Fully Funded Open Society Foundation Disability Rights Scholarship Program 2018 for Africans


The Disability Rights Scholarship Program provides yearlong 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, we 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.


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, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Mexico, or Peru at the time of application

  • have work experience in the legal profession or advocacy focusing on human/disability rights

  • have an excellent academic record with a bachelor of laws (LLB; in exceptional circumstances, those without a LLB but with substantial relevant experience may be considered)—a degree must be awarded by the application deadline

  • have demonstrated leadership in the field of disability rights

  • 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 2018

  • be able to begin the graduate program in August or September 2018

  • 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


Tuition and mandatory university fees;

• monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses;

• program-related travel;

• accident and health 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


Fellows will be clustered when possible at select institutions that demonstrate cutting-edge capacity for legal education in international disability rights, and that are interested in forming a consortium of schools dedicated to developing this field and deepening their own capacity with an international perspective. In nurturing such a network, the Program strives to encourage faculties to incorporate disability rights into existing human rights curricula and participate in collaboratively-designed workshops and research efforts in the field. Participating schools include:

• School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

• Faculty of Law, McGill University, Canada

• School of Law, University of Leeds, UK

• College of Law, Syracuse University, USA

• Washington College of Law, American University, USA