Call for Applications: Human Rights Scholars Program 2020-2021 – Deadline Extended

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The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) is accepting applications for its Human Rights Scholars program. All currently enrolled NYU law students are eligible to apply, including those commencing in Spring 2021. The program offers the opportunity for students to contribute to the CHRGJ’s activities as research assistants, join the CHRGJ’s human rights community, and undertake independent writing projects under the guidance of CHRGJ faculty and staff.

The Fall program will run from late September to December 2020. There will be a second call for applications in late Fall for the Spring program which will run from January to May 2021. Human Rights Scholars from Fall are encouraged to reapply to participate in the Spring program also.

Research Assistance

Human Rights Scholars will work with CHRGJ faculty and staff to further the Center’s research agenda and to support the design and implementation of the Center’s projects, workshops, and other programming. Each Human Rights Scholar will be assigned a primary supervisor from among CHRGJ faculty or staff.

Research undertaken for the Center will be compensated at $15.00/hour or undertaken for RA academic credit. Work will be assigned on an as-needed basis. Workloads will vary by supervisor, but all applicants should be prepared to contribute a minimum of 60 hours per semester with a maximum of 20 hours per week of RA assistance.

The Center houses the Global Justice Clinic and many esteemed human rights experts, including the former UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and the former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence. Center faculty and staff will be working across a diverse range of issues (explore CHRGJ website for project descriptions), including:

  • legal empowerment
  • transitional justice (academic credit only)
  • climate change litigation (academic credit only)
  • business and human rights
  • economic and social rights
  • poverty and inequality
  • privatization of basic services, including water, healthcare and education
  • emerging mining industry and international actor accountability in Haiti (applicants fluent in French preferred)
  • immigration, equal protection, and the promise of racial justice
  • accountability for the US rendition and torture program
  • indigenous rights and community monitoring in Guyana (academic credit only)
  • mental health and resilience of human rights defenders
  • digital welfare state and human rights (academic credit only)


Human Rights Scholars will be integrated into CHRGJ’s community of staff, faculty, visiting scholars, and students through invitations to its social events, research workshops, and expert convenings.

Independent Writing

Students who are also interested in working on their own academic research projects are strongly encouraged to apply. Human Rights Scholars will benefit from guidance and feedback from CHRGJ faculty and staff. At the discretion of the supervisor, earning academic credit may be an option through NYU’s Directed Research program or through enrollment in a course with a writing component taught by CHRGJ faculty. Scholars writing papers will be encouraged to submit papers to CHRGJ and IILJ’s annual Emerging Human Rights Scholarship Conference, a forum that provides students with the unique opportunity to receive detailed feedback from experts and peers in order to prepare work of publishable quality.


  • Enrolled NYU law student in any degree program (JD, LLM, JSD)
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights and social justice
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently in a professional environment
  • Demonstrated potential for engaged and rigorous scholarship or applied research

Application Instructions

 The following materials should be combined into a single PDF in the following order:

  1. application form
  2. statement addressing qualifications and specific research interests (500 words)
  3. CV
  4. unofficial transcript from NYU Law
  5. English-language writing sample (10 pages max, excerpts acceptable)

Applications should be submitted to Brianne Cuffe at with the subject line “HR Scholar Application 2020-21” by noon on Wednesday, September 23. However, applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

We encourage applications from persons of color, LGBTQI persons, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities. NYU is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.

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