Columbia University 2022 ISHR Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) Fellowship

Columbia University 2022 ISHR Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) Fellowship

About Columbia University 2022 ISHR Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) Fellowship

The 2022-23 Columbia University ISHR Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) Fellowship application is now open.

The Program is designed for human rights activists working with NGOs on issues including sexual and gender-based violence, minority rights, LGBTQI+ rights, labor rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, migration, health, social exclusion, environmental justice, disability rights, and corporate social accountability.

Participants are selected on the basis of their previous work experience in human rights, commitment to the human rights field, and demonstrated ability to pursue graduate-level studies. Full-time students or government officials will not be considered. Applicants holding full or part-time jobs pursuing their advocacy efforts are preferred.

Advocates must work at the grassroots level. Applicants from high-income countries will not be considered except for those representing marginalized communities. See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information about this requirement. Fluency in English is required. Preference is given to those who have not previously had opportunities to travel and study internationally. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Advocates must provide proof of institutional endorsement in English from their organizations for their participation in the Program and must commit to returning to that organization upon completion of the Program.

Only one application per organization should be submitted. More than one application means all applications from that organization will be disqualified. It is up to the applicant to make sure no one else from the organization has applied.

About Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP)

Founded in 1989, the Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) is a unique and successful model of human rights capacity building. HRAP capitalizes on its affiliation with Columbia University and its location in New York City to provide grassroots leaders the tools, knowledge, access, and networks to promote the realization of human rights and strengthen their respective organizations.

HRAP’s comprehensive program of advocacy, networking, skills-building, and academic coursework provides advocates the opportunity to hone practical skills, develop a deeper understanding of human rights, and foster mutually beneficial relationships with organizations and individuals in their respective fields.

Since 1989, 346 advocates from 95 countries have participated in HRAP.

Program Overview

After completing the intensive four-month program, Advocates are able to more effectively lobby for their causes and address the human rights concerns of their community. The comparative advantages of the Human Rights Advocates Program are its:

  • Comprehensive program of academic coursework, faculty mentoring, skills-building workshops, and networking.
  • Emphasis on individual and organizational capacity building
  • Affiliation with Columbia University and location in New York
  • Weeklong networking trip to Washington, D.C.
  • Alumni body of 308 human rights advocates in more than 86 countries

How to Apply

Application Instructions

  • Applicants are asked to complete the application in its entirety. Please complete all sections in English. Please follow all instructions, including those sent to your email address.
  • In order to access the application, applicants must register an account on the ISHR website and log in. Once logged in, applicants can begin a new application by choosing Start/Resume A HRAP Application from the menu.
  • After beginning an application, the applicant can either choose to save the form as a draft, or submit a completed application. If you choose to save the form as a draft, you can return to this page to complete it.
  • Upon submission of a completed application, a confirmation will be sent to the applicant. Applicants may login to the online application to view or edit their submitted applications until the deadline.
  • To edit or complete submitted applications, log in to the ISHR website and choose Manage HRAP Submission.
  • Columbia University aims to make all websites fully accessible to users with disabilities. If you experience difficulty using this page, please contact


At the time of the release of this application (February 2022), we are hoping to offer the next HRAP over two semesters: online from late October/early November to mid-December 2022 followed by the in-person component from early January to early May 2023. Please do not write to ISHR with questions about the timing of the next HRAP. Shortlisted applicants will be informed.

Read also: Chatham House Richard & Susan Hayden Academy Fellowship 2023


The HRAP application is now open. We will be accepting applications through 5:00 pm/17:00 ET on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Supporting Documentation for Columbia University 2022 ISHR Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) Fellowship

  • Two signed letters of recommendation are required. Unsigned letters will not be accepted and your entire application will be removed from consideration. Electronic signatures are accepted. The recommenders must provide their contact information (phone number and email address). You cannot submit the proof of institutional endorsement as one of the recommendation letters.
  • All supporting documentation must be in English. They must be from those who can attest to your work as a human rights advocate. Your letters of recommendation weigh heavily on our consideration. Please reach out to potential recommenders in a timely fashion.
  • You must also upload a copy of your university diploma and/or transcript. (If you hold multiple degrees, please upload the highest one.)

Status Notification

Applicants will be notified of their status by early September, 2022. Please be patient as the selection and funding processes are lengthy and the situation around the global pandemic is fluid.

Funding for Columbia University 2022 ISHR Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) Fellowship

After ISHR conducts its stringent selection process, it makes every effort to secure funding for shortlisted Advocates to attend the program. In certain cases where ISHR cannot secure funding, shortlisted Advocates may be asked to secure the funds needed for them to be admitted to the program.
The generosity of the Arcus Foundation will make it possible for us to admit one qualified Trans Advocate from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean or Eastern and Southern Africa to the 2022-23 program.
The generosity of other funders will also enable us to admit qualified Advocates working on LGBT and/or disability and/or SRHR rights in Latin America and/or Africa in the 2022-23 program. Additional donors will be identified to support outstanding applicants working on other human rights issues at the grassroots level around the globe

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