Humanity in Action Fellowship

The Humanity in Action journey begins with a rich summer experience of inquiry, debate, and community building rooted in trust and empathy. Membership to the community lasts a lifetime.

In several cities across Europe and the United States, Fellows gather to study past, present, and future challenges to local communities. The Humanity in Action Fellowships explore issues of social justice, human rights, politics of memory and remembrance culture, and civic engagement. They look at the ways in which communities co-exist to create a pluralistic society, and the structural challenges arising from asymmetrical power dynamics. Fellows are challenged to understand their host city’s unique history of injustice against the background of their own national and local contexts. Fellows learn about the host society’s present struggles to navigate dominant and minoritized cultures and identities, while also being inspired by what collective action based on intersectional solidarity can look like.

For the next months, Fellows work on an individual Action Project. Upon the completion of their Action Project, Fellows—now alumni—are invited to join the Humanity in Action Senior Fellow network.

This award does not require university endorsement. 


National Deadline: February 14, 2023

Fellows from all the programs meet for a virtual International Program before some Fellows travel to their Fellowship program cities – Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Warsaw, or Washington, D.C. Each Fellowship program is tailored to its location.

There are five locations available. 

Action Projects and Action Project Lab Series
Action Projects are as diverse as Humanity in Action Fellows. Fellows apply their new knowledge and perspectives to the communities they impact—in whatever format they find meaningful. Planning for the Action Project begins during the immersive Fellowship month, through workshops and collaborative discussion. From September 2023 to May 2024, Fellows meet virtually for the Action Project Lab Series, an online training program designed to assist all Fellows plan and implement their projects.

The Senior Fellow network is the heart of the Humanity in Action community. Our 2,750 Senior Fellows work around the world. You will find them working in government, journalism, medicine, law, education, the arts, business, grassroots action, and many more industries. Senior Fellows stay engaged with Humanity in Action long after their Fellowship programs through Humanity in Action’s conferences, workshops, grant competitions, seminars, and study trips. They also support one another. Friendships made during the Fellowship last for years and many Senior Fellows find professional opportunities through the community.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply, you must be:

  • currently enrolled undergraduate students from the US or at US-based colleges and universities (sophomores, juniors, and seniors); or
  • recent graduates (for the 2023 Fellowship, recent graduates are individuals from the undergraduate or graduate classes of 2020 and 2021); or
  • currently enrolled, second-year community college students who plan to continue their secondary education; or
  • currently enrolled Masters and PhD students at US-based universities.
  • If you are a non-US citizen studying at a university in the United States, you are eligible to apply to the Humanity in Action Fellowship through the US office.

Please refer to the Humanity in Action website for a detailed list of the eligibility criteria.

Selection Criteria

The Humanity in Action Fellowship program is generally looking for:

  • Fluent English speakers (all programs are conducted in English).
  • People we accept to our Fellowships are reflective and self-reflective, critical and self-critical. They demonstrate openness, humility, and a readiness to challenge their own preconceptions.
  • Successful candidates are willing to engage in difficult yet constructive and meaningful dialogue. They appreciate the complex interweaving of many identities and perspectives.
  • Future Fellows need to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and allow space for misunderstanding and mistakes in the process of learning. They acknowledge others’ learning and healing processes.

Please carefully review the detailed descriptions of the selection criteria on the Humanity in Action website.

  • Application Form
  • CV/Resume
  • Transcript
  • Personal Statement
  • Essay Response
  • Short Answer Questions (2)
  • Video Submission
  • One Letter of Recommendation
  • One Reference Contact
  • Application fee of $20*
    *Application fees may be waived for financial need.
  • In the Winter, attend an NCA Learning Series session on the Humanity in Action Fellowship
  • Complete two NCA forms:
  • Launch your online application (application opens in the Winter)
  • Complete and submit application by National Deadline: February 14, 2023
  • If not applying through university, then application only need to be completed by national deadline
  • Competition for this program is keen. To give yourself the best chance of being a competitive applicant, allow yourself time to work through multiple drafts of your materials.
  • Information on this page is intended to supplement, not supplant, your own careful review of the official Humanity in Action website. If you find any discrepancy between the two, the Humanity in Action website takes precedence.
  • Though you should seek out others’ advice and feedback on your application, the essays should be your original work (no one should be writing your essays for you). UC’s Student Code of Conduct applies.