The Disability Rights Scholarship Program provides yearlong awards for master’s degree study to disability rights advocates, lawyers, and educators to develop new legislation, jurisprudence, policy, research, and scholarship to harness the innovations and opportunities offered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
With the knowledge and networks gained through the program, we expect that fellows will deepen their understanding of international law and education, with a focus on disability rights, and gain the tools necessary to engage in a range of CRPD implementation strategies, such as: challenging rights violations in their home countries by drafting enforceable legislation consistent with the CRPD; utilizing enforcement mechanisms set forth in the Convention; taking forward disability rights litigation requesting CRPD-compliant remedies; engaging in disability rights advocacy; and developing law, education, or other academic curricula informed by the CRPD.
The program does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Candidates with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply. The competition is merit-based and open to those meeting the following criteria:
- be a citizen and legal resident Ethiopia, Lesotho, Sudan, South Sudan; Czech Republic, Georgia, or Ukraine at the time of application
- have work experience in the legal profession or advocacy focusing on human/disability rights
- have an excellent academic record with a bachelor of laws (LLB; in exceptional circumstances, those without a LLB but with substantial relevant experience may be considered)—a degree must be awarded by the application deadline
- have demonstrated leadership in the field of disability rights
- be proficient in spoken and written English or French and able to meet university-designated minimum scores on standardized language tests
- be able to participate in an intensive academic writing program in July–August 2020
- be able to begin the graduate program in August or September 2020
- be able to receive and maintain visa or study permit required by host country
- demonstrate a clear commitment to return to home country to contribute to advancing the inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities in their communities
Employees of the Open Society Foundations and employees of local administering organizations (and their immediate family members) who are directly involved in the administration of scholarships are not eligible, nor are individuals receiving other Open Society Foundations–funded support during the fellowship period.
For further details, see the complete guidelines and submit an application online, or contact the appropriate regional coordinator below.
Residents of Ethiopia, Lesotho, Sudan, or South Sudan
Project Coordinator, Disability Rights Unit Centre for Human Rights
Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
Pretoria, 002, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)12 420 6345
Fax: +27 (0)86 580 5743
Residents of Czech Republic, Georgia, or Ukraine:
Disability Rights Scholarship Program
Open Society Foundations
224 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019 USA
Download the complete guidelines.
Download the complete application form.