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Application Process

Benefits and Expectations

  • Receive an $8,000* stipend to support their work
  • Attend an orientation at UC Berkeley to prepare for summer fieldwork (April)
  • Submit an informal mid-term report from the field (July / August)
  • Attend an informal gathering upon return from the fellowship (September)
  • Present on a Fellowship panel at the Fellowship Conference (October)
  • Complete all assignments and participate fully and in person in all fellowship events
  • Membership in a lifelong alumni community
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Student Fellowship Information Session

Application Process

Please find instructions for the application below, and apply for the 2024 fellowship here. The application deadline is February 20, 2024.

If you have questions about UC Berkeley’s process, about prospective partner organizations, or need contacts at other campuses, please contact Program Director Alexey Berlind at [hrcfellowships@berkeley.edu]. Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with Alexey Berlind prior to submission.

A complete application includes: 


  1. A completed online application form, which can be found here.
  2. A curriculum vitae/résumé, indicating all experience (academic studies, fieldwork, volunteer work, and paid work) relevant to the fellowship.
  3. Statement of purpose (2–5 pages, doubled-spaced, 12-point font), describing your interest in the award, written in essay format (bulleted sections welcome) This section of the application should address the following questions:
    • What human rights or social justice issue will be addressed during the fellowship? Do an article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, or recent declarations on the right to a clean and healthy environment address the issue and, if not, how do you think the issue relates to human rights? Please note that these UN declarations encompass many social justice, environmental and civil rights issues. 
    • How will you work with your partner organization to address this issue?
    • How will your fieldwork contribute to the partner organization’s ongoing mission/goals?  
    • Why are you interested in addressing this issue? Do you have a particular interest/expertise/experience in this area? 
    • What are the objectives/goals/expected outcomes of your proposed fieldwork?
    • How will these outcomes be measured or evaluated?
    • How will the fellowship build on your current academic interests?
    • What role will the fellowship play in your long-term career or study plans?
    • Have you spent time in your proposed geographic area and/or working on your proposed topic?  If so, outline your previous experience that specifically pertains to your proposed fellowship work.  If not, describe how you will prepare yourself for your proposed fellowship work. Address any issues related to fluency in a language other than English.
  4.  Two letters of recommendation from persons (at least one from a faculty member–preferably your advisor if you have one) in a position to affirm your ability to successfully carry out the fellowship you propose, and the value of the fellowship in the context of your academic work and interests. Letters may be addressed to Fellowship Coordinator Alexey Berlind and sent directly to [hrcfellowships@berkeley.edu].
  5.  A letter of support from your partner organization detailing the mission/goals of the organization and how your proposed fieldwork will contribute to its work. This letter should address the following points:
    • Who will be your main point person at the organization?
    • In which ways will you be supporting the organization?
    • In which ways will the organization be supporting you?
    • What are you expected to accomplish during your fellowship?
    • How will the organization benefit from your accomplishments?
    • What dates and times have you and the organization agreed you will work there? A minimum of 8 weeks of full time work (at 40 hrs/week) or its equivalent (over more weeks) are required. This can be left unfinalized if need be.


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