The Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) provides fully-funded scholarships for master’s degree study to individuals who clearly demonstrate academic and professional excellence and a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their communities.
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a citizen of an eligible country
- Demonstrate maturity, flexibility, and civil society leadership potential
- Have a bachelor’s degree awarded before July 15, 2017 and an excellent academic record
- Demonstrate professional experience in a relevant area
- Demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction (English, German or French) at a level required for admission by host universities
- Be able to participate in an intensive pre-academic summer school in July or August 2018 and start their degree program in August or September 2018
- Be able to receive and maintain a visa or study permit as required by the host country
- Demonstrate a clear commitment to return to their home country or region to continue supporting open society development
The awards are available to citizens of the following countries:
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Republic of Congo
- South Sudan
Awards are available for study in the following areas:
- Communications, Journalism & Media
- Culture, History & Society
- Development Studies
- Education Management & Leadership
- Environment & Natural Resource Management
- Gender Studies
- Human Rights
- Law (including Human Rights law)
- Politics & International Studies
- Public Health Policy & Health Management
- Public Policy & Administration
- Social Work & Social Policy
The Open Society Foundations and Scholarship Programs are committed to equal opportunity, and exercise that policy in relation to all admissions processes. CSLA does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Purpose and Priorities
Competition for the Civil Society Leadership Awards is open and merit-based. Selection is based on an applicant’s fit with the program’s objectives as well as the graduate admissions criteria of the participating universities. Academic excellence, professional aptitude, leadership potential in the field of specialization, proven commitment to open society values, and appropriate language proficiency are all important factors in evaluation.
All eligible applicants will be reviewed by an international selection committee. The proposed field of study should be logical for the goals expressed, and the application itself should be organized and complete. Compelling candidates will be interviewed by a selection committee comprised of university representatives, CSLA staff, and partner organization representatives, such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Selection and Notification Cycle
- Applications must be submitted by midnight, July 15, 2017, Eastern Daylight Time.
- Applicants will be notified of their status via email in September 2017.
- Applicants selected as semi-finalists will be invited for an in-person, Skype, or telephone interview to be held in October or November 2017.
- Semi-finalists will be required to take an official language test by the end of November 2017; all candidates invited to an interview are entitled to one (1) language test, arranged and paid for by CSLA.
- CSLA will have a final selection meeting in November 2017, and results will be sent via e-mail by mid-December 2017.
- Finalists will be notified of their recommended host university placement; some finalists may be asked to submit separate applications to potential host universities at this time.
- CLSA will confirm placement of finalists at a CSLA host university and the CSLA grant will be offered via email in Spring 2018.
Interested applicants must complete an online or paper CSLA application and submit along with supporting documentation to be considered for CSLA support.
All candidates are strongly encouraged to apply online if possible using Submittable, an online platform. To apply online, please register on Submittable and then follow instructions.
Paper applications may be accessed in the Download Files section of this page. Please download the application form before completing or printing, and review the accompanying materials before submitting your application.
If you have further questions, please first consult the Frequently Asked Questions.