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Civil Society Scholar Awards

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The Scholarship Programs’ Civil Society Scholar Awards support doctoral students and university faculty to undertake academic projects that will enrich socially-engaged research and critical scholarship in their home country or region.

The Civil Society Scholar Awards support doctoral students and university faculty to undertake academic projects that will enrich socially-engaged research and critical scholarship in their home country or region.

Civil Society Scholars are selected on the basis of their outstanding academic record as well as their active engagement with local communities, their potential to champion open society values in their home regions, and their ability strengthen critical scholarship and academic networks within their fields. Proposals may include international travel, but this is no longer required.

Eligibility Criteria

The awards are open to the following academic populations:

  • doctoral students of eligible fields studying at accredited universities inside or outside of their home country
  • full-time faculty members (must have a minimum of a master’s degree) teaching at universities in their home country

Candidates must be citizens of the following countries: 

Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Haiti, Kosovo, Laos, Libya, North Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal, Palestine, Rwanda, Serbia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. 

  • Project duration: between three and 10 months
  • Eligible dates: March 1, 2021—December 31, 2021
  • Maximum funding requests: $15,000

We look to support academic research conducted within any field of the social sciences and humanities, but will prioritize research which specifically addresses pressing societal issues within the following themes, broadly defined:  

  • defense against rising authoritarianism
  • sustainable development, climate action, and mitigating the effects of climate change
  • economic justice and worker rights
  • information democracy
  • addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on an applicant’s home country or region

The program does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, pregnancy and maternity, or marriage and/or civil partnership.

Ineligibility Criteria

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

Applicants with permanent resident status in, or dual citizenship with, Australia, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States are not eligible to apply.

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

Guidelines

Competition for the Civil Society Scholar Awards is merit-based. Selection will be made on the basis of proven academic excellence and the relevance of the project to the development of open society in the applicant’s home country. Priority will be given to applications addressing issues within one of the five broad focus areas described above.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to check the visa requirements of the host country (including the minimum level of funding required) before applying to the program.  

Detailed guidelines on the conditions of these awards are available in the Download Files section.

Online Applications

Applicants are strongly advised to submit their application online.

Apply Online

Paper Applications

For those wishing to submit a paper application, an application form can be downloaded from the Download Files section. More details on submitting applications are available in the Guidelines.

Download Files

Download the complete guidelines. (Updated: May 26, 2020)

Download the list of frequently asked questions.

Download the application form.

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