Open Society Fellowship: Human rights are under siege everywhere. Why?

The Open Society Fellowship invites proposals for the current application round.

Proposals are to be relevant to the following propositions:

Human rights are under siege everywhere. Why?

  1. Those who carry out human rights analysis and reporting have been seduced by legal frameworks and largely ignore imbalances of power that lead to rights violations.
  2. Political leaders increasingly play on fears that human rights are a Trojan Horse, threatening societies by promising rights to dangerous “others.”

Applicants are invited to dispute, substantiate, or otherwise engage with one or both of these statements in their submissions. Once chosen, fellows will work on projects of their own design and passion.

Eligibility Criteria 

Ideal fellows: specialists who can see beyond the parochialisms of their field and possess the tenacity to complete a project of exceptional merit.

Geography: anywhere in the world

Language skills: demonstrable proficiency in spoken and written English

Applicants should:

  • possess and demonstrate a deep understanding of the major themes embedded within the statement for which they wish to apply
  • and be willing to serve in a cohort of fellows with diverse occupational, geographic, and ideological profiles
  • be eager to exploit the many resources offered by the Open Society Foundations and
  • be prepared to engage constructively with our global network.
Ineligibility Criteria

The fellowship does not fund enrollment for degree or nondegree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research.

This is a fellowship for individuals only; proposals from organizations or individuals acting on behalf of organizations will not be accepted.


Those interested in the fellowship should first download and review the complete fellowship guidelines.

Applicants are required to submit a one- to two-page, single-spaced letter of inquiry that outlines the topic of the project, proposed work product, and relevance to the statements above. A CV should accompany the letter of inquiry.

Letters of inquiry will be reviewed within five weeks. Applications showing promise will be invited to submit a full proposal.

To apply, submit letters of inquiry here.

The first deadline to submit letters of inquiry on these statements is: September 7, 2016. Applicants will receive a response by: October 1, 2016.

The second deadline is: March 1, 2017, with responses to applicants by: March 24, 2017.

Source: Open Society Foundations (OSF) website