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 establish 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, housing, environmental/food justice, legal services, disability justice, and health services.
How many Fellows in total will be selected?
Up to two individuals will be selected to receive a Youth Activist OSI-Baltimore Community Fellowship.
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.
What are the reporting requirements and stipend payment schedules?
Fellows are required by the terms of the grant agreement to submit two (2) interim reports and a final report at the end of the grant. During the Fellowship, these reports are due every six (6) months. Stipend payments are scheduled every six months. The first payment is released after receipt of the countersigned grant agreement. The second payment is released upon receipt of the first interim report, and the third payment upon receipt of the final report.
What is the due date for the proposal?
The 2020 Youth Activist OSI-Baltimore Community Fellowship proposal is due by must be submitted by Monday, June 15, 2020.
Submit your full proposal via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Your cover sheet, proposal, letters of recommendation, and any supplemental documents should be sent as a single email. If you have any difficulties or questions please email email@example.com or call Pamela King or Katy Caldwell at 410-234-1091 for assistance.
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 to the 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.
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 Youth Activist 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 supplements the individual for the cost of medical insurance. We also provide 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. We also offer monthly gatherings, which create a safe space for current and alumni Fellows to share experiences, problem solve, and network. A fellows-centric newsletter is full of resources including information on funding and workshop opportunities. A small pot of supplemental funding is available for Fellows to cover some conference fees and other learning opportunities related to their work. The program also offers other kinds of support to Fellows, including access to occasional forums held by recognized leaders in OSI-Baltimore’s program areas of addiction, criminal justice, and education.
What is the timeline for the selection process?
June 15, 2020 Proposal deadline
July/August Site Visits, Proposal Review
Late August Semi-finalists invited to interview with the Selection Committee
September/October Selection Committee selects Fellowship recipients
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 Association of Nonprofits (www.marylandnonprofits.org).
How do I learn more about the Open Society Foundations?