Open Society Foundation's Civil Society Leadership Awards 2020-21
  • Full Scholarship

The Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) provide 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.

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.

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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 well-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.

Awards are available for study in the following areas – Communications, Journalism & Media, Culture, History & Society, Development Studies, Economics,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 Administration, Public Policy, Social Policy, Social Work.

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. 

Deadline of application is May 15, 2019, before midnight in EDT. (Deadline provided below is UTC+0)


CSLA grantees will receive financial and administrative support for the following:

  • Pre-academic preparation via summer schools;
  • Program-related travel to/from Host University;
  • Tuition and mandatory university fees; 
  • Monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses; 
  • Accident and sickness insurance during the program; 
  • Funds for educational materials and professional development;
  • Attendance at a regional Scholarship Programs conference;
  • Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities


Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

    • be a citizen of an eligible country;
    • demonstrate maturity, flexibility, and civil society leadership potential
    • have an earned bachelor’s degree as of May 15, 2019 with an excellent academic record;
    • demonstrate professional experience related to your chosen field of study;
    • 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 2020 and start their degree program in August or September 2020;
    • be able to receive and maintain a visa or study permit as required by the host country; and
    • demonstrate a clear commitment to their home country or region to strengthen open society development.




Eligible Regions: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Laos, Libya, Myanmar/Burma, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

Application Process

  • Applications must be submitted by midnight, May 15, 2019, Eastern Daylight Time. Interested applicants must complete an online or paper CSLA application and submit along with supporting documentation to be considered for CSLA support.
  • Online Application
    • All candidates are strongly encouraged to apply online if possible using the Open Society Foundations grant portal, an online platform. To apply online, please register on the portal and then follow instructions from the Apply Now link.
  • Paper Application
    • Paper applications may be accessed in the Download Files section of the page. Please download the application form before completing or printing, and review the accompanying materials before submitting the application.
  • Check the official website for detailed information about the application process.

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Application Deadline: May 16, 2019

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For further info please check the official website.
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