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Scholarships in Humanitarian Aid, Development and Peace


10 Scholarships Available for International Development Students

These scholarships are offered to citizens of developing Commonwealth countries for Master’s and PhD study in the UK, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Students must choose to apply for a UK university with which the CSC has a funding agreement. While all Master’s (one-year) or PhD programs at participating universities are valid, the CSC gives priority to applications that have a strong connection to development studies.

The CSC awards around 300 of these scholarships each year. The funding covers airfare to and from the UK, tuition and exam fees, personal stipend, thesis grant (when applicable), initial arrival stipend, and more. All applications must be made through a nominating agency, usually a university, in the student’s home country Applications must be submitted online through the CSC Electronic Application System.

Eligible students should be a Commonwealth citizen, refugee, or British protected person; be permanently a resident in a developing Commonwealth country; be available to start their academic studies in the UK by the timeline specified in the application deadline; and hold a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree by the beginning of the starting academic semester.

Any students endorsed by their local Rotary Club/District are eligible for this fully funded academic fellowship for a Professional Development Certificate Program or Master’s degree program related at one of seven host universities: North Carolina University at Chapel Hill (USA), Duke University (USA), International Christian University (Japan), University of Bradford (England), University of Queensland (Australia), Uppsala University (Sweden), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand). Students must choose a field of study related to peace and conflict resolution and prevention.

Rotary chooses 100 students to be awarded each year—50 for master’s degree studies and 50 for certificate studies. Funding covers tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all expenses related to internships and field-studies. Students must submit applications to their respective Rotary districts to be nominated.

This program is designed for applicants who are professionals with work experience in international relations or peace and conflict resolution studies. Eligible applicants should be proficient in English with a recommended proficiency in a second language, committed to international understanding in peace as demonstrated by their professional and academic experience, and developed in strong leadership skills. Master’s applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years of full-time work or volunteer experience. Certificate applicants must have a strong academic background and a minimum of five years of related full-time work or volunteer experience.

The Rotary Foundation also offers a scholarship for graduate-level coursework/research for one to four academic years at any approved university where a host Rotary club/district is located, outside of the applicant’s home country. Students must be part of a graduate-level program in one of the designated areas: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.

Scholarships are valued at a minimum of $30,000. Funding provides for passport/visa, immunizations, travel expenses, school supplies, room and board, tuition, household supplies, and language training. Other personal and miscellaneous expenses are not covered by the scholarship. Students must apply through their local Rotary clubs and submit the applications online. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Eligibility requirements are determined by the individual Rotary club/district where potential recipients intend to apply and can typically be found on the club’s scholarship page.

The CSLA provides fully funded Master’s degree study to individuals from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Laos, Libya, Myanmar/Burma, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan who demonstrate academic and professional excellence, as well as a commitment to positive social change in their communities. Students can study at one of several host universities throughout Europe and the US. Funding covers Master’s programs in the areas of communications, journalism, & media; culture, history, & society; development studies; economics; education management & leadership; environment & natural resource management; gender studies; human rights; law; politics & international studies; public health policy & health management; public policy & administration; social work & social policy.

The CSLA will provide funding for pre-academic preparation through summer schools; program-related travel; tuition and mandatory university fees; room, board, etc. through a living stipend; accident and sickness insurance; educational materials and professional development; attendance at regional Scholarship Programs conference; accommodations during the application process and the duration of the grant for any applicants with disabilities. Interested applicants must submit an application online or in paper to be considered.

Eligible applicants should have citizenship in an eligible country; maturity, flexibility, and civil society leadership potential; a Bachelor’s degree finished in the previous academic year and an excellent academic record; professional experience in a relevant area; proficiency in the language of instruction at the host university; ability to participate in an intensive pre-academic summer school; ability to receive and maintain a visa or study permit; demonstrated commitment to return to their home country/region to continue supporting open society development.

This scholarship program offers graduates from developing countries the chance to obtain a Master’s degree in the areas of social, political, or economic development at one of eight German universities with relevant Master’s degree programs. The program is open to candidates from eligible countries in Africa, Latin America, North/Central America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

This scholarship exempts students from tuition fees and pays a monthly scholarship rate, currently €750. This program also provides funding for health insurance in Germany, appropriate travel allowance, study and research subsidies, rent subsidies, and allowances for spouses and/or children if applicable. All scholarship recipients will receive a 6-month German language course prior to their study programs. Students must apply for the DAAD scholarship through the respective participating universities.

