Open Society Fellowship
Open Society Fellows are currently working on projects that address the following proposition:
New and radical forms of ownership, governance, entrepreneurship, and financialization are needed to fight pervasive economic inequality.
Ideal fellows are specialists who can see beyond the parochialisms of their field and possess the tenacity to complete a project of exceptional merit. Proposals will be accepted from anywhere in the world, although demonstrable proficiency in spoken and written English is required. Applicants should possess and demonstrate a deep understanding of the major themes embedded within the proposition above and be willing to work in a cohort of fellows with diverse occupational, geographic, and ideological profiles. Successful applicants should be eager to exploit the many resources offered by the Open Society Foundations and be prepared to engage constructively with our global network.
The fellowship does not fund enrollment for degree or nondegree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research.
This is a fellowship for individuals only; proposals from organizations or individuals acting on behalf of organizations will not be accepted.
Purpose and Priorities
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.
Open Society fellows produce work outputs of their own choosing, such as a book, journalistic or academic articles, art projects, a series of convenings, etc. In addition, fellowship cohorts may develop a joint work product of some sort. Fellowship staff will assist cohorts in brainstorming possible outputs if needed.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for current information on the application timeline and process.
Download the complete fellowship guidelines.
Download the proposal tips.
Noah Zatz2017Noah Zatz examined how government threats of incarceration force people in the United States into precarious and underpaid work situations, a phenomenon he calls “get to work or go to jail.”
Camilla Toulmin2016Camilla Toulmin’s project documented shifting claims to land and natural resources in the Ségou region of central Mali over the last 35 years.
Elisabeth Caesens2016Elisabeth Caesens was examining hydroelectricity deals and revenue flows in the Democratic Republic of Congo to bring greater transparency and accountability to the country’s mining industry.
Jennifer Daskal2016Jennifer Daskal was investigating efforts by several nations—including the United States, the UK, and Brazil—to gain access to data stored outside their borders for use in criminal investigations.
JingJing Zhang2016JingJing Zhang used legal test cases to strengthen civil society’s ability to ensure Chinese overseas companies’ compliance with environmental laws and international human rights treaties.
Katja Heinemann2016Katja Heinemann, a photographer and longform journalist, was producing a multimedia documentary that investigates the interconnection of migration and social media use among young Afghan refugees in Berlin.
Lican Liu2016Lican Liu was writing a book that will apply an environmental justice approach to the pursuit of environmental protection in China.
McKenzie Funk2016McKenzie Funk, a journalist, wrote a book on how the push for open government in the United States has subjected ordinary citizens to undue scrutiny by federal agencies and private firms.
Bálint Magyar2015Bálint Magyar, a former Minister of Education for Hungary, was looking at several post-communist states, whose actions are warped by the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of corrupt political “families.”
Hanaan Marwah2020Hanaan Marwah, a finance industry professional and economic historian, will work on a book and conduct a series of seminars about the evolution of state-owned enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa and their influence on economic inequality.
Leilani Farha2020Leilani Farha, an expert and advocate on economic and social human rights, will document the growing financialization of residential real estate, globally, and its role as a primary cause of rising inequality.