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DHRC Social Change Initiative Fellowship, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, all travel must follow current guidelines, which are detailed in the International Institute Travel Policy.

The Donia Human Rights Center is offering a fellowship to fund a summer internship with the Social Change Initiative in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The fellowship seeks to support a LSA student with demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in human rights.

The successful applicant is expected to spend eight weeks, between May and August 2022, working with the Social Change Initiative team on analyzing the opportunities for monitoring the implementation in Northern Ireland of the human rights provisions of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (including its protocol on Northern Ireland) and the recently concluded EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement.

The fellowship provides a stipend of $5,000 to defray the costs of living for eight weeks. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee from DHRC and the Social Change Initiative. If COVID-19 restrictions and conditions permit travel to Belfast, the fellowship will provide an additional $1,000 to reimburse travel expenses.

Upon completion of this internship, fellows are expected to deliver a presentation of their internship projects and experiences and submit a written reflection to DHRC.

Position Description

The fellow will conduct research into the complex monitoring and compliance mechanisms adopted in EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (including the Ireland-Northern Ireland Protocol) and the recently concluded EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement, prepare the groundwork for a conference on the subject, and prepare short policy papers/information notes in line with instructions of SCI. During the period of the Fellowship the fellow will be associated with the Queen’s University Belfast Human Rights Centre, and will be mentored by Professor Christopher McCrudden, L Bates Lea Global Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School and Professor of Human Rights and Equality, Queen’s University Belfast.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Notification: Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Eligibility Requirements

This fellowship is open to LSA undergraduates in the classes of 2022 and 2023, as well as LSA graduate students currently in their first year of study. Students can apply from any department in LSA.   

Desired Qualifications

Students can come from a variety of backgrounds and departments. Basic knowledge of the European Union, the Northern Ireland/Ireland/UK issue, and Brexit is essential. Students should also demonstrate their ability to delve into complex texts, including legal and policy documents made at the national, regional, and international levels. Additional background through study of conflict resolution, international security and institutions, human rights, and international economics would be advantageous. Experience in translating complex topics for non-expert audiences and organizational skills will be helpful. Students should also be ready to gain new knowledge and always learn and remain open minded. Applications will be evaluated on the quality of the statement of purpose and qualifications, the applicant’s record of achievement, and their promise for the internship position with Social Change Initiative.

Application Procedure

Applicants must submit: Resume/CV, statement of purpose and qualifications, transcript, and at least one letter of recommendation from a U-M instructor. Applicants must submit an application via M-Compass.



Social Change Initiative (SCI)

The Social Change Initiative (SCI), located in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was formed in 2015. It works to secure progressive social change so that communities become fairer, more inclusive and peaceful. Drawing on its team's international experience of philanthropy and advocacy, it provides practical support, services and strategic advice to maximize the impact of donor funding for change. It works to provide a bridge between the worlds of activism and philanthropy. SCI also supports activism, by developing the skills and capacity of activists to enable them to be more effective agents for change. It works locally, nationally and internationally through a core team with deep experience of grassroots activism, peacebuilding, human rights, advocacy, strategic philanthropy, politics and media. Its range of supports is tailored to meet activists’ leadership and practice needs, developing networks and communities of support to broker connections and build solidarity. Its global networks provide a safe and connected space to share tactics and tools, learn and be inspired by leading change makers. Its work has been supported by a number of foundations including the Atlantic Philanthropies, Unbound Philanthropy, the Human Dignity Foundation, the Oak Foundation. SCI convenes an ad hoc consortium of human rights and civil society organisations across the island of Ireland concerned about the impact of Brexit on human rights protections and the Belfast Peace Agreement. The outputs from this internship will provide an important resource for these organisations and others.

Donia Human Rights Center (DHRC)

The Donia Human Rights Center is a forum for intellectual exchange on issues around human rights among scholars, practitioners, students, and the broader public. Toward that end, we invite leading practitioners and scholars to share their insights and expertise on human rights gained through their experiences and research. We also offer internship and study-abroad opportunities to students that would enhance their understanding of contemporary human rights issues and equip them with the tools to tackle challenging human rights problems around the world.

U-M College of LSA International Travel Policy

All U-M students traveling abroad for university-related purposes (i.e., participating in study, research, or internship programs organized or supported by LSA departments/units or for which LSA in-residence credit is granted) are bound by the College of LSA International Travel Policy

To receive funding/credit for their international experiences, students are required to:

  • Register their travel in the MCompass Travel Registry
  • Purchase U-M’s Travel Abroad Health Insurance and upload card to MCompass
  • Provide contact information in case of emergency on MCompass
  • Submit a safety plan if traveling to a U-M Travel Warning/Restriction destination. (Safety plans must be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to departure and MUST be approved before funding can be released)

Learn more about the requirements and find travel resources on the LSA Travel website. You can also find additional resources on Global Michigan.