The International Fellowships Program was launched with a grant from the Ford foundation in 2001. The Program Offers Fellowships for post graduate studies to leaders from underserved communities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Russia.
Fellowship recipients are exceptional individuals with demonstrated social commitment and academic achievement. Typically, they are men and women who have overcome obstacles such as poverty and discrimination to gain access to higher education, and they aspire to work for social justice in their home communities upon completion of their studies.
Since its inception, the program has selected more than 4,300 fellows from 22 countries through a highly competitive process. Fellows can study in any region of the world and have been enrolled in universities in some 40 countries. About one-third study in the United States and Canada one-third in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, and one-third in their home countries or regions. Fellows’ fields of study represent the Ford Foundation’s commitment to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.
As of February 2011, almost 2,700 fellows had completed their fellowships. More than 80% of these alumni have returned to or continued to reside in their home countries. In every IFP country, alumni are working to strengthen social justice in diverse fields. At the same time, they have formed national associations and built networks across national borders to sustain connections and inspire new collective efforts toward shared social justice goals.