What is an “open society”?
Popularized by philosopher Karl Popper, the term “open society” refers to a society based on the recognition that nobody has a monopoly on the truth, that different people have different views and interests, and that there is a need for institutions to protect the rights of all people to allow them to live together in peace.
Does the Baltimore Community Fellowships Program have a specific area of focus?
We support individuals who will create innovative projects that address various social needs in Baltimore City. Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to, the arts, economic development, education, media, the environment, legal services, and health services.
How many Fellows in total will be selected?
Up to twelve individuals will receive an OSI-Baltimore Community Fellowship.
Is there a separate application for the Addiction and Health Equity Fellow?
No. Addiction and Health Equity Fellows are also Community Fellows.
Can Fellows seek project funding outside of the Baltimore Community Fellowships Program during the fellowship period or approach other Open Society Foundations programs for funding?
Yes. We encourage Fellows to explore other funding avenues that may support their work. The Open Society Foundations has various funding opportunities that one may wish to pursue. Applicants are responsible for meeting the eligibility criteria of each prospective program for funding consideration.
Is the applicant required to have an advanced degree or high media profile to receive a fellowship?
No. We encourage all individuals regardless of their educational or professional background to apply for our fellowships program. Individuals should have experience in the community that they wish to serve. The experience may be rooted in volunteer work, professional experience or other community engagement.
Is the fellowship only open to young people or individuals new to public interest work?
The Baltimore Community Fellowships Program is open to all individuals who wish to serve the Baltimore City community. Past Fellows have come from diverse age groups, educational backgrounds, and professional experiences.
Can the fellowship stipend be used to replace the funding for activities or projects currently being implemented by an organization?
No. The fellowship is an investment in an individual who has an innovative project that will positively affect a marginalized or underserved group in Baltimore City. Individuals currently receiving wages or a salary to undertake the proposed project are not eligible to apply.
Are the fellows expected to work full-time on their projects?
The Baltimore Community Fellowship is a full-time obligation. Other full -time study or employment must cease upon the start of the fellowship period.
Can I get a fellowship to support my dissertation research?
A dissertation is not an acceptable fellowship project. For scholarships and funding for degree programs, please visit http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants
Can two or more people jointly apply for a fellowship?
No, the fellowship program only accepts individual applications
What kinds of support exist for fellows outside of funding?
Baltimore Community Fellows receive stipends of $60,000 for 18 months. Other sources may augment the stipend. OSI may provide limited relief for graduate school debt payments on a case-by-case basis. OSI will reimburse the individual for the cost of medical insurance.
The program also provides other kinds of support to the Fellows. Fellows are required to take part in our annual convening that provides technical training and support, and introduces new Fellows to the Fellowships network. As part of the convening, we host a luncheon with Fellows and OSI staff to offer insights and potential for collaboration. We also offer monthly gatherings, which create a safe space for current and alumni Fellows to share experiences, problem solve, and network. A bi-monthly newsletter is distributed with grant and workshop opportunities. A small pot of supplemental funding is available for Fellows to attend conferences or site visits related to their work. We also offer other kinds of support to our Fellows, including access to occasional forums held by recognized leaders in our focus areas of addiction, criminal justice, and education.
How do I learn more about how to grow and sustain my initiative?
Local resources to contact include the Grants Collection at the Enoch Pratt Library (http://www.prattlibrary.org/locations/grants), the Community Law Center (www.communitylaw.org), and the Maryland Nonprofits (www.marylandnonprofits.org).
How do I learn more about the Open Society Foundations?