Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) 2023

Applications for the Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) are no longer being accepted. We will go over the details of this scholarship program, its benefits, and the application process in this article.

International students can apply for the Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) 2023, which are fully funded master’s scholarships. CSLA Scholarships from the Open Society Foundations will provide a monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses, as well as tuition and necessary university fees, accident and illness insurance, and housing during the program.

International students from certain countries (see list below) can apply for the Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) to get master’s degrees at educational institutions in Germany, France, Hong Kong, Latvia, Hungary, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, and the United States.

Civil Society Leadership Awards CSLA
Civil Society Leadership Awards CSLA

The Open Society Foundations have funded more than 20,000 CSLA scholarships for young people to study in the US and Europe, especially at Central European University, since the 1980s. These awards are fully funded and given to students who have demonstrated academic and professional excellence as well as a strong desire to make a difference in their communities.


  • Level of Study: Masters
  • Institution(s): CSLA Host University Guide
  • Study in: Germany, France, Hong Kong, Latvia, Hungary, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Poland, and United States
  • Opportunity Focus Areas: See list below
  • Program Period: 2 Years
  • Deadline: May 15, annually (Note: Closed till spring)
Civil Society Leadership Awards CSLA
Civil Society Leadership Awards CSLA

Courses Offered:

  • Culture, History & Society
  • Communications, Journalism & Media
  • Development Studies
  • Education Management & Leadership
  • Economics
  • Environment & Natural Resource Management
  • Gender Studies
  • Law (including Human Rights law)
  • Human Rights
  • Politics & International Studies
  • Public Policy & Administration
  • Public Health Policy & Health Management
  • Social Work & Social Policy

Following are some of the programs that can be funded by the Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) scholarship:

  • Violence, Conflict and Development (MSc) at SOAS University of London
  • Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (MSc) at Durham University
  • Globalization and Development Studies (MA) at Maastricht University
  • Sustainable International Development (MA) at Brandeis University
  • International Development Policy (MA/PgCert) at Duke University
  • Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights (MA/PGDip) at University of Nottingham


Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) provide the recipient with the following benefits:

  • Monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses
  • Pre-academic preparation via summer schools
  • Tuition and mandatory university fees
  • Accident and sickness insurance during the program
  • Program-related travel
  • Funds for educational materials and professional development
  • Accommodations during the application process and the duration of the grant for applicants with disabilities.
  • Attendance at a regional Scholarship Programs conference


To qualify for the Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) Scholarship, candidates must fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Required Language: English
  • Eligible Countries: 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.
  • Have an earned bachelor’s degree as of May 15, with an excellent academic record;
  • Demonstrate maturity, flexibility, and civil society leadership potential
  • Demonstrate professional experience related to your chosen field of study;
  • Be able to participate in an intensive pre-academic summer school in July or August and start their degree program in August or September;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction (English, German or French) at a level required for admission by host universities;
  • Be able to receive and maintain a visa or study permit as required by the host country; and
    demonstrate a clear commitment to their home country or region to strengthen open society development.

How to Apply?

Please visit the official website using the link given at the end. However, here are important instructions for availing of the Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA):

  • Submit a Scholarship Application directly to the Open Society Foundations  before deadline.
  • Submit an online postgraduate application for an eligible program at the university of your choice. You can check the  CSLA Host Universities here. Please note that your scholarship application will not be considered unless you have also submitted an academic application to selected university.

To know more about the Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) 2023

Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) FAQs

In what ways do the Open Society Foundations contribute to society?

The mission of the Open Society Foundations is to help establish accountable democracies where all citizens have a voice. We tackle a wide range of problems across many different regions and topics to achieve this goal. A number of national and regional foundations with ties to Open Society also prioritize topics and concerns specific to open societies in their own locations.

Can i apply for multiple at once?

Yes. Many organizations receive money from multiple Open Society initiatives or affiliates. We merge numerous bids into a single award where possible to reduce administrative expenses and grantee strain.

Who can apply for CSLA grant?

We can fund formally organized groups directly or indirectly through middlemen (fiscal sponsors, fiscal agents).
Each Open Society Foundations program has its unique grantee selection process. Organizations or individuals whose values, goals, and work correspond with specified tactics may inquire with the applicable program.

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