Human Rights Fellowships

Open Society Foundations, Open Society Fellowship

The Open Society Fellowship is designed to fund work of individuals who are pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to fundamental open society challenges. Open Society Foundations invites proposals corresponding to a specific proposition or issue relevant to ongoing work at the organization. As opportunities open up to specific topics and fellowship opportunities, Open Society Foundations updates the information specific to the fellowship on their site. Open positions are posted under the Grants section.

Open Society Foundations, Open Society Community Youth Fellowship

This fellowship supports activists and organizers under age 30 who take a youth-focused approach to open society challenges. Fellows have a wide choice in what type of project the pursue, from local community-based projects to research reports and studies. Open Society Foundations posts openings for this fellowship in the Grants section, as opportunities become available.

Open Society Foundations, Open Society Presidential Fellowship

This fellowship is awarded to recent JD, LLM, MPA, MPP, and MBA graduates form accredited programs. Through this program, fellows pursue work related to human rights, good governance, and justice through a one-year residence in the Executive Office at Open Society Foundations. Openings are available on a period basis and are posted in the Grants section throughout the time of application.

Global Health Corps Fellowships

Global Health Corps offers a range of paid fellowships with various health organizations in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, the United States, and Zambia, giving participants the chance to become leaders in the health equity movement. To be eligible, applicants must be 30 years or younger, have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and be proficient in English. Check the website for application guidelines and deadlines.

Humanity in Action, Humanity in Action Fellowship

This fellowship program is available to students and recent graduates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States, as well as students of other nationalities are enrolled or graduated from universities in those countries. This fellowship is designed to bring together a group of international students to explore issues surrounding discrimination, resistance, and minority groups. Application instructions and deadlines for each fellowship cohort year can be found on the website.

amfAR (Foundation for AIDS Research), The Alan Rosenfield, M.D., HIV/AIDS Public Policy Internship and Fellowship Program

This program was developed for undergraduate and graduate students working to become leaders in public health and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Through this opportunity, interns and fellows dedicate their time to public policy research and writing on emerging issues in AIDS policy, including biomedical research, domestic and international AIDS funding, harm reduction, equity, and human rights. For the fellowship program, applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree, and a graduate degree in public health or a related field is preferred but not required. All fellowship positions last up to six months and are full-time, paid.

Columbia Law School, Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship

This fellowship program supports students pursuing LL.M. degrees at Columbia who show potential to become leaders in the field of human rights. Through this program, recipients receive tailored skills training and career mentoring in practice and academia of human rights law. They also will be invited to participate in special events with human rights experts and participate in various research projects with the Human Rights Institute. To apply, students must also be eligible for the LL.M. program at Columbia and have completed an application for the graduate program. Students can be awarded partial to full scholarships, as well as a living stipend depending on financial need.

Yale Law School, Kirby Simon Summer Fellowship

Yale’s Schell Center for International Human Rights offers this summer fellowship to fund at least six weeks of human rights work throughout the summer. The program gives students the opportunity to work on a variety of human rights issues with non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and international courts. The fellowship helps pay for living and travel expenses throughout the summer. Any Yale student can apply for this fellowship, but only law students are eligible for living costs to be covered. Instructions on how to apply and deadlines are available through the website.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Human Rights Legal Fellowship

This fellowship is for students and recent graduates who are interested in post-graduate public interest fellowship opportunities and fellowship hosts. Fellows conduct research and report on their findings, prepare legal documents for international tribunals and advocacy, communicate with various clients and partners, attend and report on briefings, monitor countries and issues of concern, and more. Applicants should have experience with and knowledge of regional and international human rights laws and norms as well as working knowledge of the UN system. A JD or LL.M. degree is required, and fluency in Spanish, French, and/or Arabic is preferred. See the website for instructions on how to apply and deadlines.

APWLD Feminist Development Justice Media Fellowship

Offered by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, this fellowship provides six months of funding for journalists who wish to work on media projects in Asia Pacific countries. Four years of work experience are required as well as proven commitment to furthering human rights and women’s equality. Applicants must also be fluent in English and a second language of an Asia Pacific nation.

BRAC Social Innovation Fellowship

The largest NGO in the world, BRAC offers a fellowship program for individuals aged 18 to 35 who are interested in working with the organization. During the one-year fellowship, the selected individual will have the opportunity to address a human right’s problem and have access to mentors and resources from the organization to put their plan into action. The fellow is given a monthly stipend, office space and money for travel to their assigned area.

Civil Society Leadership Awards

Through this program, master’s degree students can receive a fellowship to help fund the cost of a community program that drives social change. Merit-based, the fellowship program is open to individuals who are attending programs at participating universities and have well-established plans for their programs.

Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship

This program provides funding for women journalists who specialize in social justice and human rights. Those selected for the program have an opportunity to study at the Center for International Studies at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. In addition, fellows complete internships at The Boston Globe and The New York Times. Applicants are accepted from around the world. Three years of work experience is required. Fellows will receive a stipend to cover the cost of their transportation, housing and meals.

Fellowships at CHRM2

The Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism, and Migration (CHRM2) at the University of Jember in East Java, Indonesia, offers a number of fellowships for individuals who are interested in working in human rights. Participants spend at least three months working as a research assistant, field researcher, English teacher, outreach coordinator or in other positions. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or work history related to migration, multiculturalism or human rights.

Franklin Fellows Program

Through this program, individuals who are interested in human rights will have an opportunity to perform public service and gain valuable work experience. To qualify for the fellowship, applicants must have five years of relevant work experience and be U.S. citizens. Fellows will have a chance to work with the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development on a broad range of issues, including environment; counterterrorism; human rights; consular matters; HIV/AIDS and other trans-national diseases; and trade, energy and financial policy.

Global Citizenship Fellows Program

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF offers this highly competitive fellowship program. Fellows spend two years working as grassroots organizers and spokesmen in different locations in the United States. Qualified applicants will have previous work experience or education related to children’s rights and previous volunteer management experience. In addition, applicants must be U.S. citizens or have U.S. work authorization.

Helton Fellowship Program

Through this program, law students who wish to work in human rights or international law can receive a mini grant of $2,000. Applicants can come from any country but must currently be enrolled in law school and have a verifiable interest or project related to human rights for which they wish to use the funds.

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship

Two times each year, a select group of college graduates are given the opportunity to participate in this fellowship program. Fellows live in Washington, D.C., for six to nine months and have the opportunity to work at a participating organization of their own choosing. In addition, fellows have the chance to engage in regular meetings with policy experts to further their professional development.

Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP)

Sponsored by the Open Technology Fund, this fellowship provides funding for individuals who are interested in promoting the free flow of information around the world. Applicants must have a project that relates to this are of interest. The program awards fellowships ranging from three months to one year in duration. Most often, postdoctoral students are selected, but doctoral candidates and other researchers from around the world may also apply.

LatinoJustice Public Interest Fellowship

Sponsored by LatinoJustice, a Latino civil rights organization, this program provides funding for projects related to the mission and litigation priorities of the organization. Applicants must be recent graduates of law school who have a demonstrated history of working in human rights. In addition, prospective fellows must be bilingual in English and Spanish and willing to work in New York City or Orlando.

Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellowship Program

Fellows in this program receive full funding to complete a 14-month Master of Law Degree program at the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., United States. The program is open to women from Africa who hold law degrees and currently work in human rights. All fellows must agree to return to their home countries and continue their work upon graduation.

Logan Nonfiction Fellowship

The Carey Institute in Rensselaerville, New York, United States, offers this fellowship program to nonfiction writers and reporters who are interested in politics, health, environmental science, social issues, human rights or justice. Fellows spend four to 12 weeks at the institute and are given lodging, technological support and meals. Individuals from around the world are invited to apply, but fluency in English is mandatory.

PhD Bridging Program

Through this program, the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism, and Migration provides two- to four-week fellowships for PhD students who wish to conduct field research in Indonesia for a project related to human rights, law, politics, education, gender, sociology and anthropology. Fellows receive a stipend, housing and an office.

Professional Fellows Program (PFP) for Economic Empowerment, Middle East and North Africa

Employees of NGO, CSOs and associations in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya or Lebanon between the ages of 25 and 40 are invited to apply for this fellowship program. Individuals must be committed to promoting civil society through their work at their respective organizations. The fellowship lasts for one month and gives fellows the opportunity to work with a service organization, advocacy group, grassroots organization, federal agency or congressional office to gain experience that they can use when they return home.

Roddenberry Fellowship

Each year, 20 fellows receive funding in the amount of $50,000 to launch projects that relate to human rights. Specifically, projects must relate to civil rights, climate change and environmental justice, immigration and refugee rights or LGBTQIA and women’s rights. In addition to the funding, fellows receive one-on-one mentoring.

Victory Congressional Fellowship

Every year, one LGBTQ professional is given a chance to work in the office of the co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus in Washington, D.C., United States, to gain work experience in the legislative projects policy making. The fellowship lasts for one year and pays $30,000 plus healthcare reimbursements and airfare. Qualified applicants will be 21 years of age and hold either a master’s or a bachelor’s degree.

Young Professionals Program for Legal Empowerment

This fellowship aims to help recent law school graduates and young lawyers gain work experience to help them drive social change. Lasting for two years, the fellowship includes a paid placement at a human rights organization and opportunities to conduct field research.