ICRD Research Internship


While not itself a religious organization, the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD) builds the skills, capacity, and ranks of women and men peacebuilders of all faiths to address the root causes of identity-based conflict and violent extremism in their communities.

By building relationships of trust, ICRD steers religious convictions away from fomenting conflict and toward strengthening communities in their ability to resolve current and future challenges to peace. ICRD capitalizes on the following unique attributes of religious actors and institutions, which allow them to build trust and overcome differences:

  • Critical insights into community experiences and perspectives, thereby equipping them to negotiate relationships between individuals and institutions at all levels;
  • A perceived neutrality with respect to political, social, and economic agendas, thus enabling them to serve as trusted mediators;
  • The authority to interpret doctrinal values through which believers can be inspired to strengthen community by transcending ego, greed, envy, hatred and other motives that feed conflict;
  • An ability to strengthen the peacemaking capacity of policy­‐makers and analysts by demonstrating the value of applying religious principles to conflict mitigation.


Martine Miller, Executive Vice-President


This internship will prepare interns for careers in any of the following: 

  • Academic Research and Administration
  • Advocacy and Policy
  • Communication, Outreach, and Publishing
  • Data Science
  • Government
  • Industry and For-profit
  • Non-profit
  • Teaching
  • Dialogue, Mediation, and Negotiation


This internship will provide experiences to develop and polish the following skills: 

  • Communication (Written and/or verbal)
  • Data Literacy and Fluency
  • Grant writing and Funding Development
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Knowledge of Sector and Networking
  • Problem-solving and Analytical Thinking
  • Project Management
  • Self and Career Management
  • Teaching, Mentoring, and Training
  • Dialogue, Mediation, and Negotiation


Program research, design and implementation support will align peace fellows’ (UVA interns at ICRD are considered peace fellows given their PhD pursuits) interests with topic areas relevant to the fellows’ coursework; fellows will develop communication, interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership skills; fellows will gain experience and exposure in a related career field; improve knowledge and competency in related field area; hone skills in time management, multitasking, research and analysis, implementation, leadership, and organization. Fellows will also develop professional writing skills focused on program proposals and grant writing.

ICRD works closely with the State Department, European Union, United Nations, other NGOs, governmental, and religious actors, allowing fellows to take a hands-on-approach to program development and implementation at the front lines of conflict dynamics. Fellows can expect to become familiar with the process of developing a project proposal that satisfies the requirements across nuanced Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs).

In addition to developing familiarity with the language and framework of NOFOs, fellows will learn about the various international governments, UN agencies, foundations and overall peace actors that provide such funding and support. Fellows will become adept with program development and implementation, including but not limited to the following: formulating an executive summary, establishing a table of contents, writing a proposal narrative in a direct, concise manner, formulating a budget narrative, establishing a monitoring and evaluation plan, designing a security plan, creating contingency plans, and establishing a gender and risk analysis, and program implementation.

The mentoring plan will include a dialogue and agreement between the mentor and the fellow mentee, this agreement will serve as the guidelines of the relationship. The mentoring plan will include meetings and discussions focused on providing and developing professional tools and skills centered on professional advancement. ICRD advances an open-dialogue approach with all fellows so the avenue for conversation is readily available to discuss any topic, issue, and/or concerns as a vital means to support interest, professional knowledge and skills growth interests along with networking opportunities. 


The fellowship experience at the ICRD offers a multifaceted learning and networking opportunity for all fellows, encompassing a range of valuable outcomes. Fellows at ICRD gain a profound understanding of the intersection between religion and diplomacy, delving into the complexities of navigating nuanced conflict and peace dynamics globally. This involves grasping the role of faith-based and traditional actors in conflict, peacebuilding, diplomacy and conflict transformation, and understanding the nuances of engaging with diverse religious communities globally. Furthermore, interns develop a heightened awareness of the cultural, social, and political contexts in which diplomacy operates, enhancing their global perspective and intercultural competency. In terms of skills, fellows hone their research and analytical abilities through in-depth studies on conflict analysis, trends and trajectories, etc., and impact on diplomatic efforts.

Effective communication skills are fostered as fellows engage in dialogue with various stakeholders, including religious leaders, government officials, and civil society representatives. The fellowship also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills, challenging fellows to navigate complex issues related to tensions, violent conflict, peace and international diplomacy. Additionally, fellows at ICRD acquire project design, management, and implementation skills by actively contributing to ongoing initiatives and participating in the planning and execution of events, workshops, conferences, etc. Fellows will be offered the opportunity to expand their international networks/collaborations that may be utilized when exploring professional opportunities.

The content knowledge, skills and network gained during the internship spans a wide spectrum. Fellows delve into the historical and contemporary dimensions of conflicts, peace processes, and reconciliation efforts worldwide. They acquire a comprehensive understanding of the role of faith and traditional actors in promoting human security, conflict transformation, and reconciliation with the focus on a durable peace outcome. Moreover, fellows engage with diplomatic strategies that integrate religious considerations, learning how to navigate the delicate balance between respecting cultural and religious diversity and fostering diplomatic relations. This wealth of knowledge equips fellows to contribute meaningfully to the field of diplomacy and conflict transformation, and prepares them for future roles in international affairs.


Fellows engaged as a team member at ICRD undertake a diverse set of responsibilities that collectively contribute to the organization's mission of promoting peace and conflict resolution through religious engagement. One primary duty involves conducting extensive research on nuanced conflict dynamics in countries and regions of strategic importance. Fellows may be tasked with analyzing the impact of religious factors on ongoing conflicts, mapping out the religious landscape in specific regions, and identifying potential areas for diplomatic and peace interventions. This research forms the basis for informed program design, implementation and policies aimed at fostering peace.

Another key responsibility involves actively participating in the planning and execution of various strategic projects, activities, and events. Fellows may assist in organizing conferences, workshops, and roundtable discussions that bring together faith and traditional actors, civil society, policymakers, and scholars to address pressing global issues. This hands-on involvement provides fellows with valuable experience in project management, event coordination, and networking within the intersection of religion and diplomacy. Fellows also play a crucial role in supporting communication and outreach efforts. This includes drafting reports, articles, and other written materials that articulate ICRD's engagement on relevant issues.

Additionally, fellows may be involved in managing social media accounts, contributing to the organization's website content, and engaging with external partners to enhance visibility and impact.

Furthermore, fellows work as a team member with senior staff on ongoing initiatives, contributing to the development of strategic plans and policy recommendations. This might involve liaising with key stakeholders, attending meetings with diplomatic counterparts, and actively participating in brainstorming sessions to devise innovative approaches to address complex challenges.


ICRD seeks strongly motivated fellows who will take the initiative on complex research projects and program design and implementation efforts. ICRD values the principles of peace, nonviolence negotiation, religious pluralism, interreligious dialogue, and the role religious actors can play in active diplomacy, and our fellows should reflect such principles in their work. Areas of knowledge considered a plus but not necessary are language capacities in French and Arabic. Fellows should have an interesting in learning about a range of diverse communities, countries and regions globally.


Willing to consider in-person, virtual, or hybrid based on the intern’s availability/preference


Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and/or Spring 2025