The Obama Foundation Scholars Program seeks to support dynamic, collaborative, rising leaders from around the world in an innovative one-year academic experience. Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University will participate in Columbia World Projects, a new initiative in which faculty and researchers from Columbia will partner with governments, nonprofits, the private sector, and intergovernmental organizations to create tangible solutions to real-world issues.
The program will also take advantage of the unique opportunities for engagement that come with being at one of the world’s most important centers of research and in the city of New York. Obama Foundation Scholars reside at Columbia World Projects, a new initiative that aims to systematically bring university research out into the world in the form of projects that will have a significant and lasting positive impact on people’s lives and will help guide the way to solutions to intractable problems, while additionally enriching research and scholarship. Scholars will participate in CWP activities during the academic year.
Upon completion of the program, Obama Foundation Scholars, empowered by their experience, return to the regions where they have been working and continue along a path of service. The purpose of the program is to help Obama Foundation Scholars take the connections and skills they acquire during the program and apply them for the benefit of their communities, countries, and regions. It is our expectation that Obama Foundation Scholars will remain engaged with the Obama Foundation after the conclusion of the program.
Opportunity Focus Areas:
A cornerstone of the program includes a required course, which will run 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.
Data analysis and interpretation.
ALL WORLD COUNTRIES.
Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders from around the world who meet the following criteria:
Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country outside the United States, 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 emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “tipping point” in their careers.
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 humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination and teamwork.
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.
Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities.
How to Apply
First Step: Register a new account on the websitehere.
Second Step: Complete online application form. A complete application includes the following materials:
Resume/curriculum vitae: The resume/curriculum vitae should be a chronological listing of your employment and academic history, and other significant activities, including any awards, publichttps://cwp.embark.com/apply/2020ations, or other achievements․
Personal video statement: The personal video statement should be a short video (no longer than five 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.
Responses to short essay questions: 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 three exams: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. No other exams will be accepted.
This requirement is waived for applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree – not a master’s or graduate degree – in a country where English is an official language, or have previously taken the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exams in the last five years and scored at or above the minimum requirement of 100 (TOEFL-IBT), 600 (TOEFL-PBT), 7.0 (IELTS), or 68 (PTE Academic). If applicants qualify for a waiver under this exception, they must upload a scanned copy of their score report to the online application to ensure their application is eligible for review. If they did not score at or above the required minimum or no longer have a copy of their old results, they must retake an English proficiency exam.
Make sure to review the FAQ as well as the Columbia Webpage before applying.