PURPOSE: To support individuals in the United States and abroad who

are seeking visionary solutions to problems which threaten the

development of open societies. 

DEADLINE: December 15, 1999

SUMMARY: The Open Society Institute is a private operating and

grantmaking foundation established by philanthropist George Soros

as part of his efforts to foster the development of open society

around the world. Broadly speaking, an open society is characterized

by a reliance on the rule of law, the existence of a democratically

elected government, a diverse and vigorous civil society, and respect

for minorities and minority opinions. The Open Society Institute is

part of the Soros foundations network, a group of autonomous

foundations and other organizations operating in more than 31

countries worldwide. 

The Individual Project Fellowship Program (IPF) enables unrecognized

voices to be heard in the crucial debates of the day and helps

established voices to apply their expertise in creative and

experimental efforts. Individual Project Fellowships are awarded for

applied research, policy studies, and program design. 

Outstanding projects which fall outside the specific areas listed to

the left or incorporate several of them may also be considered for


OSI's U.S. Programs differ from many of those in the rest of George

Soros's foundation network in that they focus not on building open

society during a transition to democracy, but on correcting the

deficiencies of the essentially open society in the United States.

The programs -- a grouping of approximately a dozen different, though

related, initiatives -- have three broad aims: 

--to challenge the intrusion of the marketplace into inappropriate


--to deal with the inequities in distribution of wealth and social

  benefits that arise from "market fundamentalism;" 

--and to address the adverse unintended consequences of perhaps well-

  intended policies. 

These broad goals are manifested in the mix of grantmaking and

operating programs described in the following pages, which aim to: 

--improve care of terminally ill people and their families; 

--broaden the debate over drug policy, promote a “harm reduction”

  approach to drug use and abuse, and increase the availability of

  drug treatment for all who seek it; 

--foster effective and humane approaches to public safety, reducing the

  current over-reliance on incarceration as a response to crime; 

--restore standards, public service and deserved trust in professions

  such as law and medicine that have become dominated by

  marketplace values; 

--strengthen the capacity for self-expression by young people in

  underserved communities through urban debate, arts programs and

  media and journalism projects; 

--promote fair treatment for immigrants deprived of government safety

  net protections, and enhance their participation and that of other

  affected communities in policy decisions under welfare devolution; 

--improve educational opportunities and outcomes for inner-city

  students, through support for universal access to afterschool

  programs and initiatives to improve the training and recruitment

  of professional teachers; 

--reduce the dominant role of money in politics through campaign

  finance reform and by fostering alternative channels for political

  communication, including promotion of public interest standards in

  the electronic media; 

--promote the development of policies and practices to protect women’s

  comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, including

  abortion, in the U.S. and abroad; 

--and encourage innovative and critical approaches and perspectives

  about open society challenges through fellowships for writers,

  scholars, photographers and others. 

The U.S. Programs, nearing the end of their third year in operation,

draw on a range of strategies in pursuit of these goals, but three in

particular are worth pointing out. 

First is the use of our funds as leverage to draw in public and private

donors to sustain initiatives after our contribution has been reduced

or withdrawn. By the end of 1998, for example, the Emma Lazarus Fund,

our initiative on behalf of immigrants, had attracted $10 million from

other donors, and played an important role in the restoration by

Congress of $12 billion in safety net benefits. As a result of our

challenge grant to the National Association for Public Interest Law,

more than 70 new public interest lawyers are at work around the nation,

co-funded by dozens of law firms, corporations and other new donors.

George Soros's challenge grant to the AfterSchool Corporation has

raised over $14 million in matching funds, and 14,000 more New York

City schoolchildren are being served by quality afterschool programs. 

A second important strategy is to foster debate: to reframe public

discussion of issues in order to affect policy change. Thanks to the

efforts of the Lindesmith Center and a wide range of organizations

supported by OSI in their efforts to reform the nation's misguided

drug policies, there are signs that citizens are willing to consider

a less draconian and doctrinaire approach to drugs -- for example, in

their support for alternatives to incarceration for some drug

offenders. This strategy is also a critical element in OSI's work on

immigration, reproductive rights, campaign finance reform and end-of-

life issues. 

Finally, OSI's U.S. Programs have come into being at a time when

devolution is a defining characteristic of American political life:

where there promising opportunities for reform in social welfare,

campaign finance, drug policy and other areas are presented at the

state level. Our grantmaking programs reflect this awareness in our

numerous efforts to make our decisionmaking devolutionary in nature,

too. One example is OSI's support for the State Welfare Redesign

Grants Pool, which distributed nearly $3 million in grants to 100

state and local advocacy groups working in 31 states to improve

child care, transportation and employment training requirements in

new state welfare plans. Another is OSI's establishment of a field

office in Baltimore, which devolves substantial grantmaking authority

to a local board. 

The Individual Project Fellowships Program supports individuals

-scholars, writers, artists, activists, advocates, practitioners, etc.

