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Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance

Application Deadline: ongoing

The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance is a global initiative designed to identify, cultivate, and support the next generation of human rights practitioners. Participants are chosen from among the ranks of graduate programs in public policy and related subjects at a consortium of universities around the world. Through their participation in a two-week intensive Clinical Seminar and a 8- or 12-week internship, grantees and alumni form a network of dedicated practitioners united by common values across a broad range of fields.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications will only be accepted from the following universities:

  • American University of Beirut, Faculty of Arts & Sciences
  • Birzeit University Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights
  • Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Makerere University, Master of Arts in Human Rights
  • Makerere University School of Law
  • School of Public Policy at Central European University
  • Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs
  • The University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy
  • University of the Andes Alberto Lleras Camargo School of Government
  • University of the Andes Masters in International Law
  • The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law
  • The University of Hong Kong Journalism and Media Studies Centre
  • University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs

Purpose and Priorities

Individuals committed to advancing human rights, democratic governance and justice constantly confront new and unforeseen challenges. Today, authoritarian and illiberal push-backs, entrenched inequality, the accumulation of power by transnational corporations beyond the reach of national legislation, technological innovations, as well as other developments, require us to not only question common assumptions, but also to identify new opportunities. To protect and advance human rights, democracy, as well as justice, we need fresh ideas for civil society actors and creative policy proposals for governments.

The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance is specifically tailored to invest in promising individuals who are poised to foster and sustain open societies. We train them to contribute to a more strategic, impactful human rights practice.

The initiative combines practice, in the form of an internship, with a skills-oriented two-week seminar, to help prepare grantees for their future work. The program takes a broad definition of human rights and governance inclusive of promoting fundamental freedoms, expanding public access to information, challenging inequalities through development and rights, and advancing approaches that ensure transparency and accountability of state institutions.


  • OSIRG uses the Grantee Community Portal, an intuitive, user-friendly online platform that enables applicants to submit their applications directly to the Open Society Foundations.
  • Applicants who have limited access to the Internet are encouraged to contact OSIRG staff ([email protected]) to make alternate arrangements.
    Applicants may contact their university’s OSIRG point of contact for access to the application link.

For further inquiries, please contact [email protected]

Official Information

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