Type of Funding

Partially funded




Undergraduate and graduate students who are social innovators are invited to apply for the 2019 Dalai Lama Fellowship, a 1-year ethical leadership and social change program that trains university students, who want to design and launch ambitious “compassion-in-action” projects in 1 or more of the following pressing global challenges:

  • Improving cross cultural and inter-religious cooperation
  • Diminishing violence
  • Gender equity
  • Mitigating economic disparites
  • Improving public education
  • Enhancing environmental sustainability

From July 2019 to May 2020, fellows will take part in the Virtual Head, Heart, Hands Curriculum, monthly coaching, and group learning, with the support of mentors and coaches, each Fellow designs and implements an original field project addressing a global challenge.  They will attend a 5-day Global Assembly In June 2019 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Fellows cultivate practices in mind training for increasing self-awareness, self-care and resilience, for connecting with others and working across differences, and in building solutions for future generations. Over the course of a year, with the support of mentors and coaches, each Fellow designs and implements an original Field Project addressing a global challenge. Upon graduation, Fellows join a LifeLong Community, where they connect with and support each other while continuing to advance their leadership journeys.

The Head, Heart and Hands curriculum of the fellowship comprises 3 main components:

  • Head – Training the mind, exploring inner values, cultivating practices to enhance self-awareness
  • Heart – Harnessing the intelligence of the heart, deepening compassion, practices for working across differences and
  • Hands – Acting now, in community, to benefit the world, building unexpected relationships and leading with the mindset of interdependence.

The Head, Heart, Hands curriculum aims to build 3 core competencies: Connections to Self (the ‘I,’ or individual); Connections to Others (the ‘we,’ or relationships we make); and Connections Beyond (the ‘it’, the ecosystems in mutualistic dependence). Fellows should set aside about 6 hours a month to engage with and learn from the Head, Heart, Hands curriculum. This includes individual readings and reflections, team-based activities, monthly coaching calls, group calls, and interaction with other Fellows. In addition to the curriculum, Fellows will be asked to complete baseline, mid-year, and end of year evaluations, an end of year project portfolio, and an end of year personal transformation story that will be presented at the Global Assembly.

The Fellowship is structured so that fellows can pursue their academic studies while engaging with the Fellowship.


Expenses for attendance at the Global Assembly will be covered. However, funding will not be provided for projects.

Fellows benefit from a leadership training program that produces a different kind of leader, a leader that connects and cares for self, extends genuine compassion to others, and works for humanity. Fellows cultivate practices in mind training for increasing self-awareness, self-care and resilience, for connecting with others and working across differences, and in building solutions for generations to come.


Applicants should be next-generation leaders between 20 and 35 years of age, who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate schools and who intend to be enrolled and on campus during their Fellowship year. Consideration may be given to individuals that are no longer enrolled in school but who fall within the eligible age group and who are committed to work in social change.

Applicants should be individuals with a genuine intention to learn new practices and perspectives that will increase 1) their self-awareness, 2) their ability to connect to and have concern for others, and 3) their ability to recognize their interdependence by connecting with communities and people beyond their immediate project or local community. They need to have experience or interest in learning and practicing contemplative practices throughout the year.

They have to propose social change projects in their local communities that address 1 or more of the abovementioned 6 global challenges and demonstrate that they are deeply familiar with the community that they are proposing to work in and with during the year. They must also possess in-depth knowledge of the community and the issue that the proposed project is seeking to work in and address, and it is preferred they have more than 1 year of previous experience working with the community in question.

They must be committed to participating in the online learning platform, and to attending the Global Assembly in June 2019 and again in June 2020, participating in monthly coaching calls through video conference, and monthly group calls with other Fellows.


As the Dalai Lama Fellowship requires fellows to have meaningful, consistent, and immersive engagement with the project and the community throughout the Fellowship year, candidates who are living in close proximity to the community where their project is being implemented are preferred. Applicants must also have at least 6 months of experience with the community they propose to work with.

Fluency in written and spoken English is required.


Applications are to be done online by 3 February 2019.

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