The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is a new research institute in the Law Faculty. The aim of the Bonavero Institute Summer Fellowship programme is to provide financial assistance to Oxford law graduates seeking work experience in human rights law and related fields. The programme will provide support to graduate students within the Faculty as well as to recent Oxford law graduates who wish to undertake internships in a range of organisations that work in the broad field of human rights law, including the rule of law. The Summer Fellowships will provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of human rights law to obtain a valuable platform to develop careers in this field.

The Bonavero Institute Summer Fellowship at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin is a ten-week fellowship, tenable from August to September 2018. The successful candidate will work primarily on projects at the ECCHR. It is expected that the successful candidate will be based at ECCHR for 4 days per week during this period and take part in their Education Program. However, some flexibility may be possible depending on individual circumstances.


The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by a small group of renowned human rights lawyers, in order to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other declarations of human rights and national constitutions, by juridical means. ECCHR engages in innovative strategic litigation, using European, international, and national law to enforce human rights and to hold state and non-state actors accountable for egregious abuses. 

The Education Programme at ECCHR

Education Program participants work with ECCHR staff to gain comprehensive insight into individual cases and program areas, as well as the overall philosophy of our work and our approach to strategic legal intervention. By engaging with ECCHR colleagues in other parts of the world, our Education Program participants get firsthand experience of global human rights work. Participants learn to critically assess legal work and hone their understanding of the political and socio-economic contexts of our cases.

Regular events hosted by the Education Program include discussions, storytelling and workshops with partners. Regular trainee meetings on current problems and fundamental questions of law supplement the learning program and also serve to trigger and advance important political debate.

The same is true for other aspects of the program like the Human Rights Cinema viewings organized by the participants, and alternative tours of Berlin arranged by program staff. All Education Program elements have one thing in common: they strive to broaden the participants’ perspectives beyond traditional approaches to legal work.


The fellowship is open to students currently pursuing a research degree or a taught graduate course in the Law Faculty (BCL/MJur/MSc/MSt/MPhil/DPhil). In addition, the programme is open to students currently in the final year of the BA (Jurisprudence) programme or those who have graduated from Oxford Law Faculty (including the BA programme) within the last twelve months. Please note, visa restrictions may apply and candidates should look into this before making an application.

Applicants may be about to complete their graduate degrees in Oxford or, in appropriate cases and after consulting their supervisor, may be seeking to intermit their studies in order to undertake the internship.

Applicants may apply to more than one of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Fellowships. Where applications are made for than one fellowship, applicants may indicate their order of preference with regard to the different fellowships.

Applicants should demonstrate from their qualifications, especially their studies in Oxford, that they have sufficient knowledge of human rights law, public law, international law and/or constitutional law to make an effective contribution. Usually, applicants will have taken at least one of these law subjects in an Oxford taught programme or will have engaged in research in one or more of these subjects as part of their studies in Oxford.

 Application Process

If you wish to apply for any of these schemes, please read the individual scheme details and submit the following to by 12 noon Thursday 10 May 2018. It is planned that interviews will take place Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd May 2018.

  1. An application form describing briefly how your area of study is relevant to the chosen placement(s), your reasons for wishing to undertake the internship and a statement of costs and expected expenditure for the duration of the internship. Please also disclose other sources of funding (eg. scholarship stipends, personal funds or college grants) that have been granted to you in respect of this internship or for which you have applied. We also require you to list your chosen internships in order of preference.
  2. A CV (maximum 2pp) which should indicate what previous work you have undertaken, relevant to your application, including whether you have been an active member of any of the organisations or groups linked with the schemes you are applying for.
  3. Official transcripts (scanned copies).
  4. Two letters of reference, preferably from individuals able to speak to your abilities in the field of international law and/or human rights law. In the case of current research students, one of the referees should be the applicant’s supervisor.

All applications should be sent electronically to  by the deadline of 12 noon Thursday 10 May 2018. Any applications received after the deadline will not be submitted for review.

The successful candidate will receive a maximum of £2,000 to cover travel, living and other expenses associated with the fellowship. In determining the amount to be awarded, other sources of funding will be taken into account.

This Fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from Eric L. Lewis and the Open Society Foundation.