Hurford Youth Fellowship for Indian students: Eligibility, Benefits, How to Apply

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The Hurford Youth Fellowship is a prestigious program designed to empower young individuals and foster their engagement in promoting democratic values and principles worldwide. Named after Larry J. Hurford, a prominent figure in the field of democracy promotion, the fellowship provides a unique opportunity for young activists, scholars, and practitioners to enhance their knowledge, skills, and networks.

The fellowship, offered by the World Movement for Democracy, is awarded to selected fellows who spend four months at the International Forum for Democratic Studies in Washington, D.C., where they work on a research project, develop their leadership abilities, and engage with experts in the democracy field. This immersive experience equips fellows with valuable insights into democratic processes, human rights, and governance issues.

Host and Sponsor Organizations

The Hurford Foundation 

The Hurford Foundation was established to honour the late John B. Hurford (1938 – 2000), an influential figure who was an internationalist and philanthropist in helping to conceptualise and realise the World Movement for Democracy. For many years, the Hurford Foundation has been an important supporter of the World Movement for Democracy. The Hurford Foundation generously supports the Hurford Youth Fellows Program.

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National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a nonprofit, private organisation founded in 1983 to advance democratic institutions globally. It distributes hundreds of grants yearly to pro-democracy organisations in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and  Africa with the help of a yearly legislative authorisation. A nonpartisan, impartial board of directors oversees NED. 

World Movement for Democracy 

A global network of democracy advocates, practitioners, scholars, policymakers, and financiers is known as the World Movement for Democracy. To make democracy stronger where it is lacking, to reform and revitalise democracy even where it is established, and to support pro-democracy groups in nations that have not yet begun a process of democratic transition, NED launched this nongovernmental initiative in February 1999 at a global Assembly in New Delhi, India.

International Forum for Democratic Studies 

NED established the International Forum for Democratic Studies (the Forum) in 1994 in response to the need for sustained and serious analysis of democracy’s problems and prospects worldwide. Since then, the Forum has become the preeminent centre for studying the theoretical and practical aspects of democratic development worldwide. Through its fellowship programs, its publication of the quarterly Journal of Democracy, and its public seminars and symposia, the Forum enhances efforts to foster and improve democracy while also making important contributions to comparative democratic studies.

Hurford Youth Fellowship for Indian students: Eligibility, Benefits, How to Apply

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Hurford Youth Fellows Programme only accepts applicants under 30 years old. They must exhibit a strong commitment to political activism and the expansion of democracy in their local communities and around the world. Applications from young people connected to civil society organisations are especially encouraged.
  • English Language requirements
    • For general communication purposes, participation in the programme requires an intermediate understanding of English. The language of all application documents must be English.

Fellowship benefits

  • Monthly stipend for living expenses
  • Basic health insurance
  • Round-trip travel to and from Washington, D.C.
  • Fellows are provided with a fully equipped office (including email & internet access)
  • Limited budget for fellowship-related long-distance phone calls
  • There will be access to nearly 20,000 works, including books, journals, grantee reports etc.
  • Can help the World Movement Secretariat staff with the ongoing fellowship projects

How to apply?

  • Candidates must apply online through the official portal
  • Candidates must submit the required documents along with the application

Selection Process

Following an application procedure, the World Movement Secretariat personnel will choose fellows, NED regional programme officials, and the Hurford Youth Fellowship Alumni Network.

Multiple factors will decide who is chosen, such as a candidate’s history of activism or interest in the growth of democracy, their willingness to network, and an explanation of how the fellowship will help their efforts to advance democracy. 

Also Read: Monash International Leadership Scholarship for Indian Students

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Hurford Youth Fellowship is a transformative opportunity for young individuals committed to advancing democratic values and principles worldwide. Fellows in this esteemed programme get the help, guidance, and tools they need to become powerful supporters of democracy and human rights in their neighbourhoods.

The fellowship’s emphasis on research, leadership development, and networking allows participants to deepen their understanding of democratic processes and governance issues. By working closely with renowned experts and engaging in the vibrant democracy community at the International Forum for Democratic Studies, fellows gain invaluable insights and perspectives that enhance their capacity to effect change.

Moreover, the Hurford Youth Fellowship instils a sense of responsibility and fosters a lifelong commitment to democratic principles. Fellows are encouraged to apply their newfound knowledge and skills to promote democratic values in their home countries, actively contributing to the strengthening of human rights protection and democratic institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the Hurford Youth Fellowship?

The Hurford Youth Fellowship is a prestigious program by the World Movement for Democracy. It provides young individuals with a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills, and networks to promote democratic values and principles globally.

Q. Who is eligible for the fellowship?

The fellowship is open to individuals between 18 and 30 who strongly commit to democracy and human rights. Applicants should have experience in civic engagement, activism, or research related to democracy.

Q. What is the duration of the fellowship?

The fellowship lasts for four months. Fellows spend this time at the International Forum for Democratic Studies in Washington, D.C., where they engage in research, leadership development, and networking activities.

Q. Is the fellowship fully funded?

Yes, the fellowship covers all program-related expenses, including travel, accommodation, a stipend, and health insurance. Fellows also receive a research budget to support their projects.

Q. What are the requirements for the fellowship application?

Candidates must submit a properly filled-out application form, a CV/resume, two recommendation letters, and a research proposal. They should also provide evidence of their past engagement in democracy-related activities.

Q. How are fellows selected?

The selection process involves a rigorous review of applications by a panel of experts. Criteria for selection include:
The applicant’s commitment to democracy.
The quality of their research proposal.
Their potential to contribute to the field.

Q. What are the expectations of fellows during the fellowship?

Fellows are expected to actively participate in research activities, attend seminars and conferences, and contribute to the World Movement’s initiatives. They are also encouraged to share their research findings through articles, presentations, or other forms of dissemination.

Q. What support do fellows receive during the program?

Fellows receive mentorship from democracy practitioners and experts in their respective fields. They also have access to resources at the International Forum for Democratic Studies and benefit from a strong alumni network.

Q. Can fellows pursue their research interests?

Yes, fellows are encouraged to develop research proposals aligned with their specific interests and expertise within the broader theme of democracy and human rights.

Q. What are the long-term benefits of the fellowship?

The fellowship provides fellows with invaluable experiences, knowledge, and networks that can significantly enhance their future contributions to democracy and human rights. Alumni often become community leaders and continue to promote democratic values worldwide.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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