Young Leaders in National Security Fellowship 2024

The Counter Extremism Group (CEG) Young Leaders in National Security Fellowship aims to identify, nurture, and guide young people interested in counter-terrorism and counter-extremism issues and looking to pursue a career in these or closely related fields in the UK. It is headed by one of the most eminent experts in the UK in this field: Lord Carlile of Berriew.

As part of this free, week-long course, CEG will also provide access to a leading range of experts and decision-makers who can provide an exhaustive and unparalleled insight into key issues facing the UK today.

This includes:

  • The nature of the terrorism threat.
  • The roots of extremist ideology.
  • Why people join terrorist and extremist groups.
  • How these areas impact free speech.
  • How counter-terrorism and counter-extremism policies actually get made.
  • National defence strategy and the international terrorism threat picture.
  • How journalists approach covering extremism and terrorism stories.

Lord Carlile of Berriew

Lord Carlile, Senior Legal Fellow at CEG, is a crossbencher in the House of Lords. He served as Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation between 2001 and 2011. He was the Independent Reviewer of the Government’s Prevent strategy in 2011 and Independent Reviewer of National Security policy in Northern Ireland.

Lord Carlile has agreed to craft an agenda that will help identify and nurture exceptional talent identified during the Fellowship.

Fellowship Speakers

Speakers range from former leaders in the intelligence agencies, senior figures in counter-terrorism policing, government officials, special advisers and diplomats, to leading journalists in the field, best-selling authors, academics, former extremists, and those working to reform terrorist offenders in prison.

Speakers at the 2021, 2022 and 2023 Fellowships included Sir Alex Younger, former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, William Shawcross, Independent Reviewer of Prevent, The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Holly Lynch MP, former Shadow Minister for Security, Sir John Jenkins, former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Suzanne Raine, former Head of the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, Lord Walney, Independent Adviser on Political Violence and Disruption, Dame Sara Khan, Independent Adviser for Social Cohesion and Resilience, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chair of Equality and Human Rights Commission, Shaikh Abu Muntasir, who fought with jihadists overseas, Caroline Fourest, former Charlie Hebdo journalist, and Douglas Murray, writer and commentator.

Among other sessions, Fellows have attended seminars at No. 10 Downing Street, the US Embassy, the Home Office and Parliament.

Feedback from previous CEG Young Leaders in National Security Fellows

“CEG’s Young Leaders in National Security Fellowship provides invaluable exposure and access to all aspects of the UK’s counter terrorism and counter extremism network. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with my fellow Fellows, who came from diverse backgrounds, and engaging with the impressive range of speakers, who spoke candidly about their work. The Fellowship provides an open environment where everyone – Fellows and speakers alike – are keen to learn from each other, hear others’ perspectives, and engage in meaningful discussions about these important issues.”

“The CEG Young Leaders in National Security Fellowship provided unprecedented access to high profile speakers across many different sectors, from policy-making to police to intelligence. The week-long programme demystified the world of counter-extremism and gave fellows the opportunity to ask questions and form connections to people at the forefront of the field. The fellowship has provided me with connections and experiences that I would have never formed otherwise and I would really encourage anyone considering a career in the world of counter-extremism to apply!”

“I knew the Fellowship would be an incredible opportunity for successful candidates, but I could never have imagined the week being so above and beyond even the highest of expectations. The Fellowship has increased my professional confidence, reinvigorated my passion for counter-extremism and given me memories to last a lifetime – I can’t thank you enough.”

“It was a really fantastic week and it was a joy to be a part of it. Incredible range of speakers and professionals, excellently organised, and a deeply insightful and intellectually engaging programme.”

Information for applicants

  • The course will take place in central London between September 2nd – 6th, 2024.
  • The course will be delivered in person.
  • The course is free. In addition, CEG will offer financial support to cover travel costs within the UK, six nights accommodation and a small daily per diem.

Those wishing to apply should send the following documents to

  • CV
  • Cover letter explaining (a) why you wish to take the course; and (b) which article, book, or thinker has been most influential in shaping your attitudes towards terrorism and/or extremism. Please send this as an attached document.
  • 500 words on the subject: What is the greatest extremism or terrorism threat facing the UK today, what three policies would you prioritise to counter it, and why? Please send this as an attached document.

The deadline for applications is June 7th, 2024.
Interviews will take place online from 17th – 28th June 2024.

Please note that this Fellowship is open to people looking to pursue a career in related fields in the UK specifically.