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GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Aug. 29, 2019) – Romanian Open Source Intelligence Specialist Maj. Laurentiu Popescu presents his research findings as part of the 2019 Alumni Scholars Program Aug. 29 at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies here. (DOD photo by Karl-Heinz Wedhorn/RELEASED)


By Chris Burelli
Director, Alumni Programs
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Aug. 29, 2019) – The Marshall Center’s Alumni Programs Office is now accepting applications for the 2020 Alumni Scholars Program.

“This competitive program offers alumni the possibility to return to the Marshall Center to conduct research on a security topic,” said Chris Burelli, the Marshall Center’s Director of Alumni Programs. “For 2020, we are offering 15 scholarships that provide the opportunity for alumni to return to Garmisch to work on a challenging security-related subject with the assistance of a faculty advisor.”

Completed applications must be received by Sept. 30 to be considered, Burelli said.

The Marshall Center is a 26-year-old German-American International security and defense studies institute. Its mission is to create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships; promoting active, peaceful, whole-of-government approaches to address transnational and regional security challenges; and, creating and enhancing enduring partnerships worldwide.

“The Alumni Scholars Program fits perfectly into the Marshall Center's mission,” Burelli said. “By bringing alumni back to Garmisch for an intensive research project, we are strengthening those partnerships and at the same time, conducting real-time, up-to-date research on security issues that are of interest to the Marshall Center's stakeholders.”

This program includes five weeks in-residence, including transportation, meals, lodging and per diem expenses. 

Romanian Open Source Intelligence Specialist Maj. Laurentiu Popescu is currently at the Marshall Center as a 2019 alumni scholar. He attended the Program on Applied Security Studies in 2015.

“The Marshall Center offers the best academic environment for research considering the huge library resources available and the knowledgeable professors who are always open to discussion and willing to offer advice or recommendations,” he said.

Popescu is here at the same time as 73 participants from 41 nations attending the Marshall Center’s Program on Terrorism and Security Studies.

“On top of that, you get to meet other professionals from around the world and exchange opinions and ideas with people who sometimes view security issues from a completely different perspective than yours,” Popescu said. “This really broadens your horizons.”

Scholars are provided an office and assigned a faculty mentor. 

At the conclusion of the five weeks, scholars are required to complete a 2,500 word paper (10 pages) suitable for publication, and give a 30-minute presentation to the faculty, said Burelli.

“The Alumni Scholars Program is important because it provides alumni an opportunity to stay engaged with the Marshall Center, and to pursue academic research on a topic that interests both them and the Marshall Center's German and U.S. stakeholders,” Burelli said.

He added that alumni scholars have had their research published in Marshall Center’s professional journals, and some have returned to the Marshall Center as speakers and adjunct faculty. 

“Many have seen their academic and professional careers at home benefit from having participated in the program,” Burelli said.

The Alumni Scholars program began in 2005.  Initially, Burelli said the scope was limited, and only one or two scholarships were offered each year until 2015. 

“The program grew once we realized the value the scholars brought to the Marshall Center, and also how popular the program was among alumni,” Burelli said.

The number of available scholarships has grown significantly over the past four years due to a combination of the strong and relevant research done by scholars, and the overwhelming response by alumni to the program.

“Since we expanded the program in 2016, the number of applications has increased significantly, averaging more than 150 applicants a year,” Burelli said.  

Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found on GlobalNET.

“Prospective applicants should read the instruction memo carefully, as incomplete applications will not be accepted,” Burelli said.

Alumni who are interested in finding out more about the program should have a look at the 2020 Alumni Scholars Information Memorandum, which can be found on GlobalNET.  All information regarding eligibility, application instructions, and potential research topics is provided in the information memorandum. Prospective applicants must be logged in to GlobalNET to view the documents.

For those alumni who haven’t logged onto GlobalNET recently, they may need to reset their password. They can do this by clicking on the “forgot password” link just below the username on the login page.

GlobalNET will send an email with instructions on how to reset the password.  The URL is: https://globalnetplatform.org/gcmc


All applications and requests for further information should be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..