NYU School of Law announces with great pleasure the posting of the 2020-2021 Helton Global Human Rights Fellowship for one year of human rights work. Applicants are invited to design projects with a host organization to put their legal education to work on timely issues in countries where their efforts are most needed and where there are insufficient resources for human rights protection. The fellowship is designed to support students who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing careers in international human rights law.
Projects should address human rights issues relevant to the host country in partnership with a host organization. Applicants will have discretion to design projects that tackle issues they and the host organization believe are timely and relevant, and that have the potential to have an impact.
Projects must take place in developing countries that are currently grappling with human rights challenges. Projects in Australia, Canada, Japan, United States, Western Europe and other similar countries will not be eligible. Applicants should have relevant language abilities for placements where English is not a working language.
In most cases, hosts will be local or national non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Proposals will also be accepted to work with under-resourced state institutions in countries in transition or with international organizations with offices in the country. However, preference will be given to placements with local NGOs. It is crucial for the host organization to be committed to the project and to have the capacity to supervise the fellow and help him or her accomplish the project objectives.
Applicants should work closely with the host organization in developing projects, and proposals should be as detailed as possible. The selection committee is aware that many NGOs will not be able to predict their exact needs by the time applications are due and will consider the informed commitment of the NGO to work closely with the applicant and devote institutional resources to the project in addition to the substantive detail of the project itself.
Potential applicants are encouraged to meet with Miriam Eckenfels-Garcia in PILC for help in selecting host organizations, designing projects, and preparing proposals. The fellowship will begin in September 2020. Fellowship stipends are usually $30,000, but may vary depending on cost of living in the fellowship host country and the host organization’s ability to support health insurance, housing, and relocation costs.
Selection Process and Criteria
Interviews will take place at the Law School in late February or early March. A selection committee comprised of human rights practitioners will review applications and select the Fellow. The selection committee may seek to supplement the application with information from the applicant or other sources. A decision will be announced by late March. The fellowship is only open to graduating students of NYU School of Law who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing careers in human rights.
Selection criteria include:
- Applicant’s commitment to human rights as demonstrated by relevant internships and professional experience, coursework (including clinics), and extra-curricular activities.
- Qualifications of the applicant to implement the project.
- Quality of the proposal and the relevance and potential impact of the proposed project.
- Relevance of the project to the applicant’s career goals.
Applications will be due at noon on Thursday, February 13, 2020. Applications should be submitted to email@example.com as one PDF file containing the following materials, though recommenders may send letters directly to PILC if they prefer.
- Summary page with name and contact information, one-paragraph description of the project, one- paragraph description of host organization, and total project budget amount.
- Proposal outlining the project (1000-3000 words), including the following issues:
- the human rights problems to be addressed
- overview of project strategy
- description of host organization, and support that host will provide
- practical issues including necessary visas and permits
- skills that the applicant would bring to the project (including language skills)
- explanation of any challenges anticipated (including security constraints) and how applicant would address those.
- Substantive letter of support from a senior staff member at host organization detailing why the addition of this particular applicant and project would be beneficial; the support, supervision and training they would provide the Fellow; and relevant information regarding the history and current programs of the organization..
- Project budget detailing all costs including travel to project location, living expenses, health insurance, telecommunications, travel within the country, and other relevant expenses. The budget should also include any resources the host will pledge (for example, if the host is able to provide housing, telecommunications, travel within country, or health insurance).
- At least one letter of recommendation from a professor at NYU School of Law or a former employer. Note that CHRGJ faculty directors will not write letters but may be listed as additional references.
- Personal statement setting forth the applicant’s commitment to human rights, relevant experience, and how the fellowship will contribute to your career goals. (maximum 500 words)
- Applicant’s resume and unofficial law school transcript.
- Supporting documentation such as additional letters, news articles, etc. (optional, not to exceed 10 pages).