Apply now: Franklin Thomas Fellowship 2022-2023 for South African youths

Franklin Thomas Fellowship
Key details
  • Host: Constitutional Court Trust
  • Host country: South Africa
  • Open to: South Africans
  • Targets: Graduates
  • Deadline: 20th June, 2021

Applications for the 2022-2023 Franklin Thomas Fellowship for South Africans is currently ongoing.

About the Franklin Thomas Fellowship
Franklin Thomas Fellowship

The Franklin Thomas fellowship is designed to give a South African from a traditionally disadvantaged background who has clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa the opportunity to prepare for a one-year graduate program leading to a Masters of Law (LLM) degree at an American university.

Franklin Thomas, a former President of the Ford Foundation, was honored with the Franklin Thomas Fellowship. The fellowship is supported by donations from Franklin Thomas’ friends and colleagues after his retirement in 1996, as well as grants from the Ford Foundation.

Also read: The Yunus And Youth Global Fellowship 2021

The fellowship is administered by the Constitutional Court Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting human rights, the rule of law, constitutionalism, and judicial independence in Africa, with a particular emphasis on the South African Constitutional Court. Artistic expression, legal scholarship and exchange programs, public education, and library projects are some of the ways it does so.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Applicants must be a South African citizen, from a historically disadvantaged background, who have served as a law clerk at the Constitutional Court.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated a commitment to human rights and an intention to continue working in the area of human rights.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who:
    • Do not hold an LLM degree;
    • Have not had the opportunity to study abroad;
    • Will be no older than 35 years of age at the start of proposed studies;
    • Have clerked at the Constitutional Court within the last five years.
  • For the academic year 2022–2023, one fellowship will be awarded.
  • It would be possible to do it at the University of Notre Dame Law School, Michigan University Law School, or any other university in the United States (subject to motivation and approval of the trustees of the Constitutional Court Trust.)
  • The fellowship award is expressly designed to cover study-related travel and living expenses.
  • The recipient must either meet the appropriate university’s postgraduate selection requirements and be awarded a scholarship tuition waiver, or secure sufficient funding to cover all tuition and study-related expenses 

Also read: Georg Forster Research Fellowship 2021

Application Procedure

Applications should include the following:

• A 1 – 2 page motivational letter on why you should be awarded the fellowship.
• A curriculum vitae (CV) no longer than 3 pages.
• University transcripts for all higher education qualifications.
• One example of written work, relevant to your application, and demonstrating your ability to excel in a top tier LLM programme. The indicative length for writing samples is 2000 – 3000 words. Contextualised extracts are acceptable.
• Letters of support from two referees. If listing a Constitutional Court Justice as a referee, the name of the judge will suffice –  no letter is required.

Interested applicants must send their applications to Ms. Elizabeth Moloto by email at before the stated deadline. All inquiries may also be directed to Elizabeth Moloto. 

NOTE: Interviews of shortlisted candidates will take place at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg in the third quarter of 2021.

For more information visit the official website of Franklin Thomas Fellowship

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