Applicants for this scholarship program should have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and want to actively contribute to the social and economic development of their home countries. Both recent graduates and mid-career professionals are eligible to apply. Applicants must be fluent in English (and German), have academic excellence, be engaged politically and socially, and demonstrate personal motivation as well as the expected benefit after they return to their home country.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) offers a scholarship for individuals who are committed to peacebuilding in order to develop knowledge and skills towards a postgraduate degree. The scholarship is available for various online postgraduate study programs through UNITAR and Open University of Catalonia. Students can work towards the following degrees: International Master’s in Conflictology, Postgraduate Certificate in Armed Conflicts and Crisis Management, and Postgraduate Diploma in Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding. Any individual involved in peacebuilding, development work, humanitarian work, and other related work is eligible to apply.

This scholarship covers up to 50% of the full tuition fees for the study program, or up to $5,700. Recipients can pay the remaining tuition fees in up to three installments. Applicants must pre-register on the official website to be considered for the scholarship.

Applicants will be evaluated on their ability to implement activities related to peace and conflict management in a conflict or post-conflict context; relevance of the degree for career advancement; citizenship of a developing country; low financial resources; no previous studies at the graduate level; years of relevant professional experience, and academic excellence. In cases of equal qualifications, females and applicants from developing countries will be preferred.

The European Union offers exclusive scholarships to students from both EU and non-EU countries who have been selected to study at the Master’s or Doctorate level at one of the European universities participating in the Erasmus Mundus Action Joint Programmes. Students can participate in one of 116 Master’s courses or 29 Joint Doctorate courses in the fields of agriculture and veterinary, engineering, manufacture and construction, health and welfare, humanities and arts, science, mathematics and computing, social sciences, business, and law. Two categories of scholarships are available—one for nationals from EU member states and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein and one for nationals from countries outside of that list.

The program offers full-time scholarships and fellowships that cover a monthly stipend, participation costs, traveling and insurance costs, etc. Scholarship amounts varies according to the level of study, duration of study, and the student’s nationality. Students should consult the websites of each of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes of interest before applying.

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Programme has its own selection criteria and admission process. Students must apply through these programs prior to applying for the scholarship program.

Funded by the US Department of State and intended for American students enrolled at US universities, this program allows students to spend 8-10 weeks abroad studying 1 of 14 critical languages. This program is meant to prepare students for careers in the fields of national security, international affairs, global politics, international development, etc. Students must be enrolled in an accredited US program at the undergraduate or graduate level, in a program that will result in a degree.

The scholarship covers most costs of participating in its overseas institutes for language study, including travel, costs for pre-departure orientation, visa fees, room and board, program-sponsored travel, language instruction, and entrance fees. Students are responsible to pay for their passport fees and medical exam fees. Students can apply online through the CLS Program website.

Eligible applicants must be a US citizen, enrolled at an accredited US university or college with a program resulting in a degree, and at least 18 years old by the spring semester of the academic year. Undergraduate students must have completed at least one academic year of study. Some languages require prerequisite study up to two years. Students can only apply for one language and will not be considered if they submit more than one application.

OFID offers a scholarship program for nationals of developing countries to study development in any accredited university in the world. Scholarships are for Master’s level studies in fields related to development, including economics, environment, sustainable development, etc.

The award covers full tuition fees, supplementary fees, one round-trip flight between the home country and the university, health insurance, relocation expenses, and a monthly stipend for one year. Applicants must fill out an application online, including uploading supporting documents.

Eligible applicants must be between the ages of 23-32, have a completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or equivalent, be accepted at an accredited university for the following academic year with full-time status for the duration of the Master’s program, be a national of a developing country except OFID member countries, and have selected a subject of study related to international development.

The Global Leaders Fellowship provides funding for graduate students at George Washington University who are from the following countries/regions: China, Cambodia, Eastern Europe, Laos, Latin America, the Caribbean, Mongolia, Sub-Saharan Africa, USSR Successor States, and Vietnam. The fellowship is intended to support students who will be future leaders in their respective fields in their home countries. Students must be pursuing Master’s or Doctorate level degrees at one of six schools located at GW’s Foggy Bottom campus.

The fellowship offers 3 awards, covering up to 18 credit hours. This fellowship is renewable each year for up to three years for Master’s students and up to five years for Doctoral candidates. Students must find other funding for living costs, supply costs, and other expenses. Students must apply for admission through the online process before applying for the fellowship.

Eligible applicants will be students with an F-1 visa from the above-listed countries who have not studied or worked in the US or other country outside of their home country. Students must have gained admission to GW and be attending their program at the Foggy Bottom campus. Applicants also must be fluent in English. This program is intended for students who will return to their home countries after completing their degrees to begin their careers as leaders in their fields.

5 Development-Related Fellowships for Masters/PhD Students

Offered through Open Society Foundations, this fellowship program offers fully-funded scholarships for master’s level students who are committed to social change in their communities. This is a merit-based award; academic and professional excellence, leadership potential, a commitment to open society values, and appropriate language proficiency. Applications are reviewed by an international selection committee. Students must choose a relevant field of study and express goals they want to achieve. Grantees receive funding for pre-academic summer programs, program-related travel, tuition and university fees, monthly living stipends, accident and sickness insurance, educational materials and professional development, attendance at regional Scholarship Programs conference, and accommodations during the application process and throughout the grant duration for applicants with disabilities.

Eligibility includes leadership potential, a completed Bachelor’s degree and excellent academic records, professional experience in a relevant area, and proficiency in the language required by the host university. Students must also be able to participate in an intensive pre-academic summer program and start their degree program that fall semester. They must also be able to obtain the visa needed to study in the host country and demonstrate a commitment to return to their home country to support open society development.

See the website for information about country nationals who are eligible to apply. Eligible fields of study include communications, journalism, & media; culture, history, & society; development studies; economics; education management & leadership; environment & natural resource management; gender studies; human rights; law; politics & international studies; public health policy & health management; public policy & administration; social work & social policy.

This Rotary Club Global Grants program offers funding for graduate-level coursework and/or research for anywhere from one to four years of study. Students must be admitted to a graduate-level program in a country where there is a host Rotary club or district outside of the applicant’s home country. Grant sponsorship is contingent on the local Rotary club or district’s application for the Global Grant funding. Interested scholars can contact their local Rotary club to find out more about the application process.

To be eligible, applicants must be planning to pursue a career in a field related to peacebuilding and/or development and their graduate-level studies should support this career goal. They must have excellent leadership skills and potential, academic success, a commitment to community service, well-defined and realistic goals, concrete ideas for advancing in their field, and sincerity about maintaining a relationship with the Rotary club after the funding period. The grant provides funding for passport/visa, immunizations, travel expenses, school supplies, tuition, room and board, household supplies, and language training courses.

For more information about the application process, grant requirements, and more, see this document or inquire at your local Rotary club.

This fellowship program, funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID), awards seven fellowships valued up to $48,000 for a two-year master’s program in international development or a related field. Fellows will attend an orientation to learn more about international development careers. They will also participate in two internships (before the first year of graduate study and in the summer in between). The first internship will focus on working on international issues in Washington, DC. The second internship will be overseas at a USAID Mission. Each fellow also receives a mentor throughout the program. Fellows who successfully complete their degree and the USAID Foreign Service entry requirements will be appointed as USAID Foreign Service Officers, which they are committed to for a minimum of three years.

Only U.S. citizens are eligible for this fellowship. Applicants must be seeking to enter graduate school in the subsequent fall semester for a two-year program at a US university. Applicants also need to have a 3.2 grade point average or higher. College seniors and/or college graduates may apply.

The American Association of University Women provides this fellowship to women who are not US citizens or permanent residents, who are interested in part-time or full-time graduate and/or postgraduate studies in the US. This award is given to women who have shown prior commitment and demonstrate continued commitment to the advancement of women and girls through civic, community, and professional work, especially in their home countries. Award amounts are as follows: Master’s – $18,000; Doctoral – $20,000; Postdoctoral – $30,000. While there are no restrictions on countries of eligibility or field of study, the website provides a list of highly desired qualities that the selection committee considers when choosing to accept applications.

To be eligible, applicants must have citizenship in a country other than the US and/or possession of a non-immigrant visa (if living in the US). Dual citizenship with the US is not eligible. Applicants must also have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent completed by the year previous to the beginning of the fellowship. They must intend to stay with their proposed academic plan and intend to return to their home country to pursue a professional career. Applicants must also be fluent in English and enrolled in a US accredited institution during the fellowship year. Please see the website for a list of degree-specific qualifications and deadlines.

Each year, the Trudeau Foundation awards up to 15 scholarships to Canadian and international doctoral candidates who are studying in the areas of human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada in the world, and people and their natural environment. The scholarship provides $40,000 for three years, plus $20,000 for research and travel allowance for three years. There is also opportunity for funding for a fourth year. Recipients also meet with a mentor and receive support from a variety of community members and leaders, mentors, fellows, and others working in humanities and social sciences. They also collaborate with Foundation members and discuss and exchange information with other scholars and researchers.

