Open Society Foundation is now accepting applications for the disability scholarship program for a one-year Master of Laws (LLM) or a 1.5-year Master’s in Education degree program. The Disability Rights Scholarship Program will be awarded to individuals from China, Tunisia, and selected other countries in Africa and Latin America. The competition is merit-based and candidates with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply. Grantees are required to participate in a four-week intensive pre-program in Istanbul, Turkey before starting study at host universities in August or September 2016. The application deadline is November 2, 2015.
Worth of Award
The fellowship provides:
-tuition and mandatory university fees;
-monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses;
-accident and sickness 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.
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 China; Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia; Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia at the time of application;
-have work experience in the legal profession or advocacy focusing on human/disability rights and/or work in education with a demonstrated interest in advancing inclusive education;
-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). For Inclusive Education, a degree in teaching, public administration/policy, anthropology, social work, psychology, or related field;
-have demonstrated leadership in the field of disability rights or education;
-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 Summer 2016;
-be able to begin the graduate program in August or September 2016;
-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, or to advancing the implementation of inclusive education.
-Employees of the Open Society Foundations and employees of local administering organizations (and their immediate family members), who are directly involved in the administration of scholarships are not eligible; nor are individuals receiving other Open Society Foundations–funded support during the fellowship period.
Scholarship Open for International Students: Citizen and legal resident of Argentina, China, Colombia, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, or Zambia can apply for this disability scholarship.
Scholarship Description: The Disability Rights Scholarship Program provides 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). With the knowledge and networks gained through the program, they expect that fellows will deepen their understanding of international law and education, 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.
Number of award(s): For 2016–2017, in addition to awards in law, they will offer two awards for master’s degrees in education, focusing on inclusive education.
Duration of award(s): Scholarship is awarded for one-year Master of Laws (LLM) or a 1.5-year Master’s in Education degree.
Selection Criteria: Competition is merit based, and selection is made on the basis of academic excellence, professional aptitude, leadership potential and proven commitment to work in the field of disability rights or to advance inclusive education in the home country.
Notification: Applicants chosen to continue in the competition as semifinalists are required to take an official TOEFL or IELTS, the costs of which are covered by the program. Most participating universities require a minimum TOEFL of 90-100 (Internet-based exam) or IELTS of 6.5. All applicants should research local options for TOEFL or IELTS testing to ensure results are available by February 2016. Students with disabilities should contact the testing agency as early as possible to make the necessary arrangements for accommodation during testing.
How to Apply: Applications can be sent by post or email.