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.
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.
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.
As a first step, all potential applicants are required to submit a one- to two page, single-spaced, letter of inquiry that outlines the topic of the project and proposed work product in accordance with the guidelines above, accompanied by a CV. This is the first stage in the application process.
Letters of inquiry will be reviewed within 6 weeks. Applicants showing promise will be invited to submit a full application.
Interested applicants should first download and review the complete fellowship guidelines. To apply, submit letters of inquiry here.