The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the Humanity in Action Fellowship programs.

Please read through the information outlined here prior to beginning your application for the Fellowship. This list is organized by questions related to the application process, eligibility for the Fellowship and the program itself.

Application Process

How do I apply for the 2018 Humanity in Action Fellowship programs?

Applications are open, and you may apply here. All applications will have to be submitted by February 18, 2018 at 11:59pm CET. 

When will I be notified about the results of my application?

Humanity in Action Germany will contact all applicants by early March to let them know whether they have been selected as a finalist. All finalists will be interviewed by members of the Humanity in Action Selection Committee before March 25, 2018. The Selection Committee will announce decisions via email in early April, 2018.

Can I apply for more than one Fellowship Program?

Yes. When you apply, you indicate on the application form whether you are applying to Fellowships in Europe and/or the United States. If you have a preference for a specific destination in Europe and/or the United States, you may indicate such a preference on the online application form. If selected as a finalist, please note that while we strive to take an applicant’s preferences into account, we may not be able to make placements in accordance with an applicant’s stated preferences.

How is my application reviewed?

The selection process involves two to three stages. During the first stage, a panel of Humanity in Action staff, Board Members and Senior Fellows reads and evaluates all of the applications. Based on their evaluations, a pool of finalists will be invited for one of several group interviews in person at our Berlin office or via a video conferencing tool. Humanity in Action may additionally invite some of the finalists for short individual interviews.

Will my reference persons be directly contacted by Humanity in Action Germany?

In the application form you are asked to name two persons who we could contact for a recommendation. We ask for this information for cases where we have further questions, yet we do not contact every single applicant’s reference persons. However, we would like to reserve the right to get in touch with the reference persons of all our applicants. Please thus make sure that your reference persons are aware of your application to Humanity in Action and that they agree to being contacted by us.

Can I send my application by regular mail?

No. All applications must please be submitted online.

I will not be in Germany during the selection phase. If I am selected as a finalist, can Humanity in Action arrange virtual interviews?

Yes. The majority of our applicants are not based in Berlin and Humanity in Action will be glad to arrange virtual interviews whenever interviews in person are not possible.


Do I need to be fluent in English in order to participate?

Yes. All Humanity in Action Fellowship Programs are conducted entirely in English.

My university degree does not directly to the Fellowship programs' content or to human rights generally. Is this a problem?

No. We invite applicants from all academic disciplines and encourage academic diversity among our Fellows. Our cohorts are created specifically with the intention of having heterogeneous perspectives on the table.

My university exams occur during the program. Can I participate?

Unfortunately, no. Fellows are required to be present and to participate in all days of the Humanity in Action Fellowship. Exceptions are made on an individual basis for special events, such as for commencement or graduation ceremonies.

I have already graduated from university. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Graduates who completed their studies in 2016 or later are encouraged to apply. If you are a newcomer applying to the Berlin Fellowship program, please check the eligibility criteria here.

I am a German student currently enrolled at a university that is not located in Germany. Am I eligible to apply to the Humanity in Action Fellowship?

Yes. Generally, if you are German and studying elsewhere in the European Union or overseas you are eligible to apply to the Humanity in Action Fellowships through the German office. If you are a German student pursuing education at a university in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Poland, or the United States you may also be eligible to apply through Humanity in Action offices in those countries. If you are in doubt about your eligibility, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I am not a German citizen, but I currently study in Germany. Am I eligible to apply?

Depends. Students from abroad who are studying at a German university and have lived in Germany for at least two years are encouraged to apply if they also speak fluent German in addition to English. Short-term exchange students, including those currently spending time in Germany as an Erasmus student, are unfortunately not eligible to apply. If you are a Berlin-based refugee studying at university wanting to apply for the Berlin Fellowship program, you neither need to fulfill the above-mentioned two-year nor the German language requirement. If you are in doubt about your eligibility, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I am a refugee in Germany. Am I eligible to apply?

Depends. Refugees who live in Berlin at the time of applying are eligible to apply for the Berlin Fellowship program. Please take a look at the eligibility criteria to find out whether you are eligible and if in doubt, please feel free to drop us a line to discuss your eligibility. We are unfortunately not in a position to accept applications from newcomers who are based elsewhere in Germany.

If I need a visa to participate in the Fellowship program, will Humanity in Action help me to obtain it?

Humanity in Action will help Fellows obtain any visas necessary for participation in the programs. However, it is the full responsibility of Fellows to obtain the visa on their own. Fellows must initiate the process, request supporting documentation from Humanity in Action in a timely fashion and follow through to make sure they receive their visa on time. If you require a visa for your Fellowship, you must begin the process as soon as you are placed in your program country. Humanity in Action cannot be responsible for obtaining the visa for you.

I previously applied to the Humanity in Action Fellowship, but was not selected. May I apply again this year?

Yes. We encourage all applicants who believe they meet the eligibility criteria to apply. An unsuccessful application in previous years will not negatively impact the selection process.


What are the program dates for the 2018 Fellowship programs?

All European Fellowship programs will begin on June 8, 2018. Programming will end with the Humanity in Action International Conference in Strasbourg on July 8, though Humanity in Action will arrange all travels for each participant get back to their Fellowship program city. The United States Fellowship programs will begin on July 10 and will end on August 5, 2018.

What issues are explored in the Fellowship programs?

The Humanity in Action Fellowships seek to address some of the destructive common roots of prejudice, discrimination and dehumanization and how these relate to and translate into contemporary human rights issues in European countries. Key areas of the four-week inquiry include national identity, immigration, homo- and transphobia, Islamophobia, Antisemitism, racism, political extremism, and discrimination of Roma – all seen through the specific lens of the country the Fellowship takes place in. For more information and program schedules, visit this page.

The John Lewis Fellowship explores historical and contemporary issues of diversity in the United States. Key areas of inquiry include American civil rights and racism, immigration and issues concerning the rights of Native Americans. The 2018 program will focus on the issues around restorative justice. For more information and program schedules, visit this page.

The Detroit Fellowship explores the biography of Detroit, a city deeply emblematic of the tensions of massive economic and cultural change in 20th and 21st century America. The program will place special emphasis on democratic inclusion, equitable development, social entrepreneurship and the health of Detroit's communities. For more information and program schedules, visit this page.

What costs does Humanity in Action cover?

Generally, Humanity in Action covers the costs of participation and accommodation during the Fellowship programs as well as most food during programming times and public transport for the entire time period of the Fellowship. Humanity in Action also covers the participation, accomodation, and travel costs from the Fellowship location to Strasbourg and back for the International Conference at the end of the European Fellowship programs. All Fellows will be responsible for financing the travel costs of getting to and from their program city and should plan to bring spending money for social activities and additional food expenses during the Fellowship program. For more information on costs, please check the notes on costs in the detailed descriptions of the European Fellowship programs and the United States programs.