Eligibility and Selection

2016 International Conference Athens

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible to apply for the Fellowship programs in Atlanta, Berlin, Copenhagen, Detroit, Sarajevo and Warsaw are:

  • Under- and postgraduate students from all fields of studies who are currently enrolled at a German university and who hold German citizenship or are permanent residents of Germany (i.e. born and/or raised in Germany)
  • Under- and postgraduate students from all field of studies who are currently enrolled at a university anywhere outside of Germany and who hold German citizenship or have been permanent residents of Germany (i.e. born and/or raised in Germany)
  • Graduates from Germany who completed their studies in 2016 or later at a German or foreign university and who hold German citizenship or are permanent residents of Germany (i.e. born and/or raised in Germany)
  • Under- and postgraduate students from abroad who are currently studying at a German university and who at the time the Fellowship starts will have lived in Germany for at least two years are encouraged to apply if they speak fluent German and have a solid understanding of Germany's socio-political landscapes. Please note that short-term exchange students in Germany are not eligible.
  • Graduates from abroad who completed their studies in 2016 or later at a German university and who at the time the Fellowship starts will have lived in Germany for at least two years are encouraged to apply if they speak fluent German and have a solid understanding of Germany's socio-political landscapes.
  • Students and graduates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States are eligible to apply for the Humanity in Action Fellowship programs via a separate application process.

Additionally eligible to apply for the Fellowship program in Berlin are:

  • Berlin-based refugees who have within three years prior to their arrival in Germany been under- or postgraduate students, or who are currently enrolled at a university in Berlin, or who have graduated from any university in 2014 or later. Eligible are refugees from all countries and all fields of studies, who at the time of applying have asked for asylum in Germany (BÜMA), have been granted asylum, hold a permission of residence (Aufenthaltsgestattung) or a “tolerated" status (Duldung). Applicants need to be legally registered and based in Berlin.

Humanity in Action does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, political party, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical, or financial ability.

Characteristics of Successful Candidates and Fellows

Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are passionate about active and responsible citizenship, pluralism, and human rights. Successful Humanity in Action candidates and Fellows will have the following characteristics: 

Intellectual Curiosity:  Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are eager to discuss a range of historical and contemporary topics that drive, challenge, and impact diverse societies. Fellows should be eager to stretch their understanding of these issues beyond their own personal, local, and national contexts as well as their own specific fields of study.

Collaborative Spirit: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who thrive in collaborative settings and enjoy discussing challenging issues in culturally and internationally diverse groups. Humanity in Action’s pedagogy is based upon collective and intellectually demanding discussions with speakers, peers, and locals. Fellows must have the social maturity and skills to discuss often very sensitive topics.

Open-Mindedness: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are open to challenging their personal convictions. The Humanity in Action Fellowships are not programs that serve to confirm the assumptions of beliefs already held by its Fellows. The programs intend to broaden and stretch the Fellows’ understanding of complex human rights issues.

Entrepreneurial Drive: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are entrepreneurial and innovative in developing Action Projects and careers as active and responsible citizens.

Fluency in English: Proficiency in English is required for all Fellowship programs.

Awareness of Successful Candidates and Fellows

The Humanity in Action Fellowship programs provide opportunities for collaborative learning. They are not designed nor are they suitable for those who restrict themselves to a narrow and dogmatic vision and have no intention to challenge their knowledge and skills with various perspectives. The programs are a testing ground for thinking anew with others about complex issues of pluralism in historical and contemporary terms. The programs focus, through educational seminars and site visits, on vulnerable populations and the unfulfilled goals of just democratic societies.

Applicants should be aware that the programs are intensely challenging on intellectual, social and emotional levels. Full-time commitment is required from every participant during the four weeks of the programs. The Humanity in Action groups in each country represent, on a small scale, the larger societies to which individuals belong. We expect respectful debate and dissent as minority opinions are aired. To probe these matters and engage in learning and growth, the programs expect and require maturity, openness, hard work, and a generosity of spirit from each of the Fellows.

Diversity of Academic Backgrounds and Career Aspirations

Humanity in Action encourages individuals from all academic disciplines to apply. The Humanity in Action Fellowships' academically diverse setting enriches discussion and offers Fellows the opportunity to engage in perspectives outside their own disciplines. Humanity in Action encourages applicants who aspire to careers in business, government, medicine, academia, activism, the non-profit sector, the arts and more.

The Selection Process

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 a group interview 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. Final decisions will be announced no later than early April 2018.