Open Society Foundation

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) supports a diverse range of organizations and groups that work primarily in the areas of civil society building, social justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

One of OSF’s priority areas is post-graduate scholarship funding—for example, the Civil Society Leadership Award (CSLA). The OSF CSLA is a scholarship for students from 17 countries across Africa, Eurasia, South-East Asia and the Middle East who are admitted to master’s degree programs. It provides full scholarships to individuals who clearly demonstrate academic and professional excellence and a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their communities.

Nationals from the following countries are eligible to apply to OSF’s CSLA competition—Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Laos, Libya, Myanmar/Burma, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

UW–Madison welcomed its first cohort of six OSF CSLA students in the academic year (AY) 2019–2020 from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Laos, and South Sudan and welcomes its second cohort in AY2021–2022 (postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020). The UW–Madison graduate programs who are participating in this partnership include:

For more information about applying to the CSLA scholarship competition, click here.

For more information about the UW CSLA cohort, click here.

“Thank you very much, indeed, for this thorough and immensely helpful report! Your account really gives us a great picture of what an “engaged university” partner looks like, and Wisconsin’s support of individuals in this inaugural year is impressive and much appreciated.”— Phillip Watkins, Deputy Director, Open Society Foundations Scholarships