Eligible applicants include full-time first or second year students who are enrolled in a doctoral program in humanities and/or social sciences and Canadian citizens enrolled in a full-time doctoral program in or outside of Canada. Up to one in four scholars per year may be a non-Canadian enrolled in a full-time doctoral program at a Canadian institution. Applicants are evaluated on academic excellence, communication skills, public engagement, desire to contribute to public dialogue, desire for involvement in the research community, and the relevance of the doctoral research with the Foundation’s four focus areas.

Build Peace Fellowship

Intended for artists and researchers committed to building a more peaceful society, the Build Peace Fellowship offers opportunities for individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Fellows receive up to 16,000 EUR to put their own peace building intervention projects into play. At the start of the yearlong fellowship, participants attend a one-week training course that features user-centered design, participatory methodologies and conflict sensitivity. Then, fellows receive support to take their ideas from the pilot to implementation stage. Each fellow is given a Build Up mentor to help guide them through the process every step of the way.

Carnegie Endowment For International Peace Junior Fellows Program

The Carnegie Endowment For International Peace Junior Fellows Program offers 10 to 12 fellowships every year to individuals who are committed to fostering a more peaceful society. To qualify for a fellowship, students must be seniors who recently graduated or will soon graduate from one of the 400 colleges and universities affiliated with the endowment. Graduate students are not eligible for the program. Fellows have the opportunity to work for one year as research assistants to the senior associates whose research is funded by the Endowment. All fellows receive a salary of $3,166.66 per month ($38,000 per year) plus a full benefits package.

Dalai Lama Fellows

Since its inception, the Dalai Lama Fellows Program has provided opportunities for more than 130 individuals interested in promoting peace throughout the world. The program is open to current undergraduate and graduate students in the United States, Ghana, India and Egypt who are enrolled at a participating university. Fellows have the opportunity to work on projects related to lessening economic disparity, fighting violence, addressing gender inequity, enhancing cross-cultural and interreligious cooperation, and improving environmental sustainability. Students receive one-on-one coaching, a position in the one-year Head, Heart, Hands leadership curriculum and a lifelong place in the fellowship’s global community for ongoing support.

The Davis Projects for Peace Grants

For more than a decade, The Davis Projects for Peace has been helping students work to promote peace throughout the world. The program provides grants for undergraduate students and graduating seniors who have an idea for a grassroots peace building project. Applications are accepted from students at more than 90 universities in the United States as well as from students at the University of California Davis. Winning projects are awarded $10,000. The program also provides administrative and technical support to help get projects underway. Projects can be implemented anywhere in the world and must focus on addressing the causes of conflict between individuals or groups.

Peace Corps Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP)

The Peace Corps Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) offers a fellowship program through a collaboration between the Peace Corps, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Seed Global Health. The program is intended to provide medical care in war-torn areas in order to promote peace. Fellows spend one year on assignment in Tanzania, Malawi or Uganda, providing medical services in exchange for a stipend and accommodations. To qualify, applicants must be physicians certified in their specialty, nurses or nurse practitioners. Applicants must have at least three years of clinical experience in their fields to be considered for the program.

Joan Durcan Scholarship Fund

Established in 2014 and named for social rights advocate Joan Durcan, this is awarded to an individual from the Global South who is enrolled at Fordham University and plans on pursuing a diploma in International Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA)

Award – up to 50% of tuition cost

Location – Fordham University

Duration – annual award


• Citizen of a developing nation

• Currently working in the humanitarian field in some capacity

• Request for funding on Fordham applications will be automatically considered

Social Impact Fellowship Scholarships

An opportunity to receive any number of scholarships for undergraduate as well as graduate students are all based on specific projects which include but are not limited to the following:

• Data gathering to study social circumstances and solutions

• Marketing for social procurement-driven projects

• Creation of designs that have social impact


• $1,000 graduate student award per semester

• $1,500 undergraduate student award per semester

• $4,000 undergraduate student summer fellowship

• Master-level student summer fellowship salary based on humanitarian position placement

Location – The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Duration – Per semester or 12- week summer sessions


• Fellowships are open to all students at the University of Pennsylvania

• Social Impact Fellows are recruited and must go through an application and interview process

The Besso Scholarship

This scholarship is given on behalf of the Fodazione Marco Besso, a man whose innovative work in the mid- 1800s in scientific study led to exposing the inefficiency of the pension fund in Florence, Italy for insurance workers. Today, there is an entire library and foundation dedicated to him. The scholarships which are usually 3-4 each year, will be awarded directly from his foundation.

