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Dalai Lama Fellowships

About the Fellowship | Deadline | Eligibility | Application Process

About Dalai Lama Fellows

Dalai Lama Fellows, a unique global program personally authorized by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, envisions and works toward a world that tends to the good of the whole as well as of the individual. The Fellowship Program does this by guiding a global network of young social innovators to deepen their effectiveness by integrating secular ethics, contemplative values and compassion.

The Program awards year-long Fellowship grants of up to $10,000 to undergraduate and graduate students who want to design and launch ambitious "compassion-in-action" projects centered around our 2014 Fellowship theme:

How can we create well-being while working across differences at the intersection of peace, justice, and ecology?

To learn more about the types of projects DLF is looking for, please take a look at their flyer.

In addition to providing grant money, the Dalai Lama Fellowship incorporates a curriculum that guides Fellows toward transformation. Their Ethical Leadership Curriculum focuses on three core competencies integral to transformative, post-heroic leadership:

  • Emotional intelligence and compassionate action
  • Collaboration across differences
  • Designing ethical systems

This year’s journey will begin in April, when newly-selected Fellows participate in “Tilling the Soil”--a set of reflective exercises and Skype conversations with program directors, aimed at the nexus of inner transformation in service of social transformation. Tilling the Soil prepares Fellows for intensive learning and growth at the Ethical Leadership Assembly, a weeklong convening of new Fellows and alumni held each June near San Francisco, California.

Grant awards cover project expenses and airfare to the Ethical Leadership Assembly, to be held in June 2014 and again in June 2015. Room and board at the Ethical Leadership Assembly is also covered by the program.

Application Deadline

To apply, you must complete the Application Form, found here. At McGill, applications are due by March 21, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

Please submit a copy of your application to the Office of the Dean of Students as well as completing the online form. Applicants may either scan their application and send it to deanofstudents [at] mcgill [dot] ca or submit it in person at Suite 4100 of the Brown Building.


To be eligible to apply, a McGill applicant must be:

  • Enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at McGill University during the Fellowship year;
  • Able to attend the Ethical Leadership Assembly (ELA) from June 18 – 25, 2014 and again in June 2015;
  • Available to engage with the Tilling the Soil curriculum and refine the proposed compassion-in-action project beginning April 1st, both through self-guided learning and conversations with Dalai Lama Fellows Program Directors;
  • Prepared to dedicate sufficient time and energy to both the project, the year-long Ethical Leadership curriculum, and the Dalai Lama Fellows community.

Please email lroot [at] dalailamafellows [dot] org (lroot [at] dalailamafellows [dot] org) if you need more information on any of the eligibility requirements.

How do I become a Dalai Lama Fellow?

Please read this section carefully before beginning your application. The Dalai Lama Fellowship year is an intensive commitment; the information on this page will help acquaint you with the requirements and expectations of the Fellows.

Building a Strong Application

Top candidates demonstrate that they possess:

  • Engagement with the Dalai Lama’s focus on ethics as inner self-regulation to promote the greater good, collaborative leadership, compassion, and universal values;
  • Devotion to the empowerment of the community with which the project proposes to work, and an existing network of contacts in that community;
  • A vision to integrate the project into the life of the campus;
  • Commitment to mastery of at least one of the three core competencies emphasized in the Ethical Leadership Curriculum;
  • Commitment to being an engaged citizen of the Dalai Lama Fellows community.

A strong Compassion-in-Action Project:

  • Is mentored by a faculty or community-based member, or has a clear plan for securing mentorship;
  • Deepens the Fellow’s service orientation or ability to give time and non-monetary resources;
  • Has a clear timeframe and deliverables;
  • Plugs into and springboards off existing networks;
  • Offers new approaches to old problems;
  • Demonstrates sensible, prudent and creative budgeting;
  • Engages with the community in a sustained and meaningful way throughout the project year.

Dalai Lama Fellowship Expectations can be found on the Application Form.

If you feel ready to apply for the Dalai Lama Fellows program, please continue to the Application Form to create an account and complete the application. Questions can be directed to Leslie Root, Program Associate, Dalai Lama Fellows at lroot [at] dalailamafellows [dot] org.