"Human rights” has emerged as a prominent concept for justice among scholars, activists, politicians, aid workers, and NGO officials. It has wide use and powerful reach and yet remains contested and fluid. What opportunities does the invocation of "human rights" enable, and what does it constrain? How do we understand the intellectual genealogy of human rights? Is human rights a terrain of resistance, or is it the new orthodoxy? Does the existence of widespread injustice prove that human-rights-based social change efforts are ineffectual, or does it prove that such efforts need to be expanded and empowered? The Gallatin Human Rights Initiative seeks to catalyze critical reflection and engagement with these and related questions.
The Gallatin Global Fellowship in Human Rights is a year-long program that supports selected NYU students with up to $5,000 in funding to focus on these issues while working with human rights organizations. Fellows pursue extended projects and internships (including research and report writing) for the host organization during the summer. The fellowship aims to allow students to contribute to the host organizations’ work while gaining experience in the human rights field in ways that complement their academic trajectory at NYU.
APPLICATION DEADLINE, 2020-21: TBA
Attending an info session and the annual symposium below are highly recommended for prospective applicants. All are held in The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, Gallatin Building (1 Washington Place):
Fall 2020 Human Rights Symposium
Fellows are required to attend and participate actively in two courses:
Fellows commit 10-12 weeks of full-time work on a viable human rights-related project or internship supervised by a host organization of their choice and must live on-site for the duration. This can involve research, drafting of reports, community organizing, developing communication material, website development, and any other kind of work that will be of value to the host organization and that is in keeping with the spirit and purpose of the fellowship. Fellows must submit at least four blog posts about their experiences.
Fellows present their work to the NYU community at the annual Human Rights Symposium. This will involve a substantial panel presentation.
Gallatin has sponsored 91 Human Rights Fellows to date, with a cohort average of about 10 fellows per year:
See the fellows' annual symposium presentations, where they discuss their summer experiences and click below to read their summer blogs.
The Gallatin Global Fellowship in Human Rights is supported and advised by a group of distinguished leaders in the field of international human rights.
The program is open to all undergraduate students in degree-granting programs at NYU and to master’s students in Engineering, Gallatin, the College of Global Public Health, the Graduate School of Arts and Science, Law, Nursing, Social Work, Steinhardt, Tisch, and Wagner.
NOTE: This fellowship was organized primarily to benefit students who have little access to such funding; therefore, applications from undergraduates will receive priority consideration.
All selected fellows must be enrolled and in residence at NYU's New York campus during the Spring semester following the application deadline and must be matriculated at NYU during the summer of the fellowship project. Additionally, undergraduate fellows must be matriculated at NYU during the Fall semester following the summer project.
Interested students are advised to do the following as early as possible in the application process:
A firm commitment from the organization is not required by the fellowship application deadline. However, you should verify that the organization has the capacity to host you during the summer period, supervise your project, and incorporate you into the substantive aspects of their work. A confirmation from the organization will be expected by January.
The independent study need not relate to human rights; it should focus on helping you to better contextualize the summer work (e.g., a history of the conflict, background on sociopolitical aspects of the region, etc.).
Online application that includes the following: