10 Top Human Rights Fellowships 2018/2019

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.

In partnership with the School of Public Policy for Central European University, Open Society Foundations offers this opportunity for students to engage in ideas and practice of open society through a clinical seminar at Central European University, followed by an 8- to -12-week intensive internship with a nongovernmental organization that focuses on policy and human rights. Only Master’s-level students at a select number of universities are eligible to apply for this internship. Check the listing on the website for the list of eligible schools.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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’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.

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.

About the author

Allison Reefer

Allison Reefer is a young professional living in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with a refugee resettlement agency to help refugees and immigrants in the city, and she volunteers with a local shelter for human trafficking victims. She obtained her Master in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Writing from Geneva College, focusing most of her academic work on human trafficking and migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In her free time, she loves to write, read, sing and play bass guitar, practice Russian, and explore her city.