Disability Rights Scholarship Program [Open Society Foundations]

Apply by 6.1 2020. Year-long 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).

Open to candidates from Ethiopia, Lesotho, Sudan, South Sudan, Czech Republic, Georgia, and Ukraine for law degrees. 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.

Fellows will be clustered at select institutions that demonstrate cutting-edge capacity for legal education in international disability rights, and that are interested in forming a consortium of schools dedicated to developing this field and deepening their own capacity with an international perspective. In nurturing such a network, the Program strives to encourage faculties to incorporate disability rights into existing human rights curricula and participate in collaboratively-designed workshops and research efforts in the field.


  • 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

Participant Responsibilities
Pre-Academic Summer Program: Grantees are required to participate in a four-week intensive pre-program (location to be determined) before starting study at host universities in July or August 2020. The program consists of classes in academic writing, social science, and humanities-based seminars. Immediately after the summer program, finalists attend a pre-departure orientation.

Fellowship: Fellows must uphold the academic standards of the host institution and undertake full-time study for the program’s duration. Failure to maintain academic and professional standards as defined by the host university may result in dismissal from the program. Failure to follow the laws governing foreign students in the host country will result in dismissal from the program.

Fellows are matched with universities 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.

Upon receiving the university placements, students are responsible for securing required visas for both the summer school and for the host university.

Note: The fellowship does NOT provide funding for dependent family members.

Program Description