Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania

Scholarship

Education

Open Society Foundations - Disability Rights Scholarship Program Movemeback African initiative cover image

Details

The Disability Rights Scholarship Program offers awards to individuals for a one-year Master of Laws (LLM) degree.

The program’s objective is to provide disability rights advocates and lawyers with the necessary expertise 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, fellows are expected to deepen their understanding of international law 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.

Fellows will be attend a partner university that demonstrates cutting-edge capacity for legal education in international disability rights. Fellows are matched with a university according to their chosen area of specialization, academic profile, and professional aspirations. Final decisions concerning host university placement are made by the program selection committee, which includes university admissions staff and faculty, although finalists may be asked their preference.

Participating schools include:

  • School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  • Faculty of Law, McGill University, Canada
  • School of Law, University of Leeds, UK
  • College of Law, Syracuse University, USA
  • Washington College of Law, American University, USA

The fellowship provides:

  • Tuition and mandatory university fees;
  • Monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses;
  • Program-related travel;
  • Accident and health insurance during the program;
  • Funds for educational materials and professional development;
  • All costs associated with pre-academic summer program and annual conference;
  • Support for students with disabilities to obtain reasonable accommodations necessary for participating in the program of study.

Criteria

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 of Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania; Mexico, 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 (LL.B.; in exceptional circumstances, those without a LL.B but with substantial relevant experience may be considered)—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 August or September 2019;
  • Be able to begin the graduate program in August or September 2019;
  • 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.

Benefits

The fellowship provides:

  • Tuition and mandatory university fees;
  • Monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses;
  • Program-related travel;
  • Accident and health insurance during the program;
  • Funds for educational materials and professional development;
  • All costs associated with pre-academic summer program and annual conference;
  • Support for students with disabilities to obtain reasonable accommodations necessary for participating in the program of study.

About Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations is an international grantmaking network founded by George Soros. Open Society Foundations financially support civil society groups around the world, with a stated aim of advancing justice, education, public health and independent media.

The Open Society Foundations has branches in 37 countries, encompassing a group of country and regional foundations, such as the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa; its headquarters are in New York City. Since its establishment in 1993, Open Society Foundations has reported expenditures in excess of $11 billion mostly in grants towards NGOs, aligned with the organisation's mission.