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Fully Funded PhD Scholarships for International Human Rights Students

Obtaining a PhD qualification requires full determination and without adequate funding it is impossible for many students to obtain a PhD. This article has identified six scholarships which cover the full expenses of a PhD. Some of these scholarships are offered for a variety of disciplines and some are directed specifically towards human rights related degrees.

Heinrich Boll Foundation Scholarships

The Heinrich Boll Foundation is a German institute which has a variety of core interests, one of which is the upholding of human rights internationally. The institute offers scholarships for study in Germany for up to 1200 undergraduate, masters and PhD candidates from a variety of fields per year. The selection of candidates is a three-stage process including interviews and a final workshop held in Berlin where successful candidates will be chosen. The scholarship provides a monthly living and travel allowance. Candidates wishing to apply for human rights related degrees should provide information stating how their chosen degree aligns with the interests of the Foundation. Applications close at the beginning of March and the end of August each year for the following university cycle.

Commonwealth Scholarships

The Commonwealth Scholarship is offered to citizens from a list of countries associated with the British Commonwealth for study at a university within the United Kingdom. Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), there are over 800 scholarships and fellowships offered per year for scholars from different disciplines. The scholarship provides full funding for the selected candidates including full tuition costs, flights to the United Kingdom, a living allowance, as well as covering any research and examination costs that may occur. Commonwealth scholarships are awarded competitively based on merit and the closing date for applications is mid-November annually.

Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The Fulbright Award is a United States government initiative that supports foreign students from various disciplines to study at universities in the USA. Around 4000 students receive this scholarship per year from over 150 different countries. The Fulbright offers comprehensive funding covering tuition, return flights to the US, a living allowance as well as health insurance. Once successfully chosen, candidates will receive funding for the entire duration of their degree. The deadline for application varies and candidates should check for the specific course or university they wish to attend.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is funded by the Canadian government and aims to attract world-class researchers undertaking their doctoral studies at Canadian universities. The scholarship is open to applications from Canadian citizens as well as foreign students. Students from a variety of disciplines can apply with human rights related degrees falling under the ‘social sciences and/or humanities’ program. The award is worth $ 50,000 per year of study, thus covering students’ tuition and living needs. In order to be eligible for this award, candidates should first be nominated by the university they wish to attend. Internal university applications should be checked individually and nominations submitted to the Vanier board by 1st November annually.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

This Foundation offers scholarships specifically for doctoral candidates in the field of humanities and the social sciences to study at a Canadian university. There are up to 15 scholarships available for both Canadian citizens and foreign students. ‘Human rights and dignity’ is highlighted as a specific theme of interest to this foundation. The scholarship provides $40,000 per year for three years with an additional $20,000 per year available for research and travel allowance. The selection process involves a final interview which takes place in Montreal. Applications open on September 1st and the deadline for submission is the 8th of December.

About the author

Margaret Lebron

Margaret Lebron is an academic, performer, and social justice worker based in Chicago, IL. She has a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University where she studied theater groups that worked with military veterans. She has also worked in nonprofit theater and housing justice organizations across the United States.