Human Rights Community Youth Fellowship

The Youth Exchange, in partnership with the Human Rights Initiative, seeks applicants for its Community Youth Fellowships. The Community Youth Fellowships will offer up to three awards for applicants based in the Czech Republic. Selected fellows will receive a stipend for full-time, 18-month projects (prorated for part-time or 12-month projects).

The Community Youth Fellowships will support dynamic youth activists aged 18 to 30 who want to implement a project of their own design in the Czech Republic that acknowledges the intersection between the Roma and disability communities, and the multiple layers and forms of discrimination faced by this community. The projects we seek to support may focus on any area of human rights relevant to young Roma with disabilities

Through these fellowships, the Open Society Foundations aim to provide young people at the early stage of their work with the support they need to develop great ideas that contribute to dismantle challenges in their communities and advance the values of an open society. Applicants may employ, either alone or in combination, a number of different strategies to achieve the goals and objectives of their project, including, but not limited to, participatory action research, advocacy campaigns, grassroots organizing, exploration of how to address existing violations, and best practice and positive models of behavior.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should be a young person with an intellectual or developmental disability between the ages of 18 and 30. Their proposed projects should focus on an area of human rights relevant to the young Roma with disabilities community, such as education, criminal justice, use of non-disability-specific community resources, workers’ rights, employment, health, housing, and immigration.

Applicants should be at an early stage of their careers and want to learn more about what it takes to be most effective as an activist in a particular place or on a particular issue. Applicants directly affected by, or with significant direct personal experience of, the challenges, policies, practices, and systems that perpetuate discrimination against members of the Roma with disabilities community are strongly encouraged to apply. Effective and meaningful support will be provided to ensure the candidate is successful. This option is open to all candidates who meet the criteria regardless of support required. There are no minimum education requirements and full-time work experience is not necessary. Candidates who have not typically had access to this type of opportunity are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must be based in the Czech Republic.

Ineligibility Criteria

Community Youth Fellowships do not fund the following:

  • Enrollment in an academic institution for degree or non-degree study, including dissertation research. However, candidates who apply for a part-time fellowship may continue their academic studies on their personal time.
  • Lobbying. Please carefully review our tax law lobbying rules before submitting an application. If awarded a fellowship, applicants must agree to refrain from engaging in restricted lobbying activities during the term of the fellowship.

To apply, applicants must complete the online form by January 10, 2018. Once registered, applicants will be able to proceed to the application itself, and upload the following documents:

  • Resume or bio: no more than two pages
  • Letter of intent: a single-spaced letter of intent (maximum of two pages) structured according to the template you will find online. The letter of intent can be submitted instead as a video or sound recording (maximum of four minutes) covering the same points in the template

Applicants can only submit a single written or recorded letter of intent for a single proposed project. Those who make multiple submissions or propose several project ideas in a single submission will not be considered.

Full proposals are accepted by invitation only. 

Complete guidelines in English and Czech are available in the Download Files section on this webpage. If you have questions or experience technical difficulties with the online application form, please contact the Youth Exchange at [email protected].   

Selection and Notification Cycle

    • Letters of intent due: January 10, 2018 (11:59 p.m. CET)
    • Full proposals invited: February 2018 (only those applicants who have been selected to submit a full proposal will be contacted)
    • Full proposals due: March 2018
    • Finalists selected: April 2018
    • Finalist interviews: April–May 2018
    • Selected fellows notified: May–June 2018
    • Projects begin: No earlier than August 2018