This year, the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA) celebrates 25 years of grant making in South Africa. In the past 25 years we have and will continue to promote human rights and constitutionalism to support a democratic and open society in South Africa.
In 1979 George Soros launched a scholarship programme for black South African students to study at the University of Cape Town. In 2018, to Commemorate 25 years of grant making in South Africa, OSF-SA will be awarding 25 Commemorative Open Society Fellowships and Scholarships across three categories:
- #OpenSocietySA25 Commemorative Scholarships
- #OpenSocietySA25 Commemorative Fellowships
- #OpenSocietySA25 Investigative Journalism Fellowship Programme
Up to 15 #OpenSocietySA25 Commemorative Scholarships will be available for eligible candidates to pursue post-graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities. Each scholarship provides tuition fees at a registered South African tertiary institution and financial support to assist with the costs associated with full-time study. The selection panel will be chaired by former Constitutional Court judge, Justice Bess Nkabinde.
Under the theme, “ADVANCING DEMOCRACY, PROMOTING CONSTITUTIONALISM, AND EMPOWERING VULNERABLE AND MARGINALISED GROUPS”, applicants can pursue further studies in the following areas: Law, Justice, and Governance; Sustainable Development and Natural Resource Management; Economic Rights, Justice and Empowerment of the Poor; Public Health and Inequality; Media Freedom and Expression; Land Policy; Education and Inequality; Human Rights Advancement; Social Movements/Building Civil Society; Constitutionalising Foreign Policy; and Political Economy.
#OpenSocietySA25 Commemorative Scholarships Eligibility.
- Applicants must be South African/African permanent residents/African registered asylum seekers under the age of 35, and of colour;
- Applicants must have at least two years of practical experience working in civil society on issues relating to the promotion of social justice;
- Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to human rights, social justice, and advancing constitutionalism in their careers;
- Applicants must be nominated and fiscally hosted (throughout the period of study) by a civil society organisation that is a current or former grantee of OSF-SA;
- The Scholarship Award is conditional on acceptance and admission into a registered South African tertiary institution of higher learning. Preference will be given to institutions in non-urban areas and those institutions considered to be ‘previously disadvantaged’;
- All applicants must utilise the award for post-graduate study in the 2019/2020 or 2020/2021 academic year/s;
- Family members and partners of OSF-SA Board and staff members are not eligible to apply;
- Close friends of OSF-SA Board and staff members may apply, but this will be subject to a rigorous conflict of interest check and verification by the convenor of the Selection panel (independent of the OSF-SA and OSF).
How to Apply for #OpenSocietySA25 Commemorative Scholarships.
To apply for an #OpenSocietySA25 Scholarship, all applicants must submit the following materials and supporting documentation via the online application portal:
- A personal statement of two pages, describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for applying. Applicants must discuss their current and previous human rights work, interest in and commitment to the human rights and social justice sector and field, and career goals
- A description of the issue the applicant wishes to explore if their application is successful and why it is important for the promotion of an open society (800 words maximum)
- Letter of nomination from a current or former OSF-SA grantee (host organisation) and statement of commitment to financially host the applicant for a period of 12 months and administer the scholarship (tuition and stipend, with no overhead cost)
- Two letters of recommendation from professional referees (that is not a family member/friend/staff or Board Member of OSF-SA) that speak to the applicant’s prior work and future potential as a social justice advocate, scholar, and/or practitioner. Applicants may be asked to submit a further letter of reference should the Selection panel deem it necessary
- A two-page abridged CV
- A short biographical statement
- One high-resolution (file size at least 2MB) colour photo (head shot)
Application Deadline: August 31st, 2018.