Award: varies depending upon individual need

Location: Fordham University

Duration – annual scholarship


• Italian citizen

• Working in some capacity in the humanitarian field

• Submission of a cover letter and CV to the scholarship committee

Humanitarian Scholarships – University of Dundee, UK

These scholarships (up to five per year) are awarded to students who are enrolling in postgraduate study programs in the United Kingdom at the University of Dundee which is a public research university. A wide variety of programs are considered including urban planning, creative writing, film studies, and international relations to name only a few.

Award – up to $34,000

Location – The University of Dundee, UK (city of Royal burgh of Dundee) Lowlands of Scotland

Duration – one year (covers tuition, living costs and living arrangements)


• Hold status in the UK of “humanitarian protection”

• English language proficiency

Watts Humanitarian Scholarship

This is a scholarship fund awarded on an annual basis to at least three high school seniors through the Watts Humanitarian Scholarship Fund Board who have named their scholarship in memory of Demetrick C. Watts who was known in his community as an individual who selflessly worked toward helping youth towards academic and athletic achievement beyond high school and into humanitarian roles within their local as well as global community.

Award – up $1,000 plus laptop (3 awards given per year)

Location – California

Duration – One-time award


• High school senior

• Shows potential for community service as well as leadership qualities

• Must be pursuing a humanitarian career

• Must live in Los Angeles, San Bernardino County, or Riverside, CA

• GPA of at least 2.7

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Legal Fellowship

Named for one of the most well-known leaders in human rights of the 20th century, this fellowship is awarded to students who are pursuing an interest in human rights in the legal field. During their fellowship tenure, they will assist in all aspects of information-gathering and preparation of legal cases involving human rights to be presented at international tribunals both in the U.S. and around the world.

Award – varies depending upon graduate status

Location – Washington D. C.

Duration – One year (may vary depending on legal projects)


• Background in international human rights policy

• Experience with or knowledge of various human rights organizations including the United Nations and the Inter-American Human Rights System

• Working knowledge of domestic human rights legislation and policies

• Juris Doctor (J.D.) or equivalent

Young Humanitarian Award

Awarded since 2005 through the George and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, this scholarship recognizes anyone student in the state of Utah including those with DACA status, who have exhibited humanitarian service in their community.


• $5,000 college scholarship

• $3,000 college scholarship

• Three $1,000 scholarships

• Five $500 honorable mention scholarships

Location – Utah

Duration – One-time award


• Utah resident or DACA status

• Junior or senior high school student

• Undergraduate college student enrolled full-time in a Utah college or university

Academic Mobility for Africans Sustainable Scholarships

These scholarships were established at Addis Aba University which is a research institution in Ethiopia, to promote student involvement in developing the infrastructure of developing African countries.


Type the A – Full scholarship covering tuition and all living expenses and living arrangements

Type B – Half scholarship covering tuition and monthly stipend of $400 American dollars

Type C – Part-time scholarship covers only tuition costs

Location – Addis Aba University (AAU)

Duration – Entire study program


• Citizen of an African country or have some form of citizenship status through parents

• PhD or MSc degree applicants only

• Must be enrolled in the field of railway engineering with a specialty in one of the following areas: civil infrastructure, traction and train control, or rolling stock

St. George’s University Humanitarian Scholarship Fund

The mission of this university is to teach their students to prepare to work in the medical field in thousands of hospitals and clinics around the world.

Awards – Up to $10 million awarded with average per student awards of $30,000 which include

City Doctors Scholarships for students who intend to work in urban areas upon graduation as well as the Legacy of Excellence Scholarship Program to students with exceptional academic records.

Location – Grenada, West Indies (North American Offices: Great Neck, NY)

Duration – entire program of study


• Attendance at St. George University

• Financial need

University of Arizona Humanitarian Scholarship

This award is directly affiliated with Arizona State University’s Scottsdale Recovery Center. It looks for scholarship candidates who demonstrate their passion for social responsibility through serving their community upon graduation through a future in health care.

Award – $1500

Location – Arizona State University (Phoenix, Tempe, and several other campus locations)

Duration – annual award


• Arizona resident

• Enrolled full time

• Undergraduate or graduate

• All levels as well as transfer students


About Author

Global Peace Careers is a website dedicated to career related information in the sectors humanitarian aid and action, international development, peace and conflict studies, negotiation, conflict resolution, diplomacy and international law. On our website we collect and distribute information about entry level jobs, paid internships, affordable master degrees, free online courses and other opportunities.

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