Type of Funding
Open Society Foundations, a grantmaking organization, is seeking applications from journalists, activists, academics, and practitioners, for the Open Society Fellowship, which supports individuals who are developing innovative and unconventional solutions to fundamental open society challenges. The Foundations’ core areas of concern are human rights, government transparency, access to information and to justice, and the promotion of civil society and social inclusion.
The present 2019 call is inviting individuals to address the following proposition: “New and radical forms of ownership, governance, entrepreneurship, and financialization are needed to fight pervasive economic inequality.”
This proposition is intended as a provocation to stimulate productive controversy and debate, and does not necessarily represent the views of the Open Society Foundations. Applicants are invited to dispute, substantiate, or otherwise engage with the proposition in their submissions. Though the proposition deals with economic issues, those without an economics or business background are welcome to apply, provided they have a relevant project in mind.
Successful projects should push the boundaries of current thinking and carry lessons that can be applied to a variety of settings. Applicants should carefully consider the impact they want their work to have and the audiences they wish to reach. They should then think creatively about the activities and work products that will reach these audiences most effectively. Open Society fellows produce work outputs of their own choosing, such as a book, journalistic or academic articles, art projects, a series of convenings, etc. In addition, fellowship cohorts may develop a joint work product of some sort.
Fellowships are awarded for 1 year. A fellowship term can begin up to a year after selection, in consultation with program staff. Fellows are expected to take full advantage of the Foundations’ expansive reach and work to bring new people and fresh ideas. Fellows are not required to
take up residency in an OSF office, although that option is offered. But fellows are expected to spend a portion of their term visiting 1 or more of the organization’s main offices or at a national and regional foundation. While in residence or visiting, they should organize and participate in conferences and program events.
Fellows will receive a stipend of US$80,000 or US$100,000, depending on work experience, seniority, and current income. The stipend does not necessarily equal the applicant’s current salary. Fellows will also receive a project budget to cover expenses such as travel (including airfare and hotel), visa costs, part-time research assistance, conference fees and health insurance. Enrollment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research, will not be funded.
Applicants can be from anywhere in the world, but should ideally be specialists who can see beyond the parochialism of their field and possess the tenacity to complete a project of exceptional merit. Proficiency in spoken and written English is required. Applicants should possess and demonstrate a deep understanding of the major themes embedded within the proposition above and be willing to work in a cohort of fellows with diverse occupational, geographic, and ideological profiles.
Only individuals are eligible: proposals from organizations or individuals acting on behalf of organizations will not be accepted.
Applicants should be “idea entrepreneurs” from across the world who are ready to challenge conventional wisdom.
Letters of inquiry are to be submitted online by 4 February 2019.