Open Society Fellowship

The Open Society Fellowship is a branch of the Open Society Foundation which was founded in the early 1980s by George Soros. The fellowship aims to provide grants, scholarships, and fellowships to individuals who have a burning passion for innovation and a desire to solve some of Society’s most common challenges.

The Fellowship Program employs a variety of grant-making strategies to develop a more just and open society. Through these strategies, grantees are correctly selected and sorted into positions where they can efficiently make lasting positive change.

Initiatives of the Open Society Fellowship

The fellowship features three initiatives that are geared towards growth and development, which are:

1.      The Open Society Fellowship

This program provides financial support for a maximum of two years to individuals with innovative and unconventional ideas in line with Open Society. Previous grantees from this program are currently working on a project that will significantly reduce economic inequality worldwide.

2.      The New Executives Fund

The organization has offered over 100 sponsorship awards to Executives in their first year of corporate leadership. Since the establishment of this initiative, over $10 million has been made available to help new directors make their visions a reality.

3.      The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance

University graduates in the field of public policy, law, and journalism are allowed to attend a seminar coupled with an 8-12 week internship program where students can contribute to projects at the intersection of advocacy, policy, and human rights.

Open Society Fellowship Opportunity for Grant Seekers

1. New Executives Fund

The New Executives Fund was created to support newly appointed executives and directors who show great potential to develop innovative ideas and solutions to societal challenges.

Selected candidates for the award will receive financial aid to support projects undertaken within the first 24 months after receiving the grant. This support is to allow new leaders to quickly move forward with a new project as they begin their tenure.

2. Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance

The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance is a global initiative aimed to support, identify, and cultivate the next generation of human rights professionals. Candidates for this internship will be chosen from amongst graduate programs in public policy, and its associate subjects from universities around the world.

The 8-12 weeks internship will also include a two weeks intensive clinical seminar where candidates will learn and grow from a network of dedicated practitioners across a broad range of fields.

Available Open Society Fellowships and Their Eligibility

1. Disability Rights Scholarship Program

The Disability Rights Scholarship Program will provide a yearlong scholarship award to disability rights advocates, educators, and lawyers, for a master’s degree study. This study will provide the student with the necessary information to develop new research, policy, legislation, and jurisprudence to fully harness the opportunities offered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The scholarships program expects the qualified candidates to deepen their understanding of disability rights and acquire the necessary tools to engage in a range of CRPD strategies.

Eligibility criteria

·         Must be a citizen of Ethiopia, Lesotho, Sudan, South Sudan; Czech Republic, Georgia, or Ukraine

·         have work experience in the legal profession or on human/disability rights

·         have an excellent academic record with a bachelor of laws

·         have demonstrated leadership qualities in the field of disability rights

·         be fluent in spoken and written English or French

·         be available to begin the graduate program

·         be able to receive and maintain visa or study permit required by the host country

·         demonstrate a clear commitment to return to your home country and contribute to advancing the inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities in their communities

2. Soros Equality Fellowship

The Soros Equality Fellowship aims to support dedicated leaders influencing the racial justice field. The Selected individuals for the award will be given a $100,000 grant to support the production of an innovative racial justice project within 18 months.

Eligibility Criteria:

·         Applicants must not have a full-time job to be able to devote at least 35 hours a week to the project of awarded.

·         Awarded applicants cannot be full-time students during their fellowship.

·         Fellows must be available to attend a set of activities during the fellowship term if awarded.

·         Candidates from the U.S. may apply provided their work directly relates to a U.S. racial justice issue.

·         Must be fluent in written and spoken English.

·         Joint applications will share the fellowship award of $100,000 over the 18 months.

·         joint applicants can keep their full-time jobs

·         Must explain why the project requires you to form a partnership.

For more information about the eligibility requirements, please visit the sponsorship website to enquire.


The Open Society Foundations has given hundreds of scholarships and awards to qualified candidates from over 150 countries since George Soros founded it. If you have a passion for innovation and a desire to bring lasting change to society, we recommend you apply and take a shot at being amongst the next generation of innovators to shape the future.

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