Palestinian Rule of Law (PROL) Awards 2015 -2016
Open Society Scholarship Programs
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: JANUARY 23, 2015
The Open Society Scholarship Programs is pleased to announce the Palestinian Rule of Law Awards (PROL) for the 2015-2016 academic year. Approximately five (5) scholarships supporting one-year LL.M. (Master of Laws) degrees for lawyers or law graduates normally resident in the Gaza Strip or West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
PROL scholarships are for one-year academic LL.M. programs and will be tenable at selected law schools in the United States and the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, an OSF-affiliated institution providing American-style teaching and U.S.-accredited qualifications. Fellows may not select their host universities. During their term of study, PROL fellows must meet the academic standards and requirements of the PROL program and their host universities.
All PROL fellows will attend an OSF-administered pre-academic summer course in Istanbul in July 2015, prior to traveling to their host universities to begin their degree programs. Study at host university law schools will begin in fall 2015.
Successful applicants will receive the following support:
• Tuition and mandatory university fees
• Monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses
• Program-related travel
• Accident and sickness insurance during the program
• Funds for educational materials and professional development
• All costs associated with an annual student conference
• Possible internship support
• Pre-university academic program in July or August 2015 that prepares finalist for the rigors of graduate level academic study.
The PROL Program provides no financial support for dependents.
ELIGIBILITY & REQUIREMENTS
The PROL program does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Competition for the program is merit-based and open to lawyers or law graduates normally resident in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip who are:
• proficient in spoken and written English and Arabic;
• able to demonstrate professional aptitude and leadership potential;
• able to begin study in the United States or Hungary in the fall of 2015;
• able to receive and maintain U.S. and / or Hungarian study visas;
• able to receive and maintain a Turkish visa for one-month attendance at a pre-academic summer course in Istanbul in July 2015;
• able to obtain travel documents to leave and return to the West Bank / Gaza;
• committed to returning to the West Bank or Gaza after completion of the program to serve as leaders in their fields of specialization.
Applicants should have an outstanding academic record (a BA in law or other law degree is required), professional aptitude and leadership potential. Preference will be given to candidates with some degree of practical experience.
The Scholarship program does not provide:
• funding for applicants who are not normally resident in the West Bank or Gaza;
• funding for study in fields other than law;
• funding for dependent family members;
• funding for individuals receiving other OSF grants during the scholarship period;
• funding for employees of OSF directly involved in the administration of scholarship programs.
Competition for the Palestinian Rule of Law (PROL) Awards is open and merit-based. Selection is based on an applicant’s fit with the program’s objectives and graduate admissions criteria of the participating universities. Academic excellence, professional aptitude, leadership potential in the field of specialization, proven commitment to open society values, and appropriate language proficiency are all important factors in evaluation.
All eligible applicants will be reviewed by the selection committee; applicants are evaluated for a clear demonstration of intellectual potential and commitment to positive social change. The proposed field of study should be logical for the goals expressed in the essays, and the application itself should be organized and complete. Compelling candidates will be interviewed by a selection committee comprised of university representatives and OSF/PROL staff.
Pre-selection and Testing: Submitted applications will be screened by representatives from OSF and participating host universities. Applicants chosen to continue in the competition as semifinalists will be required to take the TOEFL. All applications must include an English-language test (TOEFL or ITP) official score report.
Interviews and Final Selection: Semifinalists will be interviewed in-person or via videoconference by a committee of representatives from OSF and potential US host universities. The committee will recommend finalists for placement at host universities. All finalists will need an official TOEFL test report. (IBT score reports will not be acceptable at the finalist placement stage.)
TOEFL Requirement: Applicants should note that the minimum TOEFL score required by most of the participating
U.S. universities is between 550-600 on the paper-based examination, and 213-250 on the computer-based examination.
SELECTION & NOTIFICATION CYCLE:
- Applications for PROL award considerations must be submitted by January 23, 2015.
