transportation to and from campus. National Security Fellows will be expected to be on campus at minimum Monday through Thursday each week the University is in session. Flexibility will be provided for occasional military activities, family considerations, travel, research necessities, etc.


Research is the core function of the National Security Fellowship Program. Fellows will develop a research paper in consultation with the faculty adviser, other relevant faculty and their sponsoring organization over the course of their 10-month study. Additionally, fellows will have access to senior policy makers and their staff and actively see their comments throughout their research effort.

National Security Fellows will be supervised by faculty advisers from UNC or TISS affiliated universities as appropriate to their research project.

Timelines and deadlines for pre-draft and draft milestones are set at the beginning of the year. Fellows will receive assistance in topic selection, conceptualization and refinement from faculty who will offer feedback over the course of the academic year. The goal is to produce a publishable paper and/or product of use to the national defense establishment.

NSFP Curriculum

National Security Fellows, together with their faculty advisers, design activities within the framework of the fellowship program. Fellows will audit graduate-level courses and designated advanced undergraduate courses throughout the academic year. Fellows will have the benefit of access to the full spectrum of courses offered by the University of North Carolina System and the private universities affiliated with TISS.