FAQs

 

1. I know that requests for campus-specific applications and questions should be directed to the fellowship coordinator on my campus. Who is my fellowship coordinator?

Please direct all inquiries to Audrey Whiting at audrey.whiting@berkeley.edu. She will let you know whom to contact at other UC campuses.

2. Can I seek funding from other sources? Will it hurt my chances of getting the fellowship?

You may seek other funding. Other sources of funding will be one of many factors considered by the selection committee, and applicants should not feel discouraged to apply if they have other sources of funding.

3. Can I submit a proposal for a partnership project with another student?

Yes, understanding that you and your partner will share one fellowship stipend of $5,000.

4. Who is on the Selection Committee?

The selection committee is made up of three faculty members representing different disciplines from UC Berkeley plus one senior staff member from the Human Rights Center. The Fellowship Coordinator does not sit on the selection committee.

5. When will the fellowship awards be announced?

We announce the fellowship awards by mid-March.

6. I’m not 100% sure I know what I want to do this summer. Can I develop one project proposal in my application and, if I get funded, use the stipend for a different project?

No.

7. How do I choose a partner organization? Does the partner organization have to be selected from the list on the website?

You are free to choose any partner organization you wish. We occasionally feature organizations that have expressed interest in working with fellows on our website, but you do not need to apply to work with these organizations to be considered for the fellowship. For more ideas on partner organizations, see the list of organizations previous fellows have partnered with on the HRC website. Applicants have also researched potential partner organizations at PSLawNet.org, Idealist.org, and ReliefWeb.int.

8. When should I plan to carry out my fieldwork?

The fellowship is intended to support summer fieldwork conducted between May 15 and September 15. Fellows are expected to spend at least 6-8 weeks working on the project.

9. Can I apply if I am an undergraduate student?

Yes.

10. Do I need to seek approval from the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects?

Your project may require approval from CPHS.  For more information, please speak to your faculty advisor and visit the CPHS website (http://cphs.berkeley.edu). Fellowship awards are not contingent upon CPHS approval.

11. I am graduating in May; this is my last year as a UC student. Can I still apply?

Yes. You can still apply. If you wish to apply as a graduating student, please confirm in your application that you will be able to complete all of the fellowship requirements, including participation in the post-fieldwork gathering in September and presentation at the formal conference in early November on the UC Berkeley campus.

12. I want to travel abroad during the Fall semester. Can I still apply?

Since the fellowship requires participation in the post-fieldwork gathering in September and presentation at the formal conference in early November on Berkeley campus, we recommend that students with plans to travel abroad during the Fall semester not apply.

13. May I submit a paper application?

This year, we are using an electronic application process.  All applications should be submitted via our online application form (except for the letters of recommendation to be submitted separately to humanrightsfellows@gmail.com). If you require a paper application for any reason, please contact Audrey Whiting at audrey.whiting@berkeley.edu.

14. What is the page limit for the statement of purpose?

Your statement of purpose should be no more than five pages. It is acceptable to put your references on a sixth page.

15. What if I cannot complete the application?

Incomplete applications will not be considered and will not be forwarded to the selection committee. Please plan ahead. Allow sufficient time to research and contact partner organizations and to obtain letters of recommendation from faculty.

16. What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and what should it contain?

A CV is a cumulative resumé summarizing your academic and professional experience. We request your CV to gauge your skills, assess your background, and outline how this fellowship will build on your past experience. Your CV should highlight any relevant experience in human rights, fieldwork, volunteering, research or language skills.

17. Who should write the two recommendation letters?

Of the two recommendation letters, at least one of these should be from a faculty member familiar with your academic record at your UC institution. The other can be from another academic or someone familiar with your professional or volunteer work.

18. What should the faculty letter of recommendation include?

  • How does the faculty member know you?
  • For how long has he/she known you?
  • How did you perform in his/her class?
  • What does the faculty member know of your proposed fellowship project?
  • Given your work with the faculty member, what is his/her opinion of your abilities with regard to your proposed fellowship project?

19. What should the partner organization letter include?

  • The mission of the organization and how it works to achieve that mission.
  • Your project’s goals and how they relate to the overall objectives of the organization.
  • Your project’s contribution to the organization’s mission and the community it serves.
  • Your previous relationship with the organization, if applicable.

20. How do I submit the recommendation and partner organization letters?

Letters should be addressed to your campus fellowship coordinator.

For UC Berkeley applicants only: confidential letters of recommendation should be submitted directly by the recommenders to humanrightsfellows@gmail.com. We will let you know when your letters have been received. If you do not receive confirmation, please contact recommenders to make sure letters are sent by the deadline.

21. The faculty members I asked to write my recommendations are on leave this semester. Can I turn in my recommendation letters late?

No. All materials—including recommendations—must be submitted by the deadline. Ask faculty for recommendation letters early, especially if they are on leave.

22. My proposed partner organization is not responding to my requests. Their phone, fax and e-mail are down. Do I need to submit a partner organization letter?

Yes. You must submit a letter of support from your proposed partner organization by the deadline. Ask the organization for this letter early, especially if their communications systems are not optimal.