Call for Applications for the Women’s Leadership Scholarship
Wednesday, October 4, 2006 9:15 AM

Women's Leadership Scholarship Program:

The Women’s Leadership Scholarship (WLS) (formerly the Native Leadership Scholarship) program creates educational opportunities for women around the world who are grassroots leaders, organizers and activists demonstrating financial need.   WLS invests in women's leadership and leadership development by supporting non-doctoral graduate education in human rights, sustainable development, and public health.

Pre-applications for the 2007-08 academic year will be available on our website on January 1, 2007.  For more information please visit Please distribute this message widely.

Our History                           

 WLS has been granting scholarships since 2001. Our alumni are working around the world to improve the welfare of their communities. Prior to 2006, WLS granted scholarships to both women and men that included a limited number of awards for doctoral level education. Starting in 2006, WLS will only award scholarships to women pursuing non-doctoral level graduate education.

Our Goals

 WLS supports study, research, and leadership training, to assist women in their pursuit of solutions to the critical social, environmental, health and economic problems facing their countries and communities. By granting scholarships to remarkable women who demonstrate effective leadership, innovative solutions, and commitment to their communities, WLS helps develop and advance local expertise and community-based, culturally appropriate solutions. WLS endorses non-traditional leaders who are modeling change and using imaginative methodologies. Academic study, research and leadership training should be based on the scholarship recipient's present or prior experience working with her community.

Course of Study

Scholarship recipients enroll in programs of study that cover a range of human rights and development issues at the non-doctoral graduate level including gender, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, child exploitation, human and drug trafficking, infant and maternal mortality, microbial diseases, conflict resolution, environmental justice, global fair trade, agro-ecology, and sustainable development. WLS is a secular program and does not support programs of study that promote specific religious beliefs.

The WLS awards four to eight scholarships per year, up to US$25,000 per academic year for a maximum of two years. The awards help the recipients meet the costs of tuition, fees, books, educational supplies, housing, maintenance, and travel to and from the home country and the educational institution. WLS awards are paid directly to the institution in a student's account. For foreign women intending to study at U.S. universities, WLS funding for expenses other than tuition and books is subject to a 14% U.S. tax.

Location of Study

Candidates may use WLS funding for non-doctoral graduate study at accredited institutions worldwide. The WLS is committed to promoting the strengthening of research and of institutions of higher learning in the Global South. The WLS encourages students to study in their home country or region provided that the educational institution is accredited for higher education.


Eligibility Requirements

An eligible candidate is a woman leader from a developing country and/or a member of an indigenous tribe or group who...

1. Is committed to grassroots organizing and the needs of her community or indigenous group;

2. Has proof of a bachelor's or a higher degree;

3. Has at least three years of work experience dealing with critical human rights concerns, and other social, educational, environmental, health or economic conditions that threaten life or social stability, that discriminate, or that destroy or deplete her country's or community's resources;

4. Is accepted into a non-doctoral graduate program at an accredited university for full-time study/research related to her work experience;

5. Can show evidence of financial need for educational support;

6. Intends to return to her home country to work, utilizing training and research acquired in the study program.


All applicants are invited to fill out pre-applications (which will be available Jan. 1 through March 23, 2007) on our website or by request from


WLS pre-applications for the 2007-2008 academic year will be available Jan. 1 through March 23, 2007 on our website or by request from

After the pre-application period ends, all candidates will be notified about their application status. Incomplete pre-applications will not be considered for review. Unsolicited additional documents provided by the pre-applicant will not be reviewed. Only a small group of candidates will be invited to complete a full application.