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Human Rights Funding Opportunities – An Overview

We have compiled a powerful list of human rights funding opportunities for various occasions. No matter if you are seeking a scholarship to fund your human rights studies, an entry level position as human rights fellow or trainee after you graduated or a grant to support a human rights project, we have compiled a list of useful human rights funding opportunities. Please note while we try to keep things up to date, always check on the official websites for the latest and most accurate information. If you find that a deadline has expired, check the official website if the opportunity is offered recurringly, if you consider to apply in the upcoming year.

Human Rights Grants are normally targeting human rights organizations that need funds for a specific project. The donors are very often foundations. Each foundation focuses on different causes, so interested organizations should search the list for the most appropriates grants, and follow that foundations instructions for applying, whether through online application, letter of inquiry, or full proposals.

Human Rights Scholarships most commonly fund human rights studies on bachelor, master or phd level. There are partly and fully funded scholarships available for current and future human rights students and alumni. Normally the donor of the scholarship wants to achieve something e.g. increase the diversity in a master program or enable disadvantaged students to study human rights or support a specific minority or group. Make sure you fall within the scope and fulfill the requirements of the scholarship before you apply.

If you are pursuing a career in human rights, it’s well-worth your time to consider a fellowship. These paid programs, which usually last for a duration of a few months or a few years, give you opportunities to build skills, network with experts in the field and gain valuable experience.

When starting a career in human rights, practical experience is essential. Many organizations offer traineeships specifically for those early in their careers.  Some of them, unlike most internships, also provide a stipend. This means you can get valuable experience and establish connections for the future without needing to worry about finding an additional job to pay the bills. Here are traineeships with ten human rights organizations:

One of the goals of the United Nations is to prepare future generations for careers in human rights, economic justice, and more. This means providing resources and funding for programs that give people essential experience and education. Often times, that takes the form of scholarships with the United Nations University, which represents the research and academic branch of the UN.

Each year a number of scholarships, financial assistances, grants and study bursaries are provided for students around the globe to fund their studies and degrees. International organizations such as the UN, OSCE, EU and ASEAN offer various opportunities which can be an excellent starting point for aspiring students, young professionals and future leaders.

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University in New York City, New York, United States, offers the prestigious Human Rights Advocates Program for highly qualified activists who are working with non-governmental organizations focused on sexual and gender-based violence, minority rights, LGBT rights, labor rights, migration, health, social exclusion, environmental justice, disability rights or corporate social accountability. Since the start of the program, more than 300 individuals from over 85 countries have participated.

Harvard University, a prestigious Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United states, is regularly accepting applications for the Mahindra Humanities Center Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The fellowship is funded through a partnership between the university’s Mahindra Humanities Center and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Last but not least, we have compiled a list of master programs that offer fully funded scholarships.

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Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.