- who have new ideas and innovative ways of approaching the myriad

problems of an open society. Fellows benefit from the collective

knowledge and resources of the Soros foundations network and are

invited to share their ideas at various OSI-sponsored events during

the term of their fellowship. In June 1998, the Individual Project

Fellowships Program awarded grants to 21 fellows from a pool of some

850 applicants, the most competitive selection round yet. These

fellows are working on projects spanning a range of issues and

subjects: from studies relating to children-including the rise of

child soldiers, controversies surrounding sex education, and the

privatization of schools-to the role of the legal profession in

community organizing, and reducing unintended pregnancies among low-

income women. Several fellows are examining U.S. government policies

and practices including welfare reform as it affects women in the

workplace, U.S. voting systems, and U.S. reluctance to act against

foreign genocide. An international fellow will investigate the

corruption of media in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. One fellow,

a photographer, will document the successes of East 100th Street, a

neighborhood once plagued by poverty. In December 1997, the IPF

Program hosted its first conference, bringing Fellows to share their

work and discuss common interests. In July 1998, the Program hosted a

seminar at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem

where three finishing fellows discussed the consequences of abandoned

communities, as it related to their fellowship work. In October 1998,

the Program held a seminar on the Lessons for Free Speech and Human

Rights with a fellow who has worked on the International Rushdie

Defense Committee for ten years. The IPF Program has begun to develop

a regular event series to allow its fellows to present on their

fellowship work. 

Individual Project Fellowships

These application procedures are only valid for the December 15, 1999


The Individual Project Fellowship Program (IPF) supports individuals

in the United States and abroad who are seeking visionary solutions to

problems which threaten the development of open societies. The IPF

Program enables unrecognized voices to be heard in the crucial debates

of the day and helps established voices to apply their expertise in

creative and experimental efforts. 

Areas of Support 

Individual Project Fellowships support efforts to counteract: 

--the intrusion of marketplace values on professional standards and

values in law, medicine, journalism, and other inappropriate areas;

--social and economic inequities brought about by market

fundamentalism, such as unequal educational or employment opportunities

for inner-city youth; 

--the unintended negative consequences of perhaps well-intended

policies, such as the excessive reliance on a criminal justice approach

to combatting drug abuse, which has led to a negative impact on public


Other IPF program concerns include but are not limited to care of the

dying, access to justice, campaign finance reform, reproductive health

and rights, and fair treatment for immigrants. Individual Project

Fellowships are also open to other projects that explore and advance

the values of open society. 

Program Support for Fellows 

Fellows benefit from the collective knowledge and resources of the

Soros foundations network and will be invited to share their ideas at

various OSI-sponsored events during the term of their fellowship. The

Program has implemented a fellows newsletter, listserv (e-mail mailing

list), website, and various events in order to create a fellows

network. Project Fellows will be expected to participate in activities

organized and designed for them. Such activities might include

seminars, debates, and affinity workshops that bring Fellows together

with OSI program staff and outside specialists. At the conclusion of

their term, fellows will be assisted in the further promotion of

their work. 

Since only a very small number of projects can be funded, OSI

evaluates proposals with an eye to what is unique and unlikely to find

support through other fellowship or grant programs. In addition to the

originality and creativity of the project, we examine: 

the project's potential for influencing audiences of significance to

  the problem being addressed 

how likely it is that the project can be completed within the term of

  the grant 

how realistic the budget is 

whether the applicant has the qualifications and experience to carry

out the proposed project 

The form of a project is not limited to written products, but could

also include program design and development, workshops, town meetings

or other forms of public discourse, or performing and visual arts.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the competitive nature of the program, only a small

percentage of applications received can be selected for funding. 

Individual Project Fellowships will not be awarded to support:

organizations or already existing programs 


capital facilities (e.g., rent for office space) 

purchase of office equipment 

conferences/conference attendance 

religious activities 

lobbying efforts 

debt repayment 

documentary film projects 

applicants and/or projects with access to substantial outside funding 

Application Procedure

Prospective applicants should submit the following, in this order: 

APPLICATION FORM: this form must be the first page of the package, and

must be typed. Circle the deadline date on the form applicable to the

funding cycle for which you are applying. 

LETTER OF INQUIRY: an original letter of inquiry, 600-800 words long.

The letter should begin with a one-sentence description of the proposed

initiative, describing the basic issue to be addressed and the plan for

addressing that issue. The letter of inquiry should briefly outline

project objectives, relationship to other work being done in the field,

target audience, operational procedures, proposed time schedules,

financial resources available and requested, and the end product. 

RESUME OR CV: a resume or CV is required from the primary contact as

well as any collaborators that may be involved in the project. If you

are submitting an application for a project which involves more than

one person, please identify the primary contact on the application


SASE: Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive

acknowledgement of receipt. Only applications which include a SASE will

receive acknowledgement of receipt. 


