Civil Society Scholar Awards

Civil Society Scholar Awards support international academic mobility to enable doctoral students and university faculty to access resources essential to their professional development as a scholar, teacher, or public intellectual. The awards support innovative projects that will enrich research, facilitate the exchange of ideas, and help build international networks. 

The awards support activities such as fieldwork (data collection), research visits to libraries, archives or universities, course/curriculum development, and international collaborations leading to a peer-reviewed publication. 

Most projects will last between 2 and 10 months. Requests for funding for doctoral students should not exceed $10,000. For faculty projects the maximum considered will be $15,000. 

Eligibility Criteria

Doctoral students of eligible fields studying at accredited universities inside or outside of their home country, and full-time faculty members (master’s degree required) teaching at universities in their home country, who are citizens of the following countries, are eligible to apply:

Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kosovo, Laos, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine, Serbia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan.

Eligible fields of study generally fall within the social sciences and humanities. Proposals related to the following subject areas are particuarly welcome:

  • law, justice, and governance;
  • sustainable development and natural resource management;
  • economic rights and empowerment of the poor;
  • public health, social work, and community development;
  • new media law and policy;
  • inclusive education;
  • post-conflict studies; 
  • human rights.

Applicants must be currently affiliated with an academic institution, and projects must be clearly linked to current research and teaching responsibilities.

Ineligibility Criteria

Applicants with permanent resident status, dual citizenship, and/or asylum seekers in the country of the host academic institution are not eligible to apply.

Students or faculty currently enrolled in master’s degree programs are also not eligible to apply.

Ineligible fields of study include business administration, management training, computer science, finance/banking, marketing, engineering, natural sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, etc.), mathematics, medical sciences, or teaching English as a foreign language/language instruction.

Travel grants for conference attendance unrelated to the proposed project will not be considered, and applicants may not request grant assistance for the support of federal and/or state taxes; computer hardware, software or other computer-related equipment; automobile-related expenses.

Guidelines

All applicants are required to submit the preliminary application form and a CV by April 27, 2014. Detailed information about how and where to submit the documents is included at the end of the form.

All applications received will be reviewed at the Open Society Foundations’ London and New York offices by a selection committee composed of Open Society staff. All applications will be acknowledged.

The committee will choose semi-finalists and notify them of their status by early May 2014. Semi-finalists will be asked to submit supporting materials such as a selection of essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation by late May 2014. 

The selection committee, composed of international experts and staff will then select finalists, who will be informed of their status by late June 2014.

Competition for these awards is merit-based. Selection will be made on the basis of proven academic excellence, a clear and justifiable need for international travel to complete the research project, and relevance of the project to the development of open society in the applicant’s home country.

The program does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.