Human Rights Fund

Award amount: $1,250, 1-2 grants awarded

This fund was established to support students with demonstrated financial need doing Division II or III work in the field of human rights and/or social justice related to human rights 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.

Eligibility Requirements

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 related to human rights and/or social justice field work related to human rights
  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

Reporting Requirements

Recipients of the Human Rights grant are required to write a final report that includes descriptions, photo documentation, how it will be included in their academic portfolios, and the personal significance for the student. This information will be used to publicize the fund to students and additional potential donors to the fund.

To Apply

Please use the Social Justice Summer Grant Application Process

You will need to submit:

  • The online application
  • Faculty statement of support
  • Organization statement of support (if applying for an internship)

All documents can be found on the Social Justice Summer Grant website.


Ernie Alleva, Senior Faculty and Dean of Advising