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RNSCC Fellowship programmes
Locations / bases & stations / RNSSC

Royal Navy Strategic Studies Centre (RNSSC)

The RNSSC is powered by its Community of Fellows which is made up of four separate programmes - the First Sea Lord Fellows, the Richmond Fellows, Associate Fellows and Visiting Fellows.

Cdr Matthew Court RN, 1SL Fellow

The First Sea Lord Fellows

A two-year programme, the 1SL Fellowship is the capstone

Typically, 1SL Fellows are mid-career professionals and they engage in everything that the RNSSC does, from short-notice ad hoc challenge tasks to developing their own research agendas and outputs. Part of their commitment to the RNSSC is contributing to the monthly Strategic Digest; contributions that reflect the diversity of thought, professional interest and research activity that they bring to the team.

“My hugely positive experience centred on a culture of innovation and collaboration that helps to inform the strategic decision-making process. The 1SL Fellowship has facilitated fruitful exchanges of ideas, knowledge and perspectives, and I have had the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research, leveraging the diverse expertise of my cohort.

Cdr Matthew Court RN, 1SL Fellow 2022-2024.

A Royal Navy Officer makes a navigation check with her binoculars

Richmond Fellows

Formerly the Future Maritime Strategists programme, in 2023 we re-launched the one-year scheme as the Richmond Fellowship. This was felt to better reflect the range of activities and status of the 21 appointees, as well as tapping into our naval heritage: Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond founded The Naval Review. Irrespective of name-change, they continued to deliver excellence in their contributions to our red team tasks, as well as focusing on their own research.

In August, Future Maritime Strategist, Tom Layhe, was awarded the ‘Sir Michael Howard Award for Best Graduating Student’ in War Studies from King’s College London and his dissertation was serialised for The Naval Review. 

“Through invaluable events such as the Strategy bootcamp and the Cambridge Day, the Future Maritime Strategist program has given me the opportunity to have input on the future thinking of the RN. It has given me a deeper appreciation of the extensiveness of the Royal Navy’s reach and role in the defence of the UK.”

AB Rhondel Dickson, Richmond Fellow 2022-2023.


"Our role is to inform, not to decide, and we do just that. We don’t provide the ‘staff answer’, we provide something different – an independent, challenging perspective, always based in academic rigour. If success can be said to be measured in demand"

Dr Kevin Rowlands, Captain – Head of the RNSSC

AB at St Andrews Bay in South Georgia

FVEYs Fellows

The Five Eyes Fellowship launched in September 2022, to foster cooperation and the exchange of ideas between the partner nations. We are honoured to be joined by Fellows from the United States Navy and the Sea Power Centre - Australia.

Alongside our First Sea Lord Fellows, these talented and experienced individuals will tackle some of the challenges faced by navies globally.

“As Australia’s inaugural 1SL FVEY Fellow, I developed pin-depth collaborative relationships with colleagues across the community. This group has bolstered my understanding of the role of maritime in our collective strategic outlook. I’ve built relationships that will endure for the rest of my career – an important network of like-minded defence and strategic leaders – ever more important as we move into even further complex competition in the Indo-Pacific.”

Dr Elizabeth Buchanan
FVEY Fellow 2022-2024.

A Royal Navy recruit at his passing-out-parade

Visiting Fellows

This programme is also individually tailored, with invitees coming from academia, think tanks and industry.

The Visiting Fellows contribute to the RNSSC on core topics and their own research interests, while benefitting from the Centre’s resources, network, and programme of events.

Interested in an RNSCC fellowship

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