Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia

Developed by the Middlebury Institute’s Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia (MSSR) aims to expose top Russian area studies graduate students from across the United States to leading voices on Russian-U.S. relations.

MSSR offers the next generation of specialists in Russian area studies opportunities to develop deep and broad expertise in their field. Participants who complete the program will acquire a thorough understanding of contemporary Russia, and will be positioned to pursue careers in foreign policy, diplomacy, and the private sector.


Dmitri Trenin of Carnegie Moscow Center, Andrey Zorin of Oxford University, Matthew Rojansky of the Kennan Institute, Emil Pain and Sergey Zakharov of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Natalia Sevagina of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow will be among the MSSR faculty. The full list of experts with their bios and modules, is available on our 2017 Program page.

During the course of the symposium, lectures will be available in podcast format on this page.


Leading experts from Russia and the United States will give lectures and seminars on topics ranging from The Concept of Honor in Russian History, The Russian Psyche Through Art and Cinema to U.S.-Russian Nonproliferation Cooperation. Students will participate in 2–3 interactive lectures and seminars daily. Through intensive instruction in both English and Russian, students will have the opportunity to strengthen their language skills in the context of their academic interests.

Based on their research interests and in consultation with instructors, participants will also undertake a research project, which will be presented at the end of the summer and published online.

Who Should Apply

The Symposium on Russia is open to U.S. students enrolled in or accepted to a Master’s or Ph.D. program, particularly those interested in policy oriented careers in government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Applicants must have advanced proficiency in Russian.

Symposium Details

Successful applicants will receive a fellowship to cover full tuition costs, as well as a stipend for housing and transportation. The seven week symposium will take place at the Middlebury Institute in Monterey, California from June 25–August 9, 2018.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: February 1, 2018

Submit the following materials to Professor Anna Vassilieva by email:

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of purpose
  • Abstract of current research
  • Details of Russian language proficiency
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended. Mail to:

Professor Anna Vassilieva
Middlebury Institute of International Studies
460 Pierce Street
Monterey, CA 93940

All applications must be submitted in English. Successful applicants will be notified by March 1, 2018.


For more information please contact Professor Anna Vassilieva, the Director of the Institute’s Russian Studies program, the Founder and Director of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies.

Email avassili@miis.edu or call 831.647.3546