Deadline: 16 November 2012
Open to: lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers, social workers, community organizers, and other human rights activists working with NGOs on human rights issues
Fellowship: fully covers program costs, travel, housing, plus a reasonable stipend.
The Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) is a four-month capacity building program designed to strengthen the skills, knowledge, and networks of proven human rights defenders at the grassroots level. Applicants from high-income countries will not be considered except for those representing marginalized communities.
Founded in 1989, HRAP leverages the resources of Columbia University and those offered by New York City as a center of NGOs and international organizations to provide proven grassroots leaders with critical skills-building and networking opportunities. Through workshops, seminars, participation in university classes and other activities as well as meetings with policy makers and potential funders, advocates share their experiences, reflect critically on their strategies, and plan future campaigns.
HRAP focuses both on strengthening the skills of the individual advocates and providing the tools for them to build sustainable organizations that advocate for disadvantaged peoples.
To meet HRAP’s goals, advocates are expected to participate fully in the offerings provided by HRAP, including:
- Skills workshops on advocacy planning and strategies, fundraising, press and media, and building sustainable organizations;
- Columbia University courses on human rights, public health, the environment, development, and labor rights;
- Meetings and networking opportunities with NGO staff, activists, policymakers, representatives of international institutions, and academics.
The 2013 HRAP will begin in the latter half of August and run until mid-December 2013. To be considered, participants must commit to full preparation for and complete engagement in the Program.
The Institute for the Study of Human Rights makes every effort to provide full fellowships to cover program costs as well as travel and housing. A reasonable stipend is also provided to cover basic costs. ISHR staff will work with interested candidates who have been wait listed for the program to identify potential funding sources in cases where ISHR has not secured the resources to provide a full fellowship.
The program is designed for lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers, social workers, community organizers, and other human rights activists working with NGOs on issues including sexual and gender-based violence, domestic violence, minority rights, LGBT rights, labor rights, migration, health, social exclusion, environmental justice, and corporate social accountability.
Participants are selected on the basis of their previous work experience in human rights, commitment to the human rights field, and demonstrated ability to pursue graduate-level studies. Full-time students or government officials will not be considered.
Advocates must work at the grassroots level. Applicants from high-income countries will not be considered except for those representing marginalized communities. See the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about this requirement. Fluency in English is required. Preference is given to those who have not previously had opportunities to travel and study internationally.
Advocates must provide proof of institutional endorsement from their organizations for their participation in the program and must commit to returning to that organization upon completion of the program. Only one application per organization should be submitted. More than one application means all applications from that organization will be disqualified. It is up to the applicant to make sure he/she is the sole applicant from his/her organization.
Completed applications are due by 11:59pm GMT on Friday, November 16, 2012. The completed application must be submitted online HERE by the deadline. Applicants should take into consideration technical issues and begin the process in advance of the deadline. The online application system will automatically close as of this deadline.
Applicants are asked to complete the application in its entirety. Please complete all sections in English. Please follow all instructions, including those sent to your email address.
Upon submission of a completed application, a confirmation will be sent to the applicant. Applicants may also login to the online application to view their submitted applications. As stated in the application, the submission of applications is final. A submitted application cannot be altered or appended.
Recommendation letters must be in English and must be signed. Unsigned letters will not be accepted and your entire application will be removed from consideration. If you have cooperated with an international organization, you must obtain a reference letter from someone you worked with at that organization.
If you know someone at Columbia University, you must give their name and the nature of your relationship.
Applicants will be notified in June 2013 of their status. Please be patient as the selection and funding processes are lengthy.