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Offer: University of Essex Scholarships in Human Rights – Open Society Foundations

The scholarships aim to provide opportunities for independent postgraduate study in the United Kingdom for students who are engaged in or intending to pursue postgraduate work in their own country and who have demonstrated both academic excellence and the potential to become leaders, decision makers, and opinion formers in their own country. Subject to satisfactory progress, the scholarships lead to the award of a Master’s.

The scholarships will enable suitably qualified students to pursue taught postgraduate programs within the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. The programs offered are the MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights, the MA in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, the LLM in International Human Rights Law, and the LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Each award will provide for payment of academic tuition fees, examination fees, a monthly stipend for living expenses sufficient for a single student, and other agreed allowances including one return economy airfare.

The scholarships are open to applicants from Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan,Georgia, Lebanon, Nepal, Palestine, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Applicants must:

be nationals of and normally resident in one of the selected countries in the academic year in which they apply for the award; applicants who are temporarily out of the country (for a total period of less than three consecutive months) may be treated as being resident;
display intellectual ability and leadership potential;
already hold (or expect to hold by the time of taking up the award) a relevant first degree of an equivalent standard to a good UK second-class Honours degree;
have passed an IELTS test at an appropriate level (this must be at least 7.0 overall with no individual band less than 6.5) at the time of taking up the award;
previous relevant practical experience will be considered;
commit to returning to their home country at the end of their scholarship period to continue their studies/ work there.

Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously studied outside of their home country.

Please note that if you have applied, or are applying, for other grants, fellowships or scholarships with the Open Society Foundations you should alert us to this in your application. While you may apply for more than one program simultaneously, you can be awarded only one Open Society Foundations scholarship or grant for a given period.

Employees, employees’ relatives (or former employees who have left employment less than two years before) of the Educational Advising Centers or local Open Society Foundations representations directly involved in the Open Society Scholarship Programs administration in the region and the participating universities will not be eligible to apply for these awards.

Application Process

Application forms (together with information about the courses at the Human Rights Centre) are available from your local Educational Advising Centre or the entity shown below if you are applying from Lebanon, Nepal, Palestine, or Turkmenistan.

Applicants must complete a Graduate Admissions Applications Pack (this requires submitting a number of additional documents, such as academic references, etc.)

All the necessary documents must be submitted to your Educational Advising Centre or the entity shown below if you are applying from Lebanon, Nepal, Palestine, Turkmenistan (see below for contact details) no later than Monday, January 16, 2012 (one original set, plus two complete photocopied sets).

Please note the following:

Incomplete applications will not be considered; three complete copies (the original and two photocopies) of the application must be received.
The overall impression of the application will be taken into consideration. Applications should be typed if possible or, if this is not feasible, they should be written clearly, with defined paragraphs and margins. Illegible applications will be unlikely to succeed.
References- please note these must be academic (from the institution where you gained your degree). You may, if you wish, include a professional reference in addition to the two academic references.
Statement of Purpose should be clear and concise and hand-written. Candidates should remain within the 500 word guideline as only the first 500 words of the statement will be taken into consideration.
If your application for a scholarship for the MA or LLM is unsuccessful, the program cannot subsequently forward it to the university for consideration. If you want to make a separate application to the University, then please contact the relevant department.
Applicants must reach the required level of English language. This should be at least 7.0 IELTS overall with no individual band less than 6.5.
Completed applications should be sent to your Educational Advising Centre or the entity specified below. You must NOT send the completed application form direct to the University and you must NOT send it by e-mail. Any applications sent direct to the University of Essex or by email will not be considered.
Ensure that you retain a copy of your application for yourself.

The deadline for applications is January 16, 2012.


All applications will be sent by the Educational Advising Centres or the entities shown below if you are applying from Lebanon, Nepal, Palestine, to the Human Rights Centre at Essex. Applications will be considered by selectors for the programmes at the University who will prepare a short-list of applicants who will be invited for interview.

By the end of March applicants will be informed as to whether they have been invited for interview and later on whether they would need to sit an English language test. It is expected that these will take place in late March/early April 2012.

The final decisions as to which applicants will be offered scholarships will not be taken at the time of the interviews. These decisions will be taken later by the Human Rights Centre in conjunction with the Open Society Foundations. It is envisaged to inform all applicants by the end of May 2012 as to whether they have been successful or not.

Please note that all successful applicants will be expected to attend a one-month preparatory academic writing summer school in August 2012. The Open Society Scholarship Programs Pre-Academic Summer Program is designed to prepare Open Society Scholarship Programs grantees for a successful academic experience in the UK. Successful applicants will be provided with the opportunity to refine their research and writing skills through intensive courses in academic writing and social sciences.The exact date and location of the summer school will be available at a later stage in the selection process.

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Visit the University’s Home Page: or as well as the Human Rights Centre Home Page at

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