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Dalai Lama Fellowships

About the Fellowship | Deadline | Eligibility | Application Process

Live information sessions will be held on November 9 and November 30 from 10-11am EST 

To log in, please visit the Dalai Lama Fellows website

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 $6,000 to undergraduate and graduate students who want to design and launch ambitious "compassion-in-action" projects centered around ameliorating entrenched global problems such as: 

  • Mitigating economic disparities
  • Diminishing violence
  • Gender inequities
  • Improving cross-cultural and intereligious cooperation 
  • Enhancing environmental sustainability

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

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 March, when newly-selected Fellows participate in “Tilling the Soil”--a set of reflective exercises and Skype conversations with our program staff, designed to prepare Fellows for intensive learning and growth at the Ethical Leadership Assembly (ELA).  ELA is a weeklong convening of new Fellows, along with those from past years, held each June near San Francisco, California.

Funding covers project expenses and airfare to the Head, Heart, Hands Assemblies, to be held in August 2017 and again a year later. Room and board at the assemblies is covered by the program.

Application Deadline

Applications are due by January 31, 2017.


In order to fulfill the minimum requirements, a candidate must demonstrate through the application: 

  • Enrollment at a partner school (such as McGill University) or alumnus of an at-large affiliation; 
  • Experience in and commitment to practicing a mindfulness / awareness practice throughout the year;
  • In depth knowledge of the community and the issue that the proposed project is seeking to work in and address, preferably with more that one year of previous experience working with the community;
  • How the project would benefit from design perspectives that are grounded in mindfulness, compassion, and ethics;
  • How you will help to shift the narrative on leadership and social change through journalism, the arts, photography, film making, or other media avenues that complement your social innovation project.

For questions concerning eligibility requirements, please contact Bela Shah at bshah [at] dalailamafellows [dot] org.

Application Process

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.

Questions can be directed to Bela Shah, Program Associate, Dalai Lama Fellows at bshah [at] dalailamafellows [dot] org.