Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance

Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance


The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance (OSIRG), as part of a strategic planning process that is leading for 2020 and beyond, OSIRG will take a year long pause from grant-making.

This means that there will be no grantee selection, clinical seminar, or internship placements in 2020. The pause will last from roughly July 2019 to July 2020. We thank you for your interest and will keep you posted on the proceedings. 

The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance is a project of the Open Society Foundations that launched in the summer of 2013 in partnership with the School of Public Policy at Central European University. It is designed to inspire a new cohort of practitioners committed to working both in the public interest and at the forefront of global policy.

The highly competitive program allows a limited number of students from top public policy schools to immerse themselves in the ideas and practice of open society through a clinical seminar in Berlin, followed by an eight- or twelve-week intensive internship at a policy- and rights-oriented nongovernmental organization selected for its outstanding work.

Eligibility Criteria

If you would like to apply to the Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance, please contact your university directly for the application guidelines and form. At the School of Public Policy at Central European University, first-year students enrolled on all three programs are eligible.

Purpose and Priorities

Individuals committed to advancing local and global forms of human rights and justice are constantly confronting new and unforeseen challenges. This changing landscape coupled with the dynamic role of civil society actors complicates our understanding of human rights promotion. Simultaneously, information and communication technologies, freedom of movement, and democratic accountability afford policy practitioners new channels through which they can increase human welfare and dignity. These conditions require innovative policy ideas that effectively integrate theory and practice to foster and sustain open societies.

The Open Society Internship for Rights and Governance is specifically tailored to invest in the next generation of leaders poised to pursue these ideas. The program takes a broad definition of human rights and governance that is inclusive of promoting fundamental freedoms, expanding public access to information, challenging inequalities through development and rights, and advancing approaches to ensuring transparency and accountability in a global context.