Robina Fellowships

The Robina Foundation Post-Graduate Fellowships in International Human Rights enable two or three Yale Law School graduating students or recent graduates to devote up to a year to full-time human rights work, particularly foreign and international judicial clerkships, internships with international courts and tribunals and inter-governmental or governmental agencies, or independent human rights research.

The fellowships, supported by the Robina Foundation and administered by the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, allow recent graduates of the Law School to gain experience in international and foreign courts and other international institutions that address the promotion and protection of human rights or to carry out independent human rights research.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

The application deadline for Robina Fellowships beginning in the fall of 2024 is February 1, 2024, at 11:59 PM.

Only graduating students or recent graduates (within the last five years) of Yale Law School are eligible for the Robina Fellowship.

Applications for Robina Fellowships will be considered for experiences of six months to a year in a number of categories: judicial clerkships in international and foreign courts and tribunals with substantial responsibility for human rights issues; international criminal tribunal internships; internships with inter-governmental or governmental agencies concerned with human rights; and independent research on human rights topics. All host organizations must certify compliance with Yale Law School's nondiscrimination policy. Proposals for human rights advocacy projects and internships are appropriate for the Bernstein Fellowship. The Robina Foundation Fellowship provides a one-year stipend of $55,000. The deadline to be considered for a fellowship beginning in the Fall of 2024 is February 1, 2024.

Application Requirements

  1. a short personal statement (500 words maximum) describing the applicant’s relevant experience, interest in human rights work, and aspirations;
  2. a concise summary (one paragraph) of the proposed Robina Fellowship project and its goals;
  3. a project proposal (1,500 words maximum) including:
    -For positions with foreign or international institutions:
    • nature of the fellowship position and the organization that will host the Fellow;
    • type of work the applicant expects to do in the fellowship position, including any particular project the applicant intends to carry out;
    • description of the supervision the applicant will receive; and
    • discussion of the applicant’s relevant skills, training, experience, or other significant background.
      -For independent research projects:
    • discussion of the issues or themes the project will address, why the project is important, what approach the project will take, and plans for publishing or otherwise making use of this research;
    • discussion of how the applicant will implement the project and meet the project’s goals within the one-year fellowship period (a proposed timetable for the project should be included);
    • any consultations the applicant has had with human rights professionals or others working in related fields in developing the project; and
    • discussion of the applicant’s relevant skills, training, experience, or other significant background.
  4. two or three letters of recommendation, including one letter from a current or former professor or other person associated with Yale Law School and one letter from a supervisor or employer familiar with the applicant’s human rights work or recent work experience (letters evaluating the proposed project and the applicant’s capacity to achieve the project’s goal are particularly helpful);
  5. a resume with a list of additional references, both prior employers and professors;
  6. a law school transcript (registrar may forward to Schell Center);
  7. a letter, if applicable, from the sponsoring organization, detailing:
    • the organization’s purpose and function
    • commitment to hosting the Fellow;
    • the resources and supervision it will provide for the project; and
    • nature of the Fellow's work and the human rights issues the work will include.
    • confirmation of that the organization understands the nature of the relationship between Yale University, the fellow, and the sponsoring organization, namely that:
    1.  the organization’s relevant authority has reviewed the fellowship’s parameters and requirements and that sponsor has authorization to host the fellow;
    2. the organization understands that, as a general matter, by awarding a post-graduate fellowship to the fellow, Yale University does not undertake contractual obligations to the sponsoring organization; and
    3. if the organization requires a separate memorandum of understanding or agreement to host fellows, the organization will contact the Schell Center at least 3 months before the fellowship start date to begin the negotiations process. 

The deadline to be considered for a fellowship beginning in the Fall of 2024 is February 1, 2024, at 11:59 pm. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Schell Center as they explore project possibilities and prepare their proposals.

YLS is using a common application and deadline for YLS-funded fellowships (specifically the Bernstein, Gruber, Heyman, Liman, Robina, YLJ and YPIF fellowships, but excluding the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration Fellowships).  Click here to access the online application. Please be sure to give yourself time to submit by the deadline. If you have any questions, please email

Fellowships Criteria

The Fellowship Selection Committee will review applications and select the fellows. Factors the committee will consider include:

  1. value of the proposed project, its feasibility, and its potential impact;
  2. applicant’s ability to achieve the proposed project’s goals;
  3. applicant’s human rights experience (in law school courses, extracurricular activities, summer jobs, or full-time work);
  4. applicant’s leadership capabilities and likely future commitment to human rights work; and
  5. sponsoring organization’s capacity to implement the proposed project (if applicable).

The Selection Committee may ask applicants to participate in a telephone interview.

The Schell Center will notify applicants of the results of the selection process by mid-March.