Deadline: 10 October 10, 2022 11:59 PM ET
Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world. We are roughly 450 people of 70-plus nationalities who are country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others who work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need. We direct our advocacy towards governments, armed groups and businesses, pushing them to change or enforce their laws, policies and practices. To ensure our independence, we refuse government funding and carefully review all donations to ensure that they are consistent with our policies, mission, and values. We partner with organizations large and small across the globe to protect embattled activists and to help hold abusers to account and bring justice to victims.
Human Rights Watch currently offers three fellowships:
- Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellowship – Established in memory of Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg, early supporters of Human Rights Watch (HRW), this fellowship is open to candidates who hold an advanced (graduate) degree or have a degree granted by June 2023 in the fields of law, journalism, international relations, area studies, or other relevant disciplines from universities worldwide. Candidates with LL.B. degrees or advanced degrees in other relevant disciplines may also be considered.
- Leonard H. Sandler Fellowship – Established in memory of Judge Leonard H. Sandler, a 1950 Columbia Law graduate with a lifelong commitment to civil rights and liberties, this fellowship is open to candidates who hold J.D. from Columbia Law School or have a degree granted by June 2023.
- Aryeh Neier Fellowship– Established to honor the legacy of Aryeh Neier, executive director of both the ACLU and then of Human Rights Watch, this two-year fellowship (one year with HRW, one year with the ACLU) is open to candidates who hold a J.D. from US law schools granted by June 2023.
Fellows typically work full-time for one year in Human Rights Watch’s New York or Washington, D.C. office. In some instances, other locations may be considered. The fellowship begins in September 2023.
Fellows monitor human rights developments in various countries, conduct on-site investigations, draft reports and/or other materials on human rights conditions, and engage in advocacy and media outreach aimed at publicizing and curtailing human rights violations.
Past fellows have conducted research and advocacy on numerous different issues in countries all over the world. Examples include projects on: international alternatives to immigration detention; migrant workers’ rights in Gulf countries; barriers to secondary education for Syrian refugee children in Jordan ; hazardous child labor in artisanal gold mining in Tanzania; threats to local communities from unrehabilitated coal mines in South Africa; and the private takeover of public housing in New York City.
Human Rights Watch will ensure that fellows receive training and mentorship, including regular and timely feedback and guidance on professional growth. Human Rights Watch is committed to ensuring a balanced workload for Fellows and monitoring staff well-being.
Can you apply for more than one fellowship?
You may apply for more than one Human Rights Watch fellowship in any given fellowship year. You should submit separate, complete applications for each fellowship for which you intend to apply (the application materials may be identical).
Experience: Prior research experience, including experience conducting interviews, ideally in the context of human rights research, is required.
Related Skills and Knowledge:
- Demonstrated strong background in international human rights and commitment to building a career in human rights are required.
- Excellent oral and written communications skills in English are required.
- Proficiency in another language in addition to English is strongly desired, as is familiarity with countries or regions where serious human rights violations occur.
- Self-motivation, ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.
- Strong initiative and follow-through, exceptional analytical skills, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent editing skills, perseverance and flexibility while maintaining HRW’s high methodological standards are required.
- Strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.
- Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations are required.
- Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.
What degree is required to be eligible for the fellowships?
- For the Sandler Fellowship, prospective fellows must hold a JD from Columbia Law School or have a degree granted by June 2023. (LL.M.s are not eligible).
- For the Finberg Fellowship, applicants must hold an advanced (graduate) degree in the fields of law, journalism, international relations or other relevant studies at the master’s level or have a degree granted by June 2023. Graduates with LL.B. degrees or advanced degrees in other relevant disciplines may also be considered.
- For the Aryeh Neier Fellowship, applicants must hold a J.D. from a US law school or have a J.D. degree from a US law school by June 2023.
Salary and Benefits
The salary for 2023-2024 fellows is US $65,000, plus excellent employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted to submit the following: two letters of recommendation and an official law or graduate school transcript. Successful applicants should be available for an interview from mid-December 2022 to early January 2023.
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