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Human Rights Fund

The purpose of the Human Rights Fund for Student Research is to support annual funding of awards for students doing Division II or III work in the field of human rights and/or social justice issues. The granting committee is composed of faculty members from the Schools of Critical Social Inquiry, Natural Science, and Cognitive Science, appointed by the dean of faculty; and a student member whose studies relate to human rights issues.

Applications for the annual award may be submitted by students studying in any school or field at Hampshire College, so long as the student's research project or field work directly supports, examines, or raises awareness of human rights and/or social justice issues as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (pdf).

Examples as cited in this document include issues involving life, liberty, and security, specifically:

  • freedom from slavery,
  • freedom from inhuman treatment or torture,
  • freedom from discrimination based on race, color, sex, class, or religion,
  • freedom from arbitrary imprisonment,
  • the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,
  • the right to privacy in one's family and home, including the right to marry a person of one's own choosing,
  • the right to freedom of movement,
  • the right to asylum from persecution,
  • the right to freedom of expression, thought, religion, and assembly,
  • the right to work, join trade unions, and be treated fairly and paid equitably,
  • the right to rest from work via limited work hours and some paid holidays,
  • the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond one's control,
  • the right to free, compulsory education for children,
  • the right to have access to culture and copyright protections

The committee members are the final arbiters of what constitutes a human-rights project.

Evaluation Criteria for Proposals

  1. Determined to be research in human rights and/or social justice
  2. Intellectual merit of the proposed work
  3. Quality of the student's previous work and preparation for the proposed project
  4. Necessity of the budget items, as justified in the proposal
  5. Support from the student's Division II or III chair

To Apply

Submit both the Shared Application and the Human Rights Fund Program-Specific Application (online form). Completed Shared Applications should be emailed to

All materials are due on Monday, April 6, 2015

  1. Download Shared Application (pdf) and email completed application to
  2. Human Rights Fund Program-Specific Application (Online Form)

Other Useful Documents

Faculty Recommendation Form (pdf) Give this file to your faculty recommender; be sure to check out the grant(s) you are applying for.

Letter of Organizational Support: NOTE Required ONLY if you are applying for support for an internship.You may use these letters to help you describe the "letter of support" to your internship supervisor, and to make sure that all of the appropriate information is included:

Human Rights Fund Letter of Organizational Support (pdf)

Stay In Touch
Snail Mail
Career Options Resource Center
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
Fax: 413.559.6148