- Applications will be reviewed in mid-February 2015.
- Applicants will be notified of their status in mid-February 2015.
- In early March 2015 short-listed candidates will be invited for an in-person, Skype, or telephone interview.
- Finalists will be notified in late March 2015; please note that all awards are conditional subject to university placement confirmation by PROL staff.
- Successful finalists will be notified of their placement in April-May 2015.
- Summer 2015 – OSF-administered Pre-Academic Summer Program for finalists in Istanbul at Bilgi University.
- Late August 2015 -- LLM Programs in US or Hungary (CEU) begin.
All scholarship offers made to finalists are conditional. Final placement of individual PROL finalists is contingent upon their admission to host universities.
Fellows are matched with US universities according to their academic and professional goals and experience. Decisions concerning placement are made by the program selection committee, which includes university representatives and PROL staff. Finalists are therefore not responsible for finding appropriate degree programs. Each placement is available on the basis of previously negotiated agreements between OSF and the participating universities. Any given placement thus reflects a process of negotiation between the university and PROL, based on the applicant’s suitability for the program of study, standardized test and interview results, and the number of scholarship places available at the particular institution.
FIELDS OF SPECIALIZATION IN LL.M. PROGRAMS
The PROL Program offers study leading to an LL.M. degree (Master of Laws), which provides lawyers with an opportunity to engage in extensive specialized study and research in a particular area of law. In LL.M. programs, students undertake intensive analysis of issues with specialists in particular fields and gain skills necessary to practice or teach that area of law.
A wide variety of graduate law courses are offered that lead to an LL.M. degree. The curricula and course content vary greatly at different universities. A number of factors are involved in placing fellows at host universities, and finalists cannot choose which university they attend. When filling out the PROL application, applicants are asked to choose a primary field of interest and rank alternative fields. It is critical that each applicant thoughtfully select their field of specialization. Applicants are encouraged to further research these fields and the different graduate programs offered by the host universities before selecting a field of study/specialization. Information is available at local U.S. educational information centers and on the internet. It is the responsibility of the applicant to select the appropriate field of study and specialization for him/her. The selection committee makes placement decisions based on information provided by the applicant. It is therefore in the applicant’s best interest to thoroughly research the field
and to write a statement of purpose that accurately reflects his/her understanding of, and interest in, the field.
Finalists must attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation and preparation course in July 2015. PROL grantees must uphold the academic standards of their host institutions and undertake full-time study for the duration of the program. Applicants should be aware that graduate students must adhere to the established curriculum of their host university. Grantees will not be able to undertake independent research and will not be permitted to change their assigned host institution or field of study once accepted in the PROL Program. Failure to maintain academic and professional standards will result in dismissal from the PROL Program.
Grantees will be required to live for up to two years in their home country after completing their degree. Grantees placed in the U.S. should note that OSF supports the U.S. government’s J-1 visa policy, and expects grantees to apply the expertise the scholarship has given them to the improvement of their home communities.
POTENTIAL WORK PLACEMENT / INTERNSHIP FUNDING
In some cases it is possible that PROL funding may be extended for up to six months after degree completion to cover public-sector and non-profit internships. Information about this possibility will be shared with the grantees during the scholarship year.
HOW TO APPLY:
Interested applicants must complete and submit an online or paper PROL application in English to be considered.
- ONLINE APPLICATION
All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online. To apply online please go to:
to register, and then follow instructions.
- PAPER APPLICATION
Paper applications may be accessed via http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/palestinian-rule-law-awards- 20141117 or by contacting one of the local administrative offices (see list below).
Please Note: Funding for the PROL Program is limited. The program is highly competitive and not all qualified applicants will receive awards.
Late applications will automatically be disqualified. Paper applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by
January 23, 2015 and sent to either the New York address listed below:
Open Society Foundations
Open Society Scholarship Programs 224 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019, USA
The PROL program is administered by OSF and funded by private donors, OSF, and participating host universities.