What is The Pearson Institute?

Established in 2015, The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts promotes discussion, understanding, and resolution of global conflicts through research, education and engagement with the global policy community. As part of the education component of its mission, The Pearson Institute annually awards Fellowships to a select group of distinguished MPP students.

Pearson Fellows and Obama Foundation Scholars attend an edition of The Pearson Institute's Discussion Series featuring former US Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Rick Barton
Pearson Fellows and alumni at the Pearson Global Forum Dinner 2022

What is the Pearson Fellowship?

Pearson Fellow, Hisham Yousif, MPP'23, speaks at the Pearson Global Forum
Pearson Fellow, Hisham Yousif, MPP'23, introduces a panel on the conflict in Lebanon at the 2022 Pearson Global Forum

The Pearson Fellowship is a financial aid and professional development opportunity. Pearson Fellows attend private seminars with policy leaders and practitioners in the policy fields of conflict and development, as well as with Pearson faculty members and relevant academics outside of the University of Chicago. Pearson Fellows engage in other public and private event programming of The Pearson Institute and The Pearson Global Forum as well as social networking and professional development events

Pearson Fellows also have various opportunities through The Pearson Institute, including internship funding and research funding opportunities. Additionally, the Institute works with Fellows on Root of Conflict, a podcast collaboration between University of Chicago Public Policy Podcasts (UC3P) and The Pearson Institute.

Is the Pearson Fellowship a fully-funded degree opportunity?

Financial aid awards vary based on overall qualifications.

Pearson Fellow Majd Itani (MPP '19) introduces former US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes at the Pearson Institute's Distinguished Speaker Series
Pearson Fellow Deqa Aden, MPP'23, introduces the Fireside Chat with Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies Christopher Blattman at the 2022 Pearson Global Forum

Is the Pearson Fellowship a research fellowship?

No. Some Pearson Fellows do engage in RA opportunities with Pearson and other faculty at Harris and the University of Chicago, and there is a small grant available to Fellows to pursue such opportunities. However, the Fellowship neither requires nor guarantees research opportunities for Fellows.

What is the Pearson Scholarship?

The Pearson Scholarship is a financial aid and professional development opportunity for prospective PhD students to Harris Public Policy.

Who can apply for the Pearson Fellowship?

Prospective Harris Public Policy MPP students can apply to the Pearson Fellowship as part of their application. Applicants to other master’s programs at Harris or the University of Chicago are not eligible for the Pearson Fellowship.

If I am accepted to the MPP but am not selected as a Pearson Fellow, can I apply after my first year?

Only prospective students are eligible for the Pearson Fellowship, which lasts for both years of the MPP program.

How do I apply for the Fellowship?

When you apply to the MPP program at Harris, there is an optional essay question about global conflict. By answering this question, you will be considered for the Fellowship.

What constitutes a strong application essay?

Strong responses to the prompt are concise, specific, and analytical. The readers of your essay are familiar with the subject matter: therefore, analysis of a specific component of a conflict is more powerful than a history lesson. A strong application essay answers the specific question asked and does not pivot into a personal statement.

How are Pearson Fellows selected?

In addition to the application essay, prospective Fellows are evaluated on many aspects of their Harris application, including past academic performance, test scores, and dedication to global conflict studies and resolution through demonstrated work and/or research experience.

If I am not chosen as a Pearson Fellow, how can I engage with The Pearson Institute?

There are so many ways for Harris students to engage with the Institute!