Apply for the 2016 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research


The Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR) is a four-day seminar in which Ph.D. students receive training in conducting archival research from world-class faculty, researchers, archivists, and publishers. Although archival research is an integral part of many academic disciplines, it is virtually never taught at the graduate level. In an effort to address this deficiency, the George Washington University began the Summer Institute in 2003. Since 2015, the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program and the George Washington University’s Cold War Group have jointly organized SICAR.


The Wilson Center and George Washington University now welcome applications for the 2016 Summer Institute from Ph.D. students from the US and abroad working on international relations and modern history in a variety of disciplines, including history, government and politics, sociology, anthropology, and public policy, as well as area and regional studies. Preference will be given to students who have defended their dissertation proposal and who are about to embark on archival research.


Pending funding, the 2016 workshop will be held during the week of May 23-May 27. All sessions will be held at the Wilson Center in downtown Washington, DC. Student participants are required to attend all sessions. (Exact schedule TBA).


The deadline for applications is Sunday, February 28, 2016, by 11:59 p.m. EST.


Applications should include the application cover sheet, curriculum vitae, and a one to two page (12 pt. font, double spaced, 1” margins) proposal outlining how your dissertation research would benefit from participation in SICAR. One letter of recommendation should also be submitted directly by the recommender. All application materials should be submitted via e-mail to [log in to unmask]" target="_blank">[log in to unmask]. The Wilson Center will make an effort to confirm receipt of all application materials.


The Wilson Center and the George Washington University, pending funding, will provide hotel accommodations in Washington for participants and may be able to offer modest transportation subsidies. Applicants are strongly encouraged to request additional funding for travel and ground expenses from their home institution or elsewhere.


For further information, please contact [log in to unmask]" target="_blank">[log in to unmask]. Students interested in applying for SICAR are also encouraged to read about the 2015 Summer Institute and view last year’s agenda.


The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program focuses on the relationship between history and policy making and seeks to foster open, informed and non-partisan dialogue on historically relevant issues. Its many activities and projects include the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP). The History and Public Policy Program also manages the award-winning Digital Archive (, which contains thousands of documents from international archives on contemporary history.


The George Washington Cold War Group works closely with the National Security Archive and the History and Public Policy Program to build a community of faculty, scholars, and graduate students dedicated to encouraging a multilingual, multi-disciplinary and multi-national exploration of the Cold War experience and its implications for understanding current policy issues.