Kendall Fellowship: Implications of Hypersonic Weapons

Kendall Fellowship: Implications of Hypersonic Weapons
Global Security Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Cambridge, MA Office preferred


The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) seeks outstanding candidates for a Kendall Fellowship studying the technology and policy implications of hypersonic weapons. This two-year fellowship is open to candidates who will have completed their Ph.D. in the physical sciences, engineering, or other appropriate fields before Fall 2019. The Fellow will investigate the technical and strategic issues related to the development and deployment of hypersonic weapons and develop policy recommendations for mitigating the dangers these weapons pose.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is an independent national nonprofit whose scientists and engineers work to solve some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and safety problems. UCS combines technical analysis and effective organizing and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for global warming, sustainable food policy and agriculture, clean energy and transportation, and reducing the threat of catastrophic nuclear war.


As a Kendall Fellow, you will work with UCS staff to develop a proposal for a two-year project studying the technical capabilities and limitations of hypersonic weapons, and assessing the potential military uses of these systems along with their possible effects on international security.

You will also develop policy recommendations, including arms control limitations, for mitigating the dangers these weapons pose, and help produce fact sheets and other written material. You’ll be expected to take part in briefings on the subject for the public and congressional staff.

The detailed outcomes of the Fellowship will be defined during the development of the proposal (see “To Apply”), but could include an academic research paper, a UCS report on technology and policy issues, materials for the public, and/or organizing events that convene experts and/or policymakers.

Qualifications and Experience

The Fellow should have a technical background—probably a PhD in physics or engineering—that will allow an analysis of technical issues related to hypersonics, and a strong background in nuclear weapons and arms control issues. You should be able to identify key policy-relevant questions, and write and speak clearly for both technical and policy audiences. A Ph.D. in a relevant field must be completed before September 1, 2019.

You may spend extended periods at a computer. Occasional travel may be required (several overnight trips per year).

UCS is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We've adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. We are actively seeking people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work.

About the Kendall Science Fellows Program

The Kendall Science Fellows Program was established to honor Nobel Prize winning physicist Henry Kendall who was with UCS from our beginnings and was the long-time chair of our board. Kendall was known for his unique ability to shake up the status quo and catalyze new thinking, and UCS looks to Kendall Fellows to do the same. Priority is given to innovative and forward-looking proposals that are primarily scientific, technical, or analytic in nature but also show interest in the application of science to policy. Fellows will benefit from the opportunity to learn from the UCS approach to science and policy, and UCS will benefit from the new approaches and expertise of the Kendall Fellows.

Compensation, Hours and Location: This is a full-time, up to two-year position. Location in UCS’s Cambridge, MA office is preferred but other UCS offices may be possible. The Fellowship will begin in Fall 2019. Kendall Fellowship salaries follow a special structure and are fixed at $72,000 for candidates with less than 3 years relevant post-Ph.D. experience and $82,000 for those with 3-8 years of post-Ph.D. experience. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. Information about the organization is available at A listing of all open jobs is available at


To Apply: Please upload: (1) a cover letter up to two pages that includes relevant background and experience, a brief description of a research idea related to battery recycling and reuse, interest in working with UCS, and salary requirements; (2) curriculum vitae; and (3) two references. Upload materials in Word or PDF format to No phone calls, please.


Following an initial screening, top candidates will co-create a more specific fellowship proposal in coordination with UCS staff for submission to the Kendall Science Fellows Program Advisory Committee by February 1, 2019. Final decisions on the award of this competitive fellowship will be made by the end of February 2019.


Deadline: December 10, 2018 or until filled. Review of applications will begin immediately

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.