Open Society Foundation Fellowships

Deadline: 3 February /4 August 2014
Open to: specialists from any country eager to exploit the resources of the Open Society Foundations for projects relating to human rights, government transparency, access to information and to justice, and the promotion of civil society and social inclusion
Fellowship: stipend of $80,000-$100,000 for a yearlong full-time fellowship plus a project budget for travel, conferences, visa requirements, etc.


The Open Society Fellowship was founded in 2008 to support individuals pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to fundamental open society challenges. The fellowship funds work that will enrich public understanding of those challenges and stimulate far-reaching and probing conversations within the Open Society Foundations and in the world.

A fellowship project might identify a problem that has not previously been recognized, develop new policy ideas to address familiar problems, or offer a new advocacy strategy. Project themes should cut across at least two areas of interest to the Open Society Foundations. Among these are human rights, government transparency, access to information and to justice, and the promotion of civil society and social inclusion.


Full-time fellows will receive a stipend of $80,000 or $100,000, depending on work experience, seniority, and current income. Stipends will be prorated for part-time fellows. The stipend does not necessarily equal the applicant’s current salary. In certain cases, fellows will receive additional financial support to enable them to meet the residency expectation. In addition to the stipend, fellows will receive a project budget. That budget may include expenses such as travel (including airfare and hotel), visa costs, part-time research assistance, conference fees and health insurance.

Fellows are expected to take full advantage of the foundations’ expansive reach and work to bring new people and fresh ideas into the organization’s ambit. Successful projects should push the boundaries of current thinking and carry lessons that can be applied to a variety of settings. Fellows may produce a variety of work products, including publications such as books, reports, or blogs; innovative public-education projects; or the launch of new campaigns or organizations. They may also engage in activities such as hosting panel discussions, traveling to conferences, participating in policy debates, and aggressively promoting their ideas in public venues.

Interested applicants should first download and carefully review the fellowship guidelines HERE and program Frequently Asked Questions HERE


The Open Society Fellowship accepts proposals from anywhere in the world. Applicants should possess a deep understanding of their chosen subject and a track record of professional accomplishment.

Past and current fellows have included journalists, activists, academics, and practitioners in a variety of fields. Successful applicants will be eager to exploit the many resources offered by the Open Society Foundations and be prepared to engage constructively with our global network. Ideal fellows are specialists who can see beyond the parochialisms of their field and possess the tenacity to complete a project of exceptional merit. Proficiency in spoken English is required.

The fellowship DOES NOT fund enrollment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research. This is a fellowship for individuals only; proposals from two or more applicants will not be accepted.

Applicants who are uncertain whether their topic fits within the foundations’ focus areas are invited to submit a brief letter of inquiry, accompanied by a CV, before proceeding with the online application process. That letter of inquiry should be addressed to


Proposals received by February 3, 2014, will be evaluated by June 1, 2014. The following deadline will be August 4, 2014, for evaluation later that year.

All interested applicants should complete the online application form HERE at and submit supporting materials for consideration. Please read the Tips for a Robust Proposal before applying. Applicants without Internet access may use the form HERE.

Applicants may submit a project proposal or other materials in a language other than English, as long as they also submit an English translation. Certified translations are strongly recommended. Once the initial information has been entered, applicants receive login details and an ID number that allows them to  make additions and revisions to the form until materials are submitted. The ID number should be quoted in any correspondence.

More details can be found at the official website HERE.

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