Open Society Fellowship, 2017

Overview: The Open Society Fellowship supports individuals seeking 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. Fellows should take advantage of the considerable intellectual and logistical resources of the Open Society Foundations and expect to contribute meaningfully to the Foundations’ thinking in return. In evaluating each proposal, the selection committee weighs three factors: the applicant, the topic of the project, and the work product.

Target Group: The Open Society Fellowship chooses its fellows from a diverse pool of applicants that includes journalists, activists, academics, and practitioners in a variety of fields. Applicants should possess a deep understanding of their chosen subject area and a track record of professional accomplishment.

Areas of Focus: The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Among the Foundations’ core areas of concern are human rights, government transparency,
access to information, access to justice, the promotion of civil society and social inclusion. Project themes should cut across these areas of interest.

Fellowship Value: Full-time fellows will receive a stipend of $80,000 or $100,000, depending on work experience, seniority, and current income. Stipends will be prorated for part-time fellows. The stipend does not necessarily equal
the applicant’s current salary. In certain cases, fellows will receive additional financial support to enable them to meet the residency expectation.
In most cases, the program will advise fellows on ways to communicate their work to a broader audience and influence current debates. Staff also work to integrate fellows into its networks of individual and organizational partners and grantees.
In addition to the stipend, fellows will receive a project budget. That budget may include expenses such as travel (including airfare and hotel), visa costs, part-time research assistance, conference fees and health insurance.
Fellowship expenses should not include operational or programmatic costs, such as employees and physical infrastructure. The purpose of the fellowship is to support individual fellows; therefore the program will only cover individual expenses.
The fellowship does not fund enrollment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research.
Please note that under federal tax rules applicable to U.S. private foundations, the Open Society Foundations cannot support lobbying activities. Projects that include lobbying activities will not be funded.

Requirements: 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
Ideal Applicants: The fellowship seeks “idea entrepreneurs” from across the world who are ready to challenge conventional wisdom.
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.

How to Apply: Those interested in the fellowship should first download and review the complete fellowship guidelines.

Applicants are required to submit a one- to two-page, single-spaced letter of inquiry that outlines the topic of the project, proposed work product, and relevance to the statements above. A CV should accompany the letter of inquiry.

Letters of inquiry will be reviewed within five weeks. Applications showing promise will be invited to submit a full proposal.

To apply, submit letters of inquiry here.

Deadline: 07 September 2016

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