Kirby Simon Summer Fellowships
The Schell Center’s Kirby Simon Summer Fellowships, supported by a generous grant from the Robina Foundation, provide funding for Yale students to undertake at least six weeks of human rights work during the summer. They honor Kirby Simon, the son of Professor John Simon, who was a foreign service officer and died in 1995 while serving in Taiwan. In recent years, as many as 20 percent of all first-year law students have received summer funding from the Schell Center for international human rights work.
Kirby Simon Fellowships cover both living expenses (a weekly stipend at the SPIF rate for up to 12 weeks) and travel costs. Law students who are eligible for financial aid and undergraduate students in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights are eligible for Kirby Simon Fellowships. Applications from non-graduating Yale Law School students receive priority. JSD students and graduating law students, including graduating LLM students, may be eligible if they meet certain conditions; they should consult with the Schell Center to determine if they are eligible.
Law students: complete Part I of the SPIF application (confirming eligibility) followed by the Kirby Simon application. Kirby Simon applicants do not need to apply to SPIF Part II.
Students in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights: contact Shannon Sommers at email@example.com for the undergraduate application.
LLMs who will be returning to Yale in the fall for a JSD may also be eligible. If you are interested, please contact Hope Metcalf.
Kirby Simon Fellows have worked on a wide variety of issues at non-governmental organizations, international organizations and agencies, and international and foreign courts throughout the world.
- Summer human rights fellowship placements since 1999
- Summer fellows’ reports, 2010-present (accessible by YLS students)
- Earlier fellows' reports are in binders outside Jim Silk’s office
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for electronic files of fellows’ reports
Generally, students have secured positions with international organizations and non-governmental organizations, particularly in the Global South, in the spring term.
These institutions have early deadlines:
- International courts such as:
- The Inter-American Court of Human Rights
- The European Court of Human Rights
- Criminal tribunals such as:
- The International Criminal Court
- The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
- Certain large NGOs
If any of the above are of interest, please contact Jim Silk as soon as possible.
To consult with Jim Silk or Hope Metcalf about summer possibilities, consider making an appointment this fall. Their schedules get busy closer to the Summer Fellowship application deadline.