Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance

The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance is a project of the Open Society Foundations that launched in the summer of 2013 in partnership with the School of Public Policy at Central European University. It is designed to inspire a new cohort of practitioners committed to working both in the public interest and at the forefront of global policy.

The highly competitive program allows a limited number of students from top public policy schools to immerse themselves in the ideas and practice of open society through a clinical seminar held in Budapest at the School of Public Policy at Central European University, followed by an 8- to 12-week intensive internship at a policy- and rights-oriented nongovernmental organization selected for its outstanding work.

Download a complete list of expected host institutions from the Download Files section. This list will be updated as partnerships are confirmed.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications will only be accepted from the following universities:

  • Boğaziçi University Department of Political Science and International Relations
  • Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
  • Koç University Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Sabanci University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • School of Public Policy at Central European University
  • Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs
  • University of the Andes, Alberto Lleras Camargo School of Government
  • University of the Andes, Masters in International Law
  • The University of Hong Kong, Journalism and Media Studies Centre
  • The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law
  • University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government
  • University of Pretoria Centre for Human Rights
  • University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs
Ineligibility Criteria

If you are not a master’s candidate in one of the programs listed above, we cannot accept your application at this time.

Purpose and Priorities

Individuals committed to advancing local and global forms of human rights and justice are constantly confronting new and unforeseen challenges. This changing landscape, coupled with the dynamic role of civil society actors, complicates our understanding of human rights promotion. Simultaneously, information and communication technologies, freedom of movement, and democratic accountability afford policy practitioners new channels through which they can increase human welfare and dignity. These conditions require innovative policy ideas that effectively integrate theory and practice to foster and sustain open societies.

The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance (OSIRG), a joint program of OSF and the School of Public Policy at Central European University (SPP at CEU), is specifically tailored to invest in the next generation of leaders poised to pursue these ideas. The program takes a broad definition of human rights and governance that is inclusive of promoting fundamental freedoms, expanding public access to information, challenging inequalities through development and rights, and advancing approaches to ensuring transparency and accountability in a global context.


Interested applicants should first download and review the 2016 application guide, which can be found in the Download Files section.

Please consult your university for specific timeline.