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Graduate Assistantships: China Focus

  • President Carter was welcomed back to Beijing in 2009 for the 30th anniversary of his 1979 move to open full diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. (Photo: The Carter Center/H. Saul)

The Carter Center seeks a qualified graduate assistant (GA) for the 2020-2021 session. The GA’s work will feature three main areas of focus:

1. Researching about China’s foreign assistance practices towards developing countries in Africa and comparing the impact of these efforts with those from U.S, European, and possibly other powers (e.g. Japan, South Korea, India, etc.)

2. Conducting background research to support the Center’s programming for its Africa-U.S.-China cooperation initiative in support of China Focus project incubator project

3. Helping review submissions for Center’s online publication series, the Trilateral Cooperation Research Series

All focus areas will be in support of the Carter Center's ongoing project to promote cooperation between Africa, China and the United States. These research outcomes will be used for project design, and for possible publication.

Specific assignments for the GA will be as follows:

For the first half of the assistantship (August 2020-Februrary 2021), the GA will focus on the research project on foreign assistance practices. China Focus staff will work with the GA to choose one or two African countries. The GA will then draft a comprehensive report on the impact of China’s foreign assistance practices in the country/countries, and how they compare with foreign assistance practices of other key stakeholder countries.

The GA will spend the second half of the assistantship conducting background research to identify possible areas of Africa-U.S.-China cooperation on peace and security issues (e.g., peacekeeping, transitional justice, post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding, etc.). This will include identifying possible issues, conducting gap analysis, mapping stakeholders, etc.

Throughout the assistantship, the GA will be asked to help review submissions for the Trilateral Cooperation Research series as submissions come in.

Anticipated timeline:

The following timeline and benchmarks will be used to evaluate the progress of the research by the graduate assistant:

  • End of October 2020, complete research on the first subject
  • November 2018, write the first paper
  • December 15, release report in English
  • End of December, release report in Chinese with support from staff
  • End of March 2021, complete research of the second subject
  • End of May 2021, complete first draft of needs assessment/gap analysis
  • End of July 2021, try to develop and publish a research article based on findings in the gap analysis


  • Currently enrolled graduate or doctoral student who has completed at least two semesters of academic coursework in a master’s or post-master’s level program
  • A 20-hour-per-week commitment for a period of 9-12 months
  • Demonstrated ability to independently conduct research
  • Strong research and writing skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Major in African Studies, Chinese Studies, International Development, International Affairs, Political Science, History, or other Social Science fields
  • Chinese reading capability is strongly preferred

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Assistantship Deadlines

Apply for a Carter Center Graduate Assistantship

The 2021-22 graduate assistantship application opens on Feb. 5, 2021 and closes on April 8, 2021.

Program: 9-12 MONTHS
(August start)

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