5 Development-Related Fellowships for Masters/PhD Students

Offered through Open Society Foundations, this fellowship program offers fully-funded scholarships for master’s level students who are committed to social change in their communities. This is a merit-based award; academic and professional excellence, leadership potential, a commitment to open society values, and appropriate language proficiency. Applications are reviewed by an international selection committee. Students must choose a relevant field of study and express goals they want to achieve. Grantees receive funding for pre-academic summer programs, program-related travel, tuition and university fees, monthly living stipends, accident and sickness insurance, educational materials and professional development, attendance at regional Scholarship Programs conference, and accommodations during the application process and throughout the grant duration for applicants with disabilities.

Eligibility includes leadership potential, a completed Bachelor’s degree and excellent academic records, professional experience in a relevant area, and proficiency in the language required by the host university. Students must also be able to participate in an intensive pre-academic summer program and start their degree program that fall semester. They must also be able to obtain the visa needed to study in the host country and demonstrate a commitment to return to their home country to support open society development.

See the website for information about country nationals who are eligible to apply. Eligible fields of study include communications, journalism, & media; culture, history, & society; development studies; economics; education management & leadership; environment & natural resource management; gender studies; human rights; law; politics & international studies; public health policy & health management; public policy & administration; social work & social policy.

This Rotary Club Global Grants program offers funding for graduate-level coursework and/or research for anywhere from one to four years of study. Students must be admitted to a graduate-level program in a country where there is a host Rotary club or district outside of the applicant’s home country. Grant sponsorship is contingent on the local Rotary club or district’s application for the Global Grant funding. Interested scholars can contact their local Rotary club to find out more about the application process.

To be eligible, applicants must be planning to pursue a career in a field related to peacebuilding and/or development and their graduate-level studies should support this career goal. They must have excellent leadership skills and potential, academic success, a commitment to community service, well-defined and realistic goals, concrete ideas for advancing in their field, and sincerity about maintaining a relationship with the Rotary club after the funding period. The grant provides funding for passport/visa, immunizations, travel expenses, school supplies, tuition, room and board, household supplies, and language training courses.

For more information about the application process, grant requirements, and more, see this document or inquire at your local Rotary club.

This fellowship program, funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID), awards seven fellowships valued up to $48,000 for a two-year master’s program in international development or a related field. Fellows will attend an orientation to learn more about international development careers. They will also participate in two internships (before the first year of graduate study and in the summer in between). The first internship will focus on working on international issues in Washington, DC. The second internship will be overseas at a USAID Mission. Each fellow also receives a mentor throughout the program. Fellows who successfully complete their degree and the USAID Foreign Service entry requirements will be appointed as USAID Foreign Service Officers, which they are committed to for a minimum of three years.

Only U.S. citizens are eligible for this fellowship. Applicants must be seeking to enter graduate school in the subsequent fall semester for a two-year program at a US university. Applicants also need to have a 3.2 grade point average or higher. College seniors and/or college graduates may apply.

The American Association of University Women provides this fellowship to women who are not US citizens or permanent residents, who are interested in part-time or full-time graduate and/or postgraduate studies in the US. This award is given to women who have shown prior commitment and demonstrate continued commitment to the advancement of women and girls through civic, community, and professional work, especially in their home countries. Award amounts are as follows: Master’s – $18,000; Doctoral – $20,000; Postdoctoral – $30,000. While there are no restrictions on countries of eligibility or field of study, the website provides a list of highly desired qualities that the selection committee considers when choosing to accept applications.

To be eligible, applicants must have citizenship in a country other than the US and/or possession of a non-immigrant visa (if living in the US). Dual citizenship with the US is not eligible. Applicants must also have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent completed by the year previous to the beginning of the fellowship. They must intend to stay with their proposed academic plan and intend to return to their home country to pursue a professional career. Applicants must also be fluent in English and enrolled in a US accredited institution during the fellowship year. Please see the website for a list of degree-specific qualifications and deadlines.

Each year, the Trudeau Foundation awards up to 15 scholarships to Canadian and international doctoral candidates who are studying in the areas of human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada in the world, and people and their natural environment. The scholarship provides $40,000 for three years, plus $20,000 for research and travel allowance for three years. There is also opportunity for funding for a fourth year. Recipients also meet with a mentor and receive support from a variety of community members and leaders, mentors, fellows, and others working in humanities and social sciences. They also collaborate with Foundation members and discuss and exchange information with other scholars and researchers.

Eligible applicants include full-time first or second year students who are enrolled in a doctoral program in humanities and/or social sciences and Canadian citizens enrolled in a full-time doctoral program in or outside of Canada. Up to one in four scholars per year may be a non-Canadian enrolled in a full-time doctoral program at a Canadian institution. Applicants are evaluated on academic excellence, communication skills, public engagement, desire to contribute to public dialogue, desire for involvement in the research community, and the relevance of the doctoral research with the Foundation’s four focus areas.

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