Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University
DEADLINE: 22 DECEMBER 2021
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University brings together rising leaders from the United States and around the world who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions to challenges in their communities, countries, and regions. Over the course of an academic year, the Obama Foundation Scholars have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills and to build new capacities and networks that accelerate their impact in their home countries.
Scholars participate in an immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based and experiential learning, designed by Columbia University in consultation with the Obama Foundation.
WHAT SCHOLARS STUDY
Scholars participate in an immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based, and experiential learning, designed by Columbia University in consultation with the Obama Foundation. A cornerstone of the program is a weekly seminar, which runs for the length of the academic year.
Scholars will also have an opportunity to select and enroll in additional courses offered by Columbia University that are relevant to their specific field or values-based leadership, or that fill in gaps in their previous studies. Scholars will also participate in workshops to develop practical skills to enhance the impact of their work. Previous workshop topics include conflict management and resolution, public speaking, data analysis and interpretation, and resilience.
The program also takes advantage of the unique opportunities that come with being at one of the world’s most important centers of research and with being in the City of New York. Throughout the year, Scholars will have opportunities to engage with thought leaders and practitioners from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
This is not a degree-granting program. Obama Foundation Scholars who complete the Columbia University program will receive a certificate of completion from the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University.
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders from the United States and around the world who meet the following criteria:
Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers
Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country, coupled with a demonstrated commitment to return to these communities following their completion of the program and apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections on a long-term basis for the benefit of these communities
Are fluent in English (verbal, written and spoken)
Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community
Have a demonstrated commitment to inclusivity, community-orientation, hope, courage, imagination, strategy, accountability, integrity and resilience
HOW TO APPLY A complete application, submitted entirely online, includes the following materials:
Resume / CV: The resume/curriculum vitae should be a chronological listing of your employment and academic history, and other significant activities, including any awards, publications, or other achievements․
Personal video statement: The personal video statement should be a short video (no longer than three minutes in length) introducing the applicant and their work to the selection committee. Applicants will upload their video statement to a video hosting service, like YouTube or Vimeo, and will include a link to their video in the online application. Additional information on the requirements for the personal video statement can be found in the online application.
Short essays: The short essay questions help the selection committee understand the applicant's work, their motivation and how the program fits into their career trajectory. Applicants will submit their essay questions in the online application.
Proof of English proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting scores from one of four exams: The internet-based or paper-based exams of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic); or the Duolingo English Test (DET).
Two letters of recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required from individuals who are familiar with the applicant and the applicant's work in an academic, professional or community service setting. Recommendations should directly address the applicant's suitability for admission to the Obama Foundation Scholars program. Recommendations should not be written by family members or friends.
Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City
A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University, if the program is able to convene in person
All tuition and fees for up to four courses at Columbia University
Basic medical, dental and life insurance for the duration of the program in New York City, if the program is able to convene in person
Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities, if the program is able to convene in person