Funding for Undergraduates

The Human Rights Institute proudly offers three programs to provide undergraduates focused on human rights with funding.

We also recommend that you connect with the Office of Undergraduate Research to find out more about research funding and the Office of Student Financial Aid Services to learn more about different types of aid and scholarships.

Female student smiling at the camera

Tuition Scholarships

The Human Rights Institute offers eight scholarships to academically outstanding undergraduate students who are majoring or minoring in human rights and enrolled full time at the University of Connecticut. There are various eligibility criteria for each scholarship, but all applicants must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. For some awards, preference will be given to students who are also majoring or minoring in political science. Students who are ineligible for state or federal financial aid are eligible to apply for these scholarships.

2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees

Natalie Casanova
Human Rights & Political Science
Open Society Foundation Award

Brianna Dyer
Human Rights & Global Studies
Open Society Foundation Award

Vernessa Kingsbury
Human Rights & Anthropology
Open Society Foundation Award

Shreya Murthy
Human Rights Finance, & Criminology
Open Society Foundation Award

Aarushi Nohria
Human Rights & English
Alan B. Slifka Award

Megan Paige
Human Rights & Psychology
Wiktor Osiatyński Award

Melita Seibel
Human Rights & Communications
Open Society Foundation Award

Olivia Swanson
Human Rights & Natural Resources
Open Society Foundation Award

Our Scholarships

Sanford J. Plepler `52 Fellowship
Awarded to up to four students who are enrolled in a human rights program at UConn (undergraduate major or minor, or MA program). These awards may provide tuition support and/or be used to support experiential learning opportunities. Students must demonstrate financial need and academic achievement.

Open Society Foundation Award
Awarded to undergraduate students who are majoring in human rights and enrolled full time at UConn. Students must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need.

Wiktor Osiatyński Award
Awarded to undergraduate students who are majoring in human rights and enrolled full time at UConn. Students must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. Preference given to students with a demonstrated commitment to human rights advocacy.

Alan B. Slifka Award
Awarded to undergraduate students who are majoring in human rights and enrolled full time at UConn. Students must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. Preference given to a student with a commitment to fostering social inclusion or combatting racism or other forms for exclusion.

Victor Schachter ’64 Rule of Law Award
Awarded to academically outstanding human rights students who are completing an internship as part of their academic coursework in pursuit of a university degree. Eligible placement organizations include domestic or international organizations or public agencies whose purpose is to advance human rights programs and rule of law initiatives abroad, including India and Africa.

Mark S. Rudy Award
Awarded to an academically outstanding undergraduate CLAS student. Eligible students must be enrolled full time, pursuing a major or minor in human rights, and able to demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. Preference will be given to students with financial need and those who are also majoring or minoring in political science.

Dr. Charles & Irma Jacobson Fund for Human Rights
Awarded to students studying human rights, with a preference for funding student research and travel.

Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics
Awarded to a student who has been accepted as a summer internship fellow with an organization whose mission focuses on business and human rights.

How to Apply

  1. Access the application on the UConntact website.
  2. Complete all required fields.
  3. Include an unofficial copy of your University of Connecticut transcript as a PDF.
  4. Write a one-page reflection at the provided prompt.
  5. Submit the completed application no later than Friday, March 8, 2021.

The Scholarship Committee will make their final selections no later than June 1, 2021. Scholarship recipients will be notified. Non-recipients will not be contacted.

All scholarships will be administered by the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. If you are a need-based financial aid recipient (e.g. loans, grants, work-study employment), your financial aid package may be revised as a result of this award. If no adjustment is necessary and your fee bill is paid in full, you may be entitled to a refund. If you have questions about how a scholarship could affect your financial aid package, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid Services.

These scholarships are made possible by the generous contributions from the Alan B. Slifka, Mark S. Rudy, Open Society Foundations and Wiktor Osiatynski Scholarships.

Summer Internship Fellow Program

Our Summer Internship Fellow Program grew out of a desire to help students find internship placements at premier human rights organizations and respected international initiatives. We have proudly developed dedicated placements for UConn human rights students and facilitate the recruitment and selection process. After a rigorous application process, students selected to participate in each of these opportunities are granted substantial financial support. We currently offer the following placements:

  • Amnesty International USABusiness and Human Rights Resource Center
  • Center for Justice and International Law
  • The Education Project
  • OutRight Action International
  • Scholars at Risk
  • WITNESS

In addition to our dedicated placements, one student will be awarded a fellowship for an individualized internship placement to complete an internship at an organization of their choosing. We are committed to supporting students as they find exciting ways to integrate their human rights education into new experiential learning opportunities.

