Fellowships in International Human Rights

Deadline: 6 October 2011
Open to: Graduates of Law, Journalism or International Relations
Salary: $55,000

Human Rights Watch is now seeking applications from recent graduates of law schools or graduates in journalism, international relations, area studies, or other relevant disciplines for award of 2012-2013 fellowships in International Human Rights. Human Rights Watch is an organization working to support and protect human rights across the world. Human Rights Watch monitors the status of human rights in different countries and reports the incidents of human rights violations after much in-depth investigations. Fellowships begin in September 2012.


Unrestricted Fellowships:
Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellowship – Established in memory of Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg, early supporters of Human Rights Watch, this fellowship is open to recent graduates (at the Master’s level) in the fields of law, journalism, international relations, or other relevant studies.
Arthur Koenig Fellowship – Is open to recent graduates (at the Master’s level or above) in the fields of law, journalism, international relations, or other relevant studies. Graduates with LL.B. degrees or advanced degrees in other relevant disciplines may also be considered.
Restricted Fellowships:
NYU School of Law Fellowship at HRW – This fellowship is open to 2012 J.D. graduates of New York University School of Law only.
Leonard H. Sandler Fellowship – Established in memory of Judge Leonard H. Sandler, a 1950 Columbia Law graduate with a lifelong commitment to civil rights and liberties, this fellowship is open to recent J.D. graduates of Columbia Law School only. Applicants must be available for interviews in New York from late November to mid-December 2011.

Job Description
Fellows work full-time for one year with Human Rights Watch typically in New York or Washington, D.C., or in some instances in another location. Fellows monitor human rights developments in various countries, conduct on-site investigations, draft reports on human rights conditions, and engage in advocacy and media outreach aimed at publicizing and curtailing human rights violations.


  • Applicants must demonstrate a strong background in international human rights and be committed to building a career in human rights. Research experience, including experience conducting interviews, ideally in the context of human rights research, is required. Field experience in human rights is strongly desirable.
  • Applicants must have exceptional analytic skills and excellent oral and written communications skills in English. Proficiency in one language in addition to English is strongly desired as is familiarity with countries or regions where serious human rights violations occur.
  • Applicants should be highly motivated and well-organized; able to work quickly and well under pressure, both independently and as a member of a team; juggle multiple tasks; and meet tight deadlines. The Fellowship year will require creativity, initiative, perseverance, and flexibility while maintaining HRW’s high methodological standards.
  • Depending on the fellowship for which they wish to apply, prospective fellows must be recent graduates of law, journalism, international relations, or other relevant studies, or must provide evidence of significant, comparable, relevant work experience.


The salary for 2011-2012 fellows is US$55,000, plus excellent employer-paid benefits. The salary for 2012-2013 is currently under review and may be increased.


You must send:

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • two letters of recommendation
  • at least one unedited, unpublished writing sample (no legal briefs, please)
  • an official law or graduate school transcript (applicants in one-year graduate programs should supply an undergraduate transcript with a list of their graduate school courses)

Applications should be sent by e-mail, under single cover (in one email) and preferably as one PDF file (or, at a minimum, as separate PDF files), to fellowship@hrw.org with the name of the fellowship in the subject line.

The Official Website

7 thoughts on “Fellowships in International Human Rights

  1. well, this is a perfect opportunity, thank you Mladiinfo for posting up such interesting and exciting information.

    I was just wondering since the felowship is targeted for the year of 2012-2013 would it be possible to participate since I am still undergraduate but plan to receive my Bachelor in may 2012 and fellowship begins in September 2012? In addition I do not see the Diploma as a requirement enumerated within Application section, I could still send a letter from University stating that I do graduate in May 2012?

    I would appreciate your answer a lot.



    1. Dear Dino,

      This is what I found when I searched for "legal brief": A legal brief is a document used to submit an argument to a court. Briefs are generally written by lawyers and are intended to persuade the court to rule in your favor on a particular issue.
      I am not sure that this definition will help you, so I would advise you to direct your inquiry here – fellowship@hrw.org.

      Kind regards,

  2. hi 🙂

    i have a question, regarding the letters of recommendation, is it necessary to be sent from the person who writes it or can i attach it to the other documents, and is the subject of the unedited sample about human rights, and can be written anything and my point of view of that issue?

    thnx in advance

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