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Obama Foundation Scholarships 2024 

The Obama Foundation Scholarships are awarded to emerging leaders who are working to solve global challenges.

Applications are invited for the Obama Foundation Scholarships 2024. The last date to apply for the Obama Foundation Scholarships is December 12, 2024. Students will not be charged an application fee. During the 2024–2025 academic year, the Obama Foundation Scholars Program operated entirely online, with scholars taking part virtually from their home countries.

The Obama Foundation Scholarship Program will help young leaders from the US and throughout the world who are already improving their communities enhance their practice with an innovative curriculum that blends academic, practical, and skills-based learning. Through the Scholars Program, people who have demonstrated a dedication to excellence are equipped with the skills necessary to make better use of their time, find novel solutions to challenging global issues, and motivate change through values-based leadership.

Through the curriculum, young leaders committed to collaborating to address today’s pressing issues will create long-lasting bonds that transcend academic disciplines and national borders, creating a worldwide network. The Obama Foundation Scholarship will resume work on its global interest puzzle once the project is over and offer its personalized action plan to expedite social change within its culture. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to participate in the Obama Foundation’s initiatives to connect, empower, and educate up-and-coming leaders worldwide. Don’t pass up this chance to receive complete scholarships for your studies.

About Columbia University

Columbia World Projects is a major, university-wide initiative that aims to forge a closer and more useful connection between Columbia University’s vast research capabilities and the needs of the world. In consultation with colleagues within and outside Columbia, we devise projects that we staff and operate with partners in New York City, across the United States, and worldwide. These projects span a range of topics and are rooted in university research. Each project has a finite duration and clear, measurable objectives. When our direct involvement in a project ends, the work should continue and have a broad impact beyond the project itself.

We have many activities beyond our projects. We are an active presence on the Columbia campus and in the surrounding community through various events and convenings that engage faculty, students, and community members in our larger mission to connect the worlds of knowledge and action.

In the same spirit, we operate the Obama Foundation Scholars Program to use university resources to help make an annual cohort of rising activists more effective in their work. And we are researchers ourselves, on broad topics like cities and democratic institutions, rigorously studying how research can translate into successful practice.

Obama Foundation Scholarships Details

  • Scholarship Country: United States (USA)
  • Host Institute: Columbia University
  • Course Level: BS, Master’s and PhD Degrees
  • Financial Coverage: Fully Funded
  • Who is eligible? International Students
  • Deadline Date: December 12, 2024

Research & Engagement

The Columbia World Projects (CWP) research and engagement team convenes scholars and practitioners to confront challenges that no single discipline or approach could successfully address. The team assembles researchers from across Columbia and other universities who are committed to enacting thoughtful change together with professionals from government, foundations, business, civil society and local communities. Our work is both global and local, with particular emphasis on Harlem, home of Columbia’s Manhattanville campus and CWP. 

The research and engagement team is currently working on topic areas of enormous global consequence: democratic renewal; inclusive urbanism; and implementation and scaling. Within these topic areas, the team assembles working groups and initiatives (clusters of several working groups focused on a single theme within the broader topic area).

Research and engagement initiatives and working groups turn cross-disciplinary solutions into action by issuing reports, developing learning materials for professionals, hosting public events and high-level discussions with decision-makers, and building partnerships with organizations that drive change. 

Scholarship Opportunities 

The Columbia Center for Political Economy is seeking two full-time Postdoctoral Research Scholars, one housed in our Firms and Industrial Policy Idea Lab and one housed in our Money and Finance Idea Lab.  These are one-year positions (one additional year may be possible) with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2024. Funding for the Postdoctoral Research Scholar will cover salary for up to one academic year. The scholar will commit to jointly organizing seminars and conferences, public events, and additional programmatic support and outreach.