Please note that all placements for summer 2021 will be remote.

Eligibility & Award Details

The eligibility and award details vary for each dedicated placement. Please visit our Summer Internship Placements page for more information.

The individualized internship opportunity is open to UConn human rights majors. For additional requirements and information, please make an appointment with Rachel Jackson.

Application Deadlines

Each spring, we accept applications for the summer internship fellow program. Deadlines to apply are:

  • Dedicated placements: Monday March 1, 2021
  • Individualized internship: April 9, 2021

How to Apply

Visit the UConntact website for the pertinent application:

The application requires the following materials:

  1. Personal Statement: Your personal statement should include information on your interest in and experience with human rights, as well as a statement regarding how the fellowship award will assist you in developing your personal and career goals. Statements should not exceed 1,000 words.
  2. Cover Letter: Submit a separate, individualized cover letter for each internship placement opportunity you are applying for. Your cover letter should concisely articulate how working for a specific organization will assist you in advancing professionally. Please address why your professional interests, skills, and ambitions align with the work done by this organization. Cover letters should not exceed 500 words.
  3. Anticipated Budget: A budget is required so you can demonstrate that you have considered the costs associated with an internship. Your budget should provide a complete financial and qualitative description that supports the requested funds. Please download and use our Anticipated Budget Template.
  4. Letter of Recommendation: Please have one letter of recommendation written on your behalf from an instructor or mentor who has known you for at least one year. Your recommender should submit your letter electronically via https://uconntact.uconn.edu/submitter/form/start/446629.
  5. Unofficial Transcript: Please enclose an unofficial copy of your University of Connecticut academic transcript.
  6. Resume: Please enclose a resume that includes current and previous employment, including military experience, part‐time work, and summer or other temporary positions. Your resume should also list your involvement in extracurricular activities such as organizations, clubs, sports, and campaigns while attending UConn.

Applications will be reviewed by the Fellowship Committee. The Fellowship Committee will also conduct any necessary interviews with finalists. Once finalists have been selected, the candidate files will be sent to the internship placement site for review and approval. The internship site makes the final decision to extend an offer.

To maximize the likelihood of being selected as a Human Rights Internship Fellow, we recommend that all applicants schedule an appointment with the Center for Career Development to have their resumes and cover letters critiqued.

For questions or inquiries, please email humanrights@uconn.edu or call (860) 486‐8739.

The ability to expand our support of these placements is due in part to funding from the Dr. Charles and Irma Jacobson Fund for Human Rights, the Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics, the Victor Schachter ’64 Rule of Law Award, the Thomas J. Dodd Center, and the Marsha Lilien Gladstein Fund for Education in Human Rights.

Summer Capstone Internship Financial Assistance

The Human Rights Institute provides financial assistance to human rights majors seeking to complete their human rights capstone each summer. We believe in the importance of experiential learning – and in equity of access to experiential learning opportunities. In an effort to better serve our students, HRI will provide limited financial assistance to offset the cost of paying the summer course fees associated with enrollment in HRTS 4291 each summer.

Five awards in the amount of $1,938 each will be made available for the summer of 2021.

Eligibility & Requirements

Each scholarship will be awarded to an academically outstanding undergraduate student who is enrolled full time at UConn. All applicants must:

  • Be majoring in human rights
  • Have been offered an internship position at the time of application

Students who are awarded financial assistance must enroll in HRTS 4291 during the summer term and use the funds to complete their human rights capstone.

Assistance will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis.

How to Apply

Access the application on the UConntact website. The application requires the following materials:

  • Internship Verification: Please upload evidence of your internship acceptance. This can be a PDF copy of a formal offer letter or a PDF copy of an email from the agency confirming that you have been invited to participate in this opportunity.
  • Learning Work Plan: Please upload your completed Learning Work Plan.
  • Unofficial Transcript: Save an unofficial copy of your University of Connecticut transcript as a PDF.
  • Resume: Please enclose a resume that includes current and previous employment, including military experience, part-time work, and summer or other temporary positions. Your resume should also list your involvement in extracurricular activities, such as organizations, clubs, sports, and campaigns, while attending UConn.

The application portal will open at 8:00am on April 30, 2021.

Please email humanrights@uconn.edu or call (860) 486-8739 with any questions.