What is the UUSC Human Rights Innovation Fellowship?

The UUSC Human Rights Innovation Fellowship is a one-year $25,000 grant, awarded to individuals or organizations, designed bring about systemic change by creating, nurturing, or spreading an innovation in the areas of UUSC’s work. These innovations may be technological or financial products or apps, pathbreaking applied research, advances in corporate accountability, legal arguments, methods of mobilization, or methods of community outreach.

What is the theme for 2016 fellowship?

The theme for the 2016 fellowship is economic justice. The fellowship should address a major challenge in the realization of economic justice. In particular, it should contribute to UUSC’s goal of ensuring all people have access to economic opportunities as well as the ability to work in safe conditions that are free from harassment and discrimination and promote their economic rights and well-being.

Who can apply for the fellowship?

Individuals and organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, with an innovative project that is relevant to the fellowship’s theme can apply. In addition, advocacy organizations, academic institutions, research centers, grassroots organizations, and UUSC partners may apply for the fellowship. However, UUSC partners’ proposed innovations must be separate from ongoing grants. Collaboration by applicants is encouraged.

There are no age, geographical, or educational criteria for fellow selection. However, applications must be submitted in English.

What are the assessment criteria for the fellowship?

  1. Alignment with UUSC approach and values: The application must reflect UUSC’s values and be compatible with UUSC’s approach to the economic justice.
  2. Impact: The project must positively impact or benefit marginalized communities in terms of scale and/or scope.
  3. Competency of applicant: The individual or organization must demonstrate clarity and rigor in assessment of the social problem and theory of change of the innovation.
  4. Applicant’s track record: The applicant must have a demonstrated track record that indicates knowledge, competency, and experience in the fellowship’s thematic area.
  5. Creativity of innovation: The application will be judged by the extent to which the project is new, different, or timely.

What is the selection process?

The online application forms will be reviewed by UUSC, with input provided by UUSC supporters. After the initial review, an advisory group consisting of experts from relevant disciplines will conduct a face-to-face interview in person at UUSC’s office in Cambridge, Mass., or over Skype. The final selection will be made by UUSC.

What are the key dates and timeline of the fellowship selection process?

Applications open: October 2015

Applications close: February 1, 2016

Awardees announced: June 2016

Can I reach out to UUSC to inquire about the status of my application?

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, UUSC will be unable to respond to questions regarding an application’s status until June 2015 when the fellowship is awarded. Please e-mail any questions at that time to innovation @ uusc.org.

What do the fellows receive?

Fellows will receive a maximum grant of $25,000.