Soros Justice Fellowships

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

2017 Soros Justice Fellowships

Deadline: October 12, 2016 (11:59 p.m. EST)

The Soros Justice Fellowships fund outstanding individuals to undertake projects that advance reform, spur debate, and catalyze change on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system. The fellowships are part of a larger effort within the Open Society Foundations to reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the U.S. by challenging the overreliance on incarceration and extreme punishment, and ensuring a fair and accountable system of justice.

Advocacy Fellowships

The Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowships fund lawyers, advocates, grassroots organizers, researchers, and others with unique perspectives to undertake full-time criminal justice reform projects at the local, state, and national levels. Projects may range from litigation to public education to coalition-building to grassroots mobilization to policy-driven research. Advocacy Fellowships are 18 months in duration, may be undertaken in partnership with a host organization, and can begin in the spring or fall of 2017.  Advocacy Fellowships come with an award of $85,750 - $110,250, depending on level of experience.

Media Fellowships

The Soros Justice Media Fellowships support writers, print and broadcast journalists, bloggers, filmmakers, and other individuals with distinctive voices proposing to complete media projects that engage and inform, spur debate and conversation, and catalyze change on important U.S. criminal justice issues. The Media Fellowships aim to mitigate the time, space, and market constraints that often discourage individuals from pursuing vital but marginalized, controversial, or unpopular topics in comprehensive and creative ways. Media Fellowships are 12 months in duration, and fellows are expected to make their projects their full-time work during the term of the fellowship. Projects can begin in either the spring or fall of 2017.  Media Fellowships come with an award of $58,700 - $78,000, depending on level of experience.

Youth Activist Fellowships

The Soros Justice Youth Activist Fellowships will support outstanding individuals aged 18 – 25 to take on projects of their own design that address some aspect of the U.S. criminal justice system.  Projects can range from public education and training, to grassroots organizing and policy advocacy, to social media campaigns and other forms of creative communications.  Youth Activist Fellowships can be either 12 or 18 months in duration and must be undertaken in partnership with a host organization.  Projects can be full-time or part-time, and can begin anytime between May and November 2017.  Youth Activist Fellowships come with an award of $20,000 - $60,000 (depending on project length and time commitment), along with access to a range of training and professional development opportunities.

Guidelines and Application

The Advocacy Fellowship Guidelines are here; the Media Fellowship Guidelines are here; and the Youth Activist Fellowship Guidelines are here. To apply, applicants must first submit a brief Letter of Intent (LOI), a resume or bio, and work sample (for Media applicants) by October 12, 2016 (11:59 p.m. EST).  From the pool of initial LOIs, we will select a limited number of applicants to submit full proposals.To access the online application, click on the appropriate "Submit" button below (if button does not appear, the application system is not yet active; we expect it to be active by September 9, 2016). 

Applicants who are uncertain whether some aspect of their proposed project fits within the parameters of the fellowships guidelines or whether the project is otherwise likely to be of interest may submit an email inquiry. The email should provide a brief (no more than 200 words) description of the proposed project, as well as some background information on the applicant, and should be sent to