Summer Fellowships

The Schell Center’s Kirby Simon Summer Fellowships, supported by a generous grant from the Robina Foundation, provide funding for Yale students to undertake at least six weeks of human rights work during the summer. They honor Kirby Simon, the son of Professor John Simon, who was a foreign service officer and died in 1995 while serving in Taiwan. In recent years, as many as 20 percents of all first-year law students have received summer funding from the Schell Center for international human rights work.

Applications for the Kirby Simon Fellowship are accepted on a rolling basis until March 13th, 2020. Applications may be amended between March 13th and April 20th, although funding may be delayed as a result of modifications to the application. The Schell Center cannot guarantee that applicants whose plans are finalized subsequent to March 13th will receive funding prior to leaving campus for the summer.

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Summer Fellows must work at least six weeks for an organization or on an independent project dedicated to promoting human rights. Students may split the summer, but Summer Fellowships will, with few exceptions, cover travel to one work location only.

Summer Fellows participate in an orientation in the spring before their fellowship begins. After completion of their summer, Fellows submit a written report and attend a gathering to share their experiences with each other. Returned Summer Fellows also participate in a number of events that allow them to discuss with the Yale community the issues raised by and the insights gained from their fellowship experiences.

Kirby Simon Fellows have worked on a wide variety of issues at non-governmental organizations, international organizations and agencies, and international and foreign courts throughout the world.


  • Travel: Your travel grant will be based on the region of your destination. The amount for each region should be adequate to cover your round- trip travel from New York to your fellowship site. It is not designed to include internal travel within the country during the period of your fellowship. If the cost of traveling to and from your fellowship site significantly exceeds the amount set for your region, you may request consideration of an adjustment to your grant.
  • Travel-Related Medications/Inoculations: You will receive separate reimbursement for all required inoculations and preventative medications (does not include regular medication unrelated to preventative requirements for your fellowship site). All receipts should be submitted before you leave for your fellowship and must show the type of medication or inoculation received. The Schell Center will cover a maximum of $600 for required preventative inoculations and medications.
  • Living Stipend (SPIF): The living stipend portion of the Kirby Simon Fellowship is the equivalent of the SPIF weekly stipend. Grants for living expenses will be $625 per week for a maximum of 12 weeks.


All Yale students are eligible to apply for a Kirby Simon Summer Fellowship.

  • First- and second-year law students and undergraduates in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program for Human Rights (MAPHR) are eligible for funding to cover both living and travel expenses. This single application to the Schell Center covers both sources.
  • Law students who wish to receive both the travel grant and living expenses must submit Part I of the SPIF application (confirming SPIF eligibility) but DO NOT need to submit Part II of the SPIF application. The Kirby Simon application replaces SPIF Part II. The Financial Aid Office will provide information about SPIF during the fall semester.
  • Please note that law students may receive no more than a total of 12 weeks’ summer living support from all law school sources. You may split the summer between human rights work and domestic public interest work, and you may participate in the South American Linkage program, but you will be able to receive only 12 weeks of support in total for these activities.
  • Law students receiving Kirby Simon Fellowships may earn a maximum of $7,750 from all summer activities. This total includes all sources of funding for the proposed internship or project and any income earned or funding awarded for other internships or jobs.
  • Graduating law students may be eligible for the travel grants but are not eligible for the living stipend.
  • Non-law students who are not part of MAPHR are eligible for funding to cover travel expenses only.
  • First- and second-year law students who have not previously received Summer Fellowships have priority in funding decisions.
  • Students not eligible for SPIF may be eligible for the travel grant.
Eligible Regions: Open for Yale students

Application Process

Applications must be submitted via Google Form. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please visit the given link for the form.

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Application Deadline: March 13, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link
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