by Bill Payne –

Former San Marino resident Nicole Grajewski has been accepted into the DPhil in International Relations at the University of Oxford (UK) and has just has been awarded a global grant from Rotary International in the amount of $60,125. She commences classes October 1. While she is the fourth Global Grant scholar to be nominated by the Rotary Club of San Marino, she is the first to have her grant apply to a doctorate degree. Nicole graduated with the Class of 2011 from San Marino High with fellow SMHS classmate and Global Grant Scholar Jennifer Binley (who recently completed her Masters’ Degree at the University of Cape Town).

Upon high school graduation, Nicole graduated cum laude from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Relations, where she majored in International Relations and Middle East Studies. There she shaped her passion for peace and conflict resolution studies. Her work experience there included stints at the U.S. House of Representative, the U. S. Department of State, CNN, and the Hudson Institute.

Her Masters’ Degree, at Oxford University UK, focused on Russian and East European Studies. Her dissertation was the first comprehensive study to engage with both Russian and Persian original source materials, that included two months of fieldwork in Moscow that consisted of interviews in Russian, Persian and English with several ambassadors, the advisor to Staffan de Mistura (the U.N. envoy on Syria), former Russian politicians, and notable Russian academics. This summer she resided in Kyrgyzstan, for classes in Russian.

Nicole’s doctorate research will focus on Russia, Iran and military interventions. Specifically she will look at how the involvement of Russia and Iran has impacted the conflict resolution processes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen, and the Taliban becoming increasingly active in Afghanistan. Upon graduation she would like to continue in academia while maintaining an advisory role with the U.S. foreign policy establishment and the U.S. government. Her doctorate will take three years to complete.