Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Application

Q: I am not located in the United States, Russia, or the EU. Can I apply to ACONA? 


A:  Yes! ACONA is committed to including candidates from all continents, and especially candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities.

Q: I am currently a graduate student. Can I apply to ACONA? 


A: ACONA will consider applications from emerging professionals, including advanced PhD candidates, however, the strongest applicants will have several years of relevant work experience in their field. If you are not sure if you are eligible to apply, please contact us at

Q: I applied to the ACONA program last year, but was not selected. Can I re-apply this year?

A: Yes. ACONA welcomes applications from individuals who were not selected in a previous application cycle.


Q: If I'm re-applying, do I have to ask my recommender to re-submit a recommendation letter?

A: Yes. This can be the same recommendation letter as the one submitted in the previous cycle. However, we do request that you reach out to your recommender to re-submit said letter to ACONA.

Q: Is there a minimum level of English language proficiency required? Is there a minimum TOEFL score? 


A: English-language fluency is required. The suggested minimum TOEFL score is 100. 

Q: When do applications open? When are they due? 


We are accepting applications for the 2021-2022 ACONA Fellowship! The application deadline is Sunday, May 2, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EDT (Monday, May 3, 2021, 03:59 a.m. UTC)

Q: What type of letter of recommendation? How long should it be? 

A: Recommendations can come from anyone who can attest to the candidate’s work or research experience and fitness for the ACONA program. Letters should clearly identify the recommender’s name, position, and organization. ACONA values recommendations that demonstrate the quality of interaction with the candidate over the seniority of the recommender. Applicants are hence advised to seek letters from individuals who are familiar with their work regardless of their job title. Recommendations should be no longer than one page. Recommenders should send their letter directly to

Boot Camps and Travel


Q: When and where are the ACONA boot camps?


A. Bootcamp 1: August 16-20, 2021; Bootcamp 2: January 10-14, 2022; Bootcamp 3: May 9-13, 2022. Due to COVID-19, we expect the first and potentially the second bootcamp to be held virtually. However, we hope the third bootcamp can be held in-person in Reykjavík, Iceland. 

Q: What happens if the coronavirus outbreak is not contained by January, 2022? 

A. Our team is closely monitoring the situation, and we will communicate changes at an appropriate time.


Q: I will need a visa to travel to one of the ACONA boot camp locations. Will ACONA help me with the visa process? 

A: ACONA will provide an official invitation letter in support of participants’ travel to the boot camps.


Q: I am not yet sure that I will be able to participate in all three ACONA boot camps. Should I still apply? 


A: ACONA Fellows must firmly commit to the summer 2021 boot camp and full attendance of the 12-month Fellowship upon acceptance into the program. You should also clearly state your intention to attend both January 2022 and May 2022 boot camps in your application materials.


Q: Where is ACONA based? 


A: ACONA is an international collaboration based at the Negotiation Task Force (NTF) at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Fellows are not in residence at the academy. Rather, they participate in three boot camps on location (or virtually).


Program and Logistics

Q: How much of the program costs are covered by ACONA? 


A: ACONA will cover the cost of domestic and international travel (economy class) to the three boot camps and accommodation during the boot camps for all ACONA participants. Also covered: course materials, some meals during boot camps. Not funded: visa application costs and fees, other personal, incidental, and misc. expenses.


Q: How long is the program? What is required of ACONA Fellows? 


A: The duration of the Fellowship is 12 months. ACONA Fellows are expected to attend three boot camps (4-6 days) and to work on a collaborative research project in between boot camps. The work between boot camps will take place online and via phone and video conferencing. The amount of time spent on research projects will vary.

Q: What is ACONA’s working language? 


A: English.

Q: Does ACONA grant degrees?

A: No, ACONA is not a degree-granting institution.

Q: Does ACONA award stipends? Do Fellows get paid?

A: No.

Q: Do fellows obtain a Certificate?

A: Upon successful completion of the program, Fellows will receive a Certificate in Arms Control Negotiation issued by the Arms Control Negotiation Academy. Fellows must participate fully in all program activities to obtain a certificate.

Q: How do I contact ACONA?

A: Email the ACONA team at or call the Negotiation Task Force office at +1 (617) 496 2180. Our mailing address is:


The Arms Control Negotiation Academy (ACONA),

Negotiation Task Force (NTF),

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University,

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.