Each page of the application package must be in the following format: 

In English only 

Application form first, followed by letter of inquiry and resume or CV 

Typed, in 12-point type with one-inch margins, single-sided and double


Page numbers and full name of applicant must appear in the upper-right-

hand corner of every page included in the submission, except the

application form. 

No staples, binding, or folders—use paper clips only 

Applicants with arts-related projects may submit photographic or video/

audio samples of their work in the following format only: (Samples

submitted that do not adhere to this format will not be seen by the

review committee.) 

Five copies of each sample must be provided 

Photographs must be no larger than 8" x 10" 

No more than three samples should be included (five copies of

 each sample) 

Videos/audiocassettes must not exceed 10 minutes 

PLEASE NOTE: Applications which do not adhere to this format will be

 automatically disqualified. 

Applications must be received by December 15, 1999 and must be sent by

post; applications sent via e-mail or fax will not be considered.

Send applications by post or other courier services to: 

Open Society Institute 

Individual Project Fellowships Program-Application 

400 West 59th Street, 3rd Floor 

New York, NY 10019 

Important Notes 

Do not send materials other than those specifically requested in the

Application Format section. 

Please retain copies of all materials submitted for review, as they

will not be returned. 

Application guidelines for the two funding cycles are identical;

applicants may reapply to a subsequent funding cycle, but must resubmit

the entire application package for each cycle. 

At all stages of the review process, personal visits to the Individual

Project Fellowships Program as well as telephone calls to staff by

prospective grantees are strongly discouraged. 

Please direct any questions to Pamela Sohn at fax: 212.548.4677 or

e-mail: Please pay special attention to ensure that

your entire submission adheres to the Application Format instructions

listed above. Failure to do so will result in automatic

disqualification of your submission. 

Individual Project Fellowships are offered in two funding cycles for

1999. Applications for Cycle I are due July 15; applications for Cycle

II are due December 15. Application guidelines for the two funding

cycles are identical; applicants may reapply to a subsequent funding

cycle if they desire, but they must resubmit the entire package for

each project proposed. The time frame for decisions in the preliminary

stage of the application process is approximately two months after the

initial deadline. If the proposed project is chosen for further

consideration, the applicant will be invited to develop a more detailed

proposal according to guidelines provided by the IPF. Applicants chosen

to continue to this stage will be given one month to submit a full

proposal. Final award decisions will be made approximately six months

from the initial deadline. 

Individual Project Fellowships are offered in two funding cycles: 

Cycle I Applications Due..................................July 15, 1999

Cycle II Applications Due.............................December 15, 1999 

The Individual Project Fellowships Program does not discriminate on the

basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability,

veteran’s status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or marital status. 

Application Form



IPF Application Form - typed 

Letter of Inquiry

Resume/CV: your 

own as well as your 

collaborators included 

in the project proposal.

Self Addressed Stamped Envelope

Please pay special 

attention to ensure that 

your entire submission 

adheres to the Application Format instructions listed.

Failure to follow these instructions will result in automatic

disqualification of your submission. 



Open Society Institute-New York

Individual Project Fellowship - Application

400 West 59th Street

New York, NY 10019

Tel: (212) 548-0119




Keycode Keyword

A006000 Foundation Funding Opportunities

0000022 Fellowships

0000034 Research

0411000 Planning & Policy Studies

041100A All Planning & Policy Studies

0400000 Behavioral & Social Sciences

0418007 Social Control

0411021 Social Planning & Policy

0417000 Sociology

041700A All Sociology

0715070 Death & Dying, Health & Physical Needs

040400A All Behavioral Studies & Social Problems

0730010 Family Health & Planning & Safety

0730070 Public Health

073000A All Health Care

0700000 Health & Safety, Medical & Biomedical Sciences

0730000 Health Care

0404000 Behavioral Studies & Social Problems

0404007 Death & Dying, Behavioral & Social

0502011 Drug Education

0404009 Drugs & Substance Abuse

0715175 Safety

0725010 Health & Safety Standards, Environment

072500A All Environment (Health & Safety & Medical)

0725000 Environment (Health & Safety & Medical)

0407053 Crime Prevention

040700A All Criminology

0407000 Criminology

00000AA Children & Youth

00000A1 Target Groups & Beneficiaries

0403013 Minorities & Disadvantaged

040300A All Area & Population Studies & Services

0403000 Area & Population Studies & Services

0403004 Community & Outreach Programs

0403011 Immigrants

0412058 Campaign Finance

0407005 Criminal Justice

0309037 Genocide

0403012 Inner-City

0313002 Journalism

0800000 Law

0502032 Sex Education

0320000 Visual Arts

041200A All Political Science

031300A All Media Arts

0300000 Arts & Humanities & Cultural Activities

032000A All Visual Arts

0801065 Reproductive Rights

080102A All Law (L-Z)

0412000 Political Science

0302000 Area Studies (Arts & Humanities)

030200A All Area Studies (Arts & Humanities)

0313000 Media Arts

The USOA database of research and educational opportunities is provided by RAMS-FIE.

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