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Kirby Simon Summer Fellowships

Devon Porter ’15: A Fellowship Summer in Strasbourg and Morocco
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The Schell Center’s Kirby Simon Summer Fellowships supported by the Robina Foundation provide funding for Yale students who wish to undertake at least six weeks of human rights work during the summer. The fellowships are supported by a generous grant from the Robina Foundation and by the Diamondston Foundation. They honor Kirby Simon, the son of Professor John Simon, who was a foreign service officer and died in 1995 while serving in Taiwan.

Kirby Simon Fellowships cover both travel costs and living expenses. Students submit a single application to the Schell Center and do not need to apply for Student Public Interest Fellowship (SPIF) funds.  "This experience sparked in me an interest in freedom of expression that I can carry forward for the length of my career."
– Elizabeth Compa '11
Although any Yale University student may apply for Kirby Simon Summer Fellowship travel support, applications from non-graduating Yale Law School students receive priority, and only law students are eligible for the living expenses component.

Kirby Simon Fellows have worked on a wide variety of issues at non-governmental organizations, international organizations and agencies, and international and foreign courts throughout the world. To see a list of summer human rights fellowship placements since 1999, click here

Applying for the Kirby Simon Summer Fellowship
Applications are usually due in March, and require a proposal, résumé, letter from a sponsoring organization confirming the student’s summer work assignment, and list of references. Before applying, students must meet with either Jim Silk or Soo-Ryun Kwon. Contact the Schell Center for application information and to sign up for meetings. Download the instructions. Download the application. During the summer of 2013, the Schell Center funded 37 Kirby Simon Summer Fellows. In recent years, as many as 20 percent of all first-year students have received summer funding from the Schell Center for international human rights work.

The Schell Center sponsors several panels, workshops, and meetings during the school year to assist students in finding summer projects and to explain the application process.

Tienmu Ma ’14: Protecting Human Rights in Kosovo
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