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Columbia University Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) is accepting applications for Spring 2026(Fully-funded)

Columbia University Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) is accepting applications for Spring 2026(Fully-funded)

The Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) is accepting applications for Spring 2026. Founded in 1989, HRAP leverages the resources of Columbia University and those offered by NYC as a hub of NGOs and international organizations to provide human rights advocates with academic, skill-building, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

Application Now Open

The HRAP application for 2024 is now open! Applications will be accepted until 5:00 PM ET on Friday, July 12, 2024.

Selection of Participants

The HRAP is tailored for human rights activists working with NGOs on various issues such as:

  • Sexual and gender-based violence
  • Minority rights
  • LGBTQI+ rights
  • Labor rights
  • Indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Migration
  • Health
  • Social exclusion
  • Environmental justice
  • Disability rights
  • Corporate social accountability

Participants are selected based on their work experience in human rights, commitment to the field, and ability to pursue graduate-level studies. Full-time students, academics, or government officials will not be considered. Preference is given to applicants who hold full-time advocacy jobs.

Applicants must work at the grassroots level and come from lower-income countries, unless representing marginalized communities. Fluency in English is required, and preference is given to those without prior international travel and study opportunities. A bachelor’s degree is preferred but not mandatory.

Participants must provide institutional endorsement from their organizations, committing to return to their organizations post-program.


Applications from qualified human rights advocates worldwide are welcomed. After conducting a stringent selection process, ISHR makes every effort to secure funding for shortlisted advocates. In cases where ISHR cannot secure funding, shortlisted advocates may need to obtain their own funds.

Generous donors support advocates working on LGBT, disability, and SRHR rights in Latin America and Africa. The Harriman Institute at Columbia University sponsors an advocate from Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern Europe.

The advocates learn about oral history at StoryCorps in Brooklyn.

Application Instructions

The application must be completed entirely in English. To apply:

  1. Register an Account: Create an account on the ISHR website and log in.
  2. Start/Resume Application: Select “Start/Resume A HRAP Application” from the menu.
  3. Complete the Form: You can save your application as a draft or submit it upon completion.
  4. Confirmation: A confirmation email will be sent upon submission. You can edit your application until the deadline.

For assistance, contact

Timing and Deadline

The upcoming HRAP is planned to be on campus from mid-January 2026 to mid-May 2026, with an online component in November and December 2025. Check back for updates.

Application Deadline: 5:00 PM ET on Friday, July 12, 2024.

Learn more and apply today:

Supporting Documentation

  • Recommendation Letters: Two signed letters of recommendation in English are required. Letters must include contact information for the recommenders.
  • Educational Documents: Upload copies of your highest university diploma and/or transcript.

Due Diligence

ISHR conducts a thorough due diligence process, including interviews with HRAP alumni and ISHR’s Director of Capacity Building.

Status Notification

Applicants will be notified of their status by November 30, 2025. Please be patient as this process is detailed and lengthy.

Technical Questions & Assistance

Due to the volume of applications, personal queries cannot be answered. Visit the FAQ page for common questions. For further assistance, email Ensure your application is submitted well before the deadline to avoid technical issues.

Columbia University is committed to accessibility. If you encounter issues, contact


Learn more and apply today: