Open Society’s Soros Justice Fellowships 2017

Open Society’s Soros Justice Fellowships 2017

Deadline: October 12, 2016

The Soros Justice Fellowships fund outstanding individuals to undertake projects that advance reform, spur debate, and catalyze change on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system. The fellowships are part of a larger effort within the Open Society Foundations to reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the United States by challenging the overreliance on incarceration and extreme punishment, and ensuring a fair and accountable system of justice.


  • Advocacy Fellowships;
  • Media Fellowships;
  • Youth Activist Fellowships.

See guidelines for Advocacy fellowships, Media Fellowships, and Youth Activist Fellowships.


  • Fellows receive funding ($58,700–$110,250)


  • All projects must, at a minimum, relate to one or more of the following U.S. criminal justice reform goals: reducing mass incarceration, challenging extreme punishment, and promoting fairness and accountability in our systems of justice. Please carefully review the complete guidelines for more details on the specific requirements for each category of fellowships;
  • Applications for projects that demonstrate a clear understanding of the intersection of criminal justice issues with the particular needs of low-income communities, communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, women and children, and those otherwise disproportionately affected by harsh criminal justice policies; as well as applications for projects that cut across various criminal justice fields and related sectors, such as education, health and mental health, housing, and employment are strongly encouraged;
  • Applications from individuals directly affected by, or with significant direct personal experience with, the policies, practices, and systems their projects seek to address (e.g., applicants who have themselves been incarcerated, applicants who have a family member or loved one who has been incarcerated and whose fellowship project emerges from that experience, or applicants who are survivors of violence or crime).

Application Process

  • Interested applicants should first download and review the complete fellowship guidelines. Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) of no more than two pages, single spaced, that describes the proposed project. A resume or bio should also accompany the LOI (along with a work sample for Media applicants). From the initial pool of LOIs, organisers will select a limited number of applicants to submit full proposals. Full proposals are accepted by invitation only.
  • Applications for all of the fellowships described above (Advocacy, Media, Youth Activist) must be submitted online (the online system will begin accepting materials on September 9, 2016);
  • Applicants who are uncertain whether some aspect of their proposed project fits within the parameters of the fellowships guidelines or whether the project is otherwise likely to be of interest may submit an email inquiry. The email should provide a brief (no more than 200 words) description of the proposed project, as well as some background information on the applicant, and should be sent to: [email protected]. Please do not submit an email inquiry before reviewing the appropriate documents.

For more information, visit Soros Justice Fellowships.