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Civil Society Scholar Award
The Civil Society Scholar Awards (CSSA) support international academic mobility to enable doctoral students and university faculty to access resources that enrich socially-engaged research and critical scholarship in their home country or region.
At the Open Society Foundations we believe in taking on controversial issues and supporting bold, innovative solutions that address root causes and advance systemic change. We also believe in encouraging critical debate and respecting diverse opinions. Universities play a key role in advancing these aims and are a vital part of civil society.
Civil Society Scholars are selected on the basis of their outstanding contributions to research or other engagement with local communities, to furthering debates on challenging societal questions, and to strengthening critical scholarship and academic networks within their fields.
The Awards are open to the following academic populations:
• Doctoral students of eligible fields studying at accredited universities inside or outside of their home country;
• Full-time faculty members teaching at universities in Mongolia;
For more eligibility criteria, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions document, available here:
Any subject areas within the social sciences and humanities are eligible, but particularly those related to:
law, justice, and governance; sustainable development and natural resource management; economic rights and empowerment of the poor; public health, social work and community development; new media law and policy; inclusive education; post-conflict studies; and human rights.
The program does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Applicants with permanent resident status or dual citizenship in Australia, Canada, European Union, New Zealand, Nordic countries, or USA are not eligible to apply.
Students or faculty currently enrolled in Master’s degree programs are NOT eligible to apply.
The Awards support short-term, international academic projects, such as: fieldwork (data collection);
research visits to libraries, archives or universities; course/curriculum development; and international research collaborations leading to a peer-reviewed publication.
Requests for support for first year tuition and fees will be considered on the basis of a clearly demonstrated need from doctoral students who have gained admission to universities outside of their home country.
• Project Duration: Between 2 - 10 Months
• Eligible Dates: August 1, 2015 – August 31, 2016
• Maximum Funding Requests: Doctoral Students: $10,000; Faculty Members: $15,000.
Applicants may NOT request grant assistance for the support of:
• federal and/or state taxes;
• computer hardware, software or other computer-related equipment;
• automobile-related expenses;
• tuition/academic fees if the activity is not for the first year of a doctoral program;
• conference attendance which is not part of a larger research project;
• applications from more than 1 individual.
Ineligible fields include: Business Administration, Management Training, Computer Science,
Finance/Banking, Marketing, Engineering, Hard Sciences (Physics, Biology, Chemistry, etc.), Mathematics, Medical Sciences or Teaching English as a foreign language/language instruction.
Applicants must not have been awarded, or will expect to continue, another OSF grant during the 2015-16 academic year.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to enquire with host institutions to investigate the minimum levels of funding required for visa issuance before applying to the program.
Competition for CSSA awards is merit-based. Selection will be made on the basis of proven academic excellence, a clear and justifiable need for international travel to complete the research project and relevance of the project to the development of open society in the applicant’s home country.
Selected grantees may be invited by CSSA to attend short-term trainings/summer school and a participant conference during the grant period. Travel costs and accommodation for these events will be covered by CSSA.
The following documents are required from all applicants. Please note that requirements for faculty
applicants and doctoral student applicants differ.
All Applicants:
1. Completed Application Form (online or hard copy);
2. Copy of the identification pages of your passport(s)/any visas you hold for the country in which you studying;
3. Scan of current official graduate school transcript (doctoral applicants) or the final transcript of highest degree
obtained (faculty applicants);
4. A letter of invitation from a faculty member or senior administrator at the institution where your research will take place, if applicable (scanned and attached to application).
Doctoral Student Applicants Must Also Provide:
1. An official letter from your institution confirming your enrollment status, department, and expected
completion date (scanned and attached to application);
2. A personal reference letter from an academic or professional in your field in your home country who can speak to your accomplishments, future aspirations, and ties to your home country (scanned and attached to application or submitted in original hard copy or by e-mail);
3. An academic reference letter from your academic supervisor supporting the research for which you seek funding. Supervisors should also confirm if the activity will need IRB/ethics committee approval prior to the activity taking place. (Submitted online directly by the recommender or in original hard copy or by e-mail.)
For first-year doctoral students who have not started their programs, an academic reference letter from your previous professor/supervisor will suffice.
Faculty Applicants:
1. An official letter from your institution of employment endorsing the proposed time away from your
position (scanned and attached to application);
2. An academic reference letter from a senior colleague in your field with direct knowledge of your work and
your proposed research topic (submitted online directly by the recommender or in original hard copy or by email).
NOTE: Omission of one or more of the documents renders your application incomplete and will result in
disqualification. In the event that a document(s) will become available only after you submit your
application, please indicate this on your application and send the missing document(s) as soon as possible.
Interested applicants must complete and submit a CSSA application. Online applications are strongly encouraged.
All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online. To apply online please go to to register, and then follow instructions.
Paper applications may be accessed via the following link or by contacting one of the local administrative offices (see below):
Please submit only one application either online OR on paper by March 2, 2015.
Paper applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by March 2, 2015 and sent to either the New York or London address listed below, OR submitted to a local Educational Advising Center listed below.
Late applications will automatically be disqualified.
Open Society Foundations
Open Society Scholarship Programs
224 West 57th Street
New York, NY
10019, USA
Open Society Foundation - London
Open Society Scholarship Programs
Millbank Tower, 7th Floor
21-24 Millbank, London
Educational Advising Center
Sukhbaatar District, Khoroo 8, Khoroolol 11,
Students Street, MKM Building 24, 1st Floor
Ulaanbaatar 210648, Mongolia
Tel: (976 11) 31 90 16
Fax: (976 11) 32 69 41
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