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Background

Based on the belief that social change ultimately depends on individual citizens making informed choices from a thoughtful, ethical, and humane perspective, the Open Society Scholarship Programs aim to bolster critical thinking, free and open intellectual inquiry, innovative and responsible problem-solving, cross-cultural tolerance and respect, and a nuanced understanding of the complex challenges to an open society. 

Scholarship opportunities in the social sciences and humanities are awarded to outstanding individuals from eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Haiti and Africa for study in rigorous, competitive academic programs outside of their home countries. By creating access to the highest educational training, Scholarship Programs’ work to revitalize and reform the teaching of the social sciences and humanities, provide professional training in fields unavailable or underrepresented at institutions in the countries served, and assist outstanding students from a range of backgrounds to pursue their studies in alternative academic and cultural environments.

Approximately 1000 awards are offered annually, with open, merit-based competitions administered via a network of OSF-supported educational advising centers, regional offices of partner organizations, and national Soros Foundation offices. Since the late 1980s, over 15,000 individuals have benefited from the academic support channeled through the Scholarship Programs. 

Scholarship Programs have a long history of supporting innovative scholars who have made extraordinary contributions to their countries in fields ranging from education to human rights to economics, and beyond. Through partnerships with the Open Society Human Rights and Governance Grant Program and the Open Society Think Tank Fund, inter alia, alumni have the opportunity to enhance their professional capacities through targeted regional and international internships. Alumni Grants offer support for unique, alumni-driven projects which address local community welfare needs or enhance analytical research in the grantees’ home regions. 

Financially, Scholarship Programs operate on the basis of cost-sharing relationships with universities, private donors, and government agencies in France, Germany, and the United States.

Our Scholarships & Fellowships

Alumni Grant Program
The program offers grants to Scholarship Programs alumni to further expand the knowledge gained during their fellowship and make a positive contribution to their home country.

DAAD-OSI Program
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Open Society Scholarship Programs cosponsor a scholarship program for graduate students in the Balkans and graduate students and junior faculty in the Transcaucasian and Central Asian countries of the former Soviet Union.

Disability Rights Scholarship Program
The Disability Rights Scholarship Program provides year-long LLM awards to disability rights advocates and lawyers so they can develop the expertise to pursue new legislation, jurisprudence, impact litigation, and scholarship.

EARTH University Scholarships
The Open Society Foundations provide undergraduate scholarships for students from Haiti, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to study at EARTH University in Costa Rica.

Global Faculty Grants
Global Faculty Grants Program offers grants for mid-career and senior level faculty from select countries of the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Nepal to visit Western universities

Global Supplementary Grant
The Global Supplementary Grant Program offers supplementary grants to doctoral students from selected countries of Southeastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Mongolia, the Middle/Near East, and South Asia.

Middle East Rule of Law Masters Scholarship
The Middle East Rule of Law Masters Scholarship offers qualified applicants from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria the opportunity for scholarships in the fields of public policy and public administration, media and communications studies, law (Master of Laws-LLM), and gender studies at universities within the United States.

Open Society Foundations Scholarships in European Studies
This program offers European Studies fellowships at Maastricht and Aarhus Universities to scholars from Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and the Ukraine.

Open Society Foundations/French Government Scholarship Program for Central Asian Students
The Open Society Foundations/French Government Scholarship Program provides fellowships to individuals from Central Asia to pursue Master 2 degree programs in the social sciences and humanities at universities in France.

South Asia Scholarship Program
The South Asia Scholarship Program provides full fellowships to qualified citizens of Afghanistan and Nepal to complete graduate degrees in sustainable development, counseling, and law.

Supplementary Grant Program Asia
The program funds students enrolled in academic programs primarily in Asia and who are likely to return to Burma to work toward its democratic and economic rebirth.

UK Scholarship Programs
The Open Society Foundations support scholarships, generally in the social sciences and humanities, for students and scholars from select countries in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Mongolia, and the former Soviet Union to study at graduate institutions in the UK.