O’Brien Human Rights Fellows in Residence Program

Established in 2011 and supported by a generous gift by David O’Brien, the O’Brien Fellows in Residence program aims to create mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration between human rights professionals and members of the Centre for Human Rights & Legal Pluralism (CHRLP). The program enables Fellows to enrich their own work while visiting and contributing to the transdisciplinary work of the Centre.

Please note that this program is separate from the O’Brien Graduate Fellowships for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, which are destined to students pursuing an LLM or a DCL degree instead.

Visit our Fellows page to meet our current fellows in residence.

We are accepting application for residency starting Winter 2025 Semester.

The Centre invites applications from a diverse pool of applicants including, but not limited to, journalists, activists, academics, and practitioners in the field of human rights. Applicants should possess a deep understanding of their chosen subject area and a track record of professional accomplishment. Fellows should be able to work in English proficiently. Knowledge of French is desirable.

Duration & location: The selected Fellows will spend 1 to 6 months in residence at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. It is expected that Fellows will spend the entire duration of their fellowship in residence, preferably during the academic terms (September – December and January – April).

The target group of the program ranges from young professionals to renowned experts. As such, the residency program provides flexibility to the Fellows and Centre to find a mutually convenient timeframe for the Fellowship.

Funding: The Fellowship will cover costs associated with travel and accommodation and offers a monthly living stipend for the duration of the fellowship.

Application process: We accept electronic applications only. Please e-mail the following documents to obrienfellows.law [at] mcgill.ca with the subject line, “Application: O’Brien Human Rights Fellows in Residence program”:

  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV);
  • A cover letter chronicling your professional trajectory, specific area of interest in human rights, and reasons or motivations for seeking affiliation with the Centre;
  • A plan or list of goals for the period spent “in residence” at the Centre. This may include: identification of a mentor(s), a specific project requiring access to academic resources, proposed facilitation of a seminar course, willingness to speak at events or conferences related to your work and research experience, or means of engaging with student groups and research bodies at the Faculty and in Montreal more generally;
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Deadline: Rolling basis.

Selection process: The selection committee consists of CHRLP members and individuals from our partner networks. In identifying potential Fellows, the CHRLP may focus on specific priority areas based on the interests and expertise available at the Centre or in its extended network. Candidates will be chosen on a rolling basis. The selection process may include an interview.

Fellowship expectations: The program is a vital dimension of the CHRLP’s intellectual life and a unique professional development opportunity for Fellows. Fellows will have the flexibility to direct and develop their own plan for the residency but are invited to take full advantage of the Centre, Faculty, and University’s resources and expected to engage with its rich and diverse academic, social, and cultural communities, including collaborating with current members on research overlapping with the Fellow’s expertise. Fellows may be asked to offer a seminar in their area of expertise or intervene in courses taught by Faculty members.

It is a privilege for the Centre to host Fellows each year, whose new ideas and approaches broaden the Centre’s understanding of pivotal human rights issues.

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