International Center for Defense and Security - FSI Student Programs

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International Center for Defense and Security

FSI Faculty Mentor:

Stephen Krasner, Senior Fellow, FSI, Professor, International Relations

About the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS):

ICDS is the leading think-tank in Estonia specialising in foreign policy, security and defence issues. We aim to be the regional knowledge hub of first choice for the security and defence communities of Estonia, its allies and partners.

ICDS’ mission is to:

• Strengthen Estonia’s security and defence sector by identifying and analysing national security and defence challenges and proposing policy solutions;

• Sharpen strategic thinking in NATO and the EU on security issues that affect the Nordic-Baltic region by offering timely and high-quality analysis and policy recommendations;

• Contribute to enhancing Estonia’s intellectual role within NATO and the EU by developing forward-looking and innovative policy ideas and strategic solutions for the common European and transatlantic security and defence agenda;

• Raise public awareness and stimulate public debate on security, defence and foreign policy matters.


The FSI Global Policy Intern will work for a period of about ten weeks during Summer 2020. The intern's project may include research on security challenges facing the Baltic-Nordic region, of which one of the following themes is likely:

  • Conducting dialogue with Russia: limits, risks and opportunities.
  • Sino-Russian defence cooperation
  • Role of Sweden and Finland in the Nordic-Baltic regional security
  • Development of the EU defence cooperation
  • China’s intelligence activities in the West
  • Military uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It is also possible to propose an independent small project resulting in an ICDS publication, particularly on the topics of security in Nordic-Baltic region, Russia’s foreign and security policy, Ukraine, China, transatlantic relations or technology and geopolitics nexus.

The exact project will be developed with the intern and ICDS’ program staff. The intern will be expected to take on the following tasks:

  • Produce short research-based analytical publications;
  • Assist with data collection, analysis and drafting for the ongoing and/or planned ICDS research projects;
  • Provide organisational support to the ongoing projects;
  • Assist with development of future ICDS projects (research, outreach, events, etc);
  • Assist ICDS research staff with editing and formatting research papers and articles.

Eligibility and Skills Required:

The internship is open to continuing undergraduate and graduate students. Students from any department are welcome to apply. Applicants must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Applicants should have an interest in issues related to international security and defense issues, specifically in the Baltic-Nordic region.

Additional Requirements:

  • Willingness to demonstrate initiative combined with an ability to follow instructions and constructively respond to feedback;
  • Good research, analytical, communication and networking skills,
  • Ability to perform well under time pressure and meet demanding timelines and deadlines;
  • Professional work ethic and careful attention to detail

Language Requirement:

Russian, Chinese, or French would be useful, but not mandatory.

  • In projects dealing with Russia and Ukraine, working proficiency (ability to read, correspond in written and verbal communication) in Russian language is useful, but not mandatory;
  • In projects dealing with China, basic proficiency in Chinese is useful, but not mandatory.



The internship is located in Tallinn, Estonia.

Short-term housing opportunities can be checked through the websites such as AirBnB as well as local Estonian websites such as and

Visa Requirements:

Student must be eligible to travel to Estonia and must have a passport valid until March 2021. A visa is generally not required unless the student has been studying abroad in Europe in the preceding quarter, or will be studying abroad in the following quarter. Please see this website for more details on visa requirements. FSI will help finalists with the visa process.


FSI is committed to providing its opportunities to students regardless of financial constraints. FSI’s Global Policy Interns are provided with a stipend to cover travel and living expenses during the summer. These stipends do not exceed $6,400 per student. Students must submit a budget with their estimated costs along with their application. If you have additional financial constraints that you think may prevent you from participating in this program, please contact FSI Academic Program Coordinator Patrick Laboon directly.


Applicants will be asked to submit:

  • Application Form
  • Name of faculty reference (letter of recommendation not required)
  • CV/Resume
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Budget

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: You may only apply to one FSI Global Policy Internship.