AHDA Fellowship for Human Rights Activists 2018 – Columbia University in New York City

AHDA Fellowship for Human Rights Activists 2018 – Columbia University in New York City

Deadline: February 15, 2018

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) is now accepting applications for the Alliance for Historical Dialogue & Accountability (AHDA) Fellowship. The AHDA fellowship brings together scholars, students, civil society organizations, journalists, educators, artists, policy makers, and others who work on historical dialogue issues for a semester of comprehensive learning and networking. It allows participants to come to spend the fall semester of the academic year at Columbia University in New York City.

This comprehensive program provides fellows with the opportunity to hone practical skills in fundraising, advocacy and leadership; to develop a deeper understanding of and engagement with the past; and to foster mutually beneficial relationships with their peers and with international and non-profit organizations based in New York and Washington, D.C.

The AHDA fellowship is an intensive, full-time program. While at Columbia, fellows design individual projects that address some aspect of a history of gross human rights violations in their society, country, and/or region.


  1. Seminar: Over the course of the semester when the fellows are in residence at Columbia, they attend a series of 2-hour sessions with scholars and other experts in historical dialogue, exploring major theoretical issues and on-the-ground case studies.
  2. WorkshopsSeminars are supplemented by capacity building trainings in skills important to the work of historical dialogue, and important to implementing a successful project. The goal of these workshops is to build capacity in a wide range of skills required for historical dialogue, from facilitation to fundraising.
  3. Site Visits, Networking & Colloborative Relationships: Fellows have the opportunity to meet with a range of international institutions, human rights organizations, foundations and practitioners in the field who are based in New York City, to observe their practices, learn more about their strategies, and to meet their leadership and staff.
  4. Washington, D.C.: Fellows travel to Washington, D.C. to take advantage of the networking and advocacy opportunities available there. Fellows meet in groups and individually with relevant organizations, foundations, museums, universities and government agencies.
  5. Individual Projects: During the fellowship participants design a project that addresses some aspect of a history of gross human rights violations in their society, country and/or region.
  6. Columbia University Coursework: Fellows audit 1 to 2 courses at the university during the fall semester. These courses are selected based on their relevance to the particular context or approach to historical dialogue of each fellow.
  7. Student Life in New York City: AHDA integrates Fellows into various aspects of student life at Columbia and beyond. Fellows reside at the International House with international and US students and participate in a range of social learning and cultural activities organized by International House and Columbia University.


After the ISHR selection committee conducts its selection process, it makes every effort to secure funding for shortlisted Fellows to attend the program.

Funding ranges from full funding, which covers programmatic costs, living/travel expenses and includes a small monthly stipend to partial funding which covers some portion of these costs.

In cases where they are unable to provide full funding, we work with fellows to try to identify additional financial support.


  • The Program is designed for lawyers, journalists, teachers, social workers, community organizers, artists, scholars and other human rights activists working on issues related to dealing with the past such as: transitional justice, historical dialogue, memory studies, historical justice, oral history, history education.
  • ABD and Post-doctoral students are eligible to apply
  • If you are not affiliated with an institution, you may still apply to the fellowship program. In the space that asks for organizational affiliation, write “independent”.
  • Participants are selected on the basis of their previous work experience in work that deals with the past, their commitment to the human rights field, and demonstrated ability to pursue graduate-level studies.
  • Full-time students will not be considered.
  • Applicants who are mid-career and hold full or part-time jobs pursuing their advocacy efforts are preferred.
  • Fellows must work in the country and/or region where they live.
  • Fluency in English is required. Fellows must provide proof of institutional endorsement in English from their organizations for their participation in the Program and must commit to returning to that organization upon completion of the Program.
  • The program lasts a full academic semester, from late August to mid-December, and fellows are required to be in residence in New York City for this period.


The completed application must be submitted online by the deadline. Applicants should take into consideration technical issues and begin the process in advance of the deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is available with answers to commonly asked questions. Please email further questions to [email protected].

In order to access the application, applicants must register an account on the ISHR website

For more information, visit AHDA Fellowship.