Applications are open for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University 2024-2025. 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 and countries.
Scholars complete a fully-funded 9-month residency on campus at Columbia World Projects, deepening their knowledge and skills, and building new capacities and networks to accelerate their impact.
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Key Components of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University.
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. Key components of the program include:
- A Weekly Seminar that runs the length of the academic year, exploring questions in tandem with key global trends including inequality, technological developments, the diffusion of power, population movements, and climate change.
- Personal and Professional Development Workshops designed to strengthen practical skills to enhance Scholars’ ability to lead. Previous workshop topics include conflict management and resolution, public speaking, data analysis and interpretation, and resilience.
- An Experiential Learning component that engages Scholars in the work of Columbia World Projects.
- Audited Coursework that provides Scholars with the flexibility to select and enroll in up to two graduate-level courses each semester at Columbia.
- A Thought Leadership Speaker Series that introduces Scholars to seasoned practitioners from the NGO community, philanthropy, government, and international organizations to expand Scholars’ networks and perspectives to help advance their work.
- Partnership with a Columbia faculty adviser selected for their subject matter expertise to provide Scholars with new insights and perspectives to inform Scholars’ work.
- Meaningful opportunities for Scholars to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus and gain exposure to different perspectives by engaging with the Columbia University community.
- Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City.
- A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University.
- 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.
- Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities.
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 for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University.
A complete application, submitted entirely online, includes the following materials:
- Complete the online application form or Nominate a Candidate
- Resume/curriculum vitae
- Personal video statement
- Responses to short essay questions
- Proof of English proficiency
- Two letters of recommendation
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program is accepting applications for the 2024-2025 program until December 12, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET. Please visit our application page for more information.