  • November 10, 2024: New Thinking in Industrial, Innovation & Technology Policy: Perspectives from Developed & Developing Countries. Leading researchers in economics, sociology, engineering, and other fields will be gathered for this conference, which is being held in collaboration with the Center for Development Economics and Policy (PDFP) and the Tech & Innovation Initiative at the School of International and Public Affairs. The purpose of the gathering is to assess the current state of knowledge and identify areas still needing improvement regarding the best way to design interventions, the difficulties in conducting empirical evaluations of interventions, and the challenges faced by practitioners in the field.
  • May 2-3, 2024: The Non-Market Effects of Market Power. This conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars seeking to understand how market power shapes outcomes beyond the traditional measures. To submit a paper, please complete this form by January 10, 2024.
  • November 14, 2024: Amy Finkelstein, John & Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics at MIT, discussing We’ve Got You Covered: Rebooting American Health Care with Professor Joseph Stiglitz. The discussion will take place from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. ET at Kravis Hall Room 490. A book sale and a small reception will follow. To attend the discussion, register here.

Eligibility Requirements

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.

Cohort Profile 

Since 2018, the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University has welcomed:

  • 70 rising leaders from 54 countries who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions to challenges in their communities, countries, and regions
  • Scholars who were, on average, 33 years of age, with ages ranging from 26 to 45
  • Emerging institutional and movement leaders addressing a range of challenges, including strengthening governance, increasing access to high-quality healthcare, environmental sustainability, promoting women’s rights and ending gender-based violence.

Scholar Benefits

  • Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City
  • 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.

Scholarship Coverage

  • Monthly stipend to deal with New York City living expenses 
  • A fully equipped studio apartment close to the University of Columbia, accessible by foot
  • All of the tuition and fees for up to four Columbia University courses 
  • Basic health, dental, and life care services throughout the duration of the service in New York City
  • Air travel to and from the home country and other program-related activities.

Required Documents

  • Full application process online
  • Resume/curriculum vitae: A chronological listing of work and educational backgrounds, scholarly endeavours and other important events should be in the resume/curriculum vitae. Any honours, publications or other accomplishments you have won should be included among candidates. Learn, How to Write a Powerful CV for a Scholarship
  • Personal video statement: A three-minute video that briefly introduces the candidate and their position to the selection committee should be included in the personal video statement. The web application will include a link to the video statements. Applicants submit to a video-sharing website like Vimeo or YouTube. The online application contains more information on the requirements for the personal video statement. Answers to quick essay queries The brief essay questions provide the selection committee with an opportunity to think about the candidate’s work, sources of inspiration, and how the programme fits into their intended career path. Applicants can upload essay questions in the online application.

More Documents

  • Evidence of English proficiency: Candidates whose first language is not English are required to submit their exam results from one of four tests to demonstrate their English proficiency: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based or paper-based exams; the International English Language Assessment Framework (IELTS); the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic); or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
  • Completed an undergraduate degree in a country where English is an official language, not a master’s or graduate degree; OR 
  • In the last five years, they have previously taken the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Technical, or DET exams and have scored at or above the minimum criteria of 100 (TOEFL-IBT), 600 (TOEFL-PBT), 7.0 (IELTS), 688 (TOEFL-IBT), 600 (TOEFL-PBT), 7.0 (IELTS), 68 (PTE Academic), 
  • The 120 (DET; 75 on the DET taken prior to July 2019).

Application Deadline

The last date to apply for the Obama Foundation Scholarships is December 12, 2024.

How To Apply?

The official website is the best place to start if you want to learn more about Joint Obama Foundation Scholarships. You may find in-depth details on the available courses and programs. The admissions standards and process, the campus amenities, student life, and much more there. Find out more about the academics, researchers, and community involvement programs at the university. Additionally, the website gives users access to student handbooks and academic calendars. Visit the university’s official website if you’re keen to learn more about it. Whether you’re a prospective or present student or you’re just interested. Click here to view the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements for the Leaders Program Scholarship?

Be a citizen or permanent resident of a country that is eligible for the program.
Have at least three years of demonstrated leadership experience with clear traction tackling a particular social challenge.
Be at a “breakthrough moment” in your career.
Have a demonstrated commitment to apply your enhanced training, skills, and connections to tackling this social challenge in your community.
Be fluent in English (verbal, written, and spoken).
Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of your community.

How do I apply for the Voyager Scholarship?

Your basic information, including your contact information, academic background, and financial information.
A personal statement that describes your commitment to public service and your vision for your future.
Two letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your leadership potential and commitment to public service.
A transcript of your academic record.
A copy of your FAFSA or CSS Profile.

How do I apply for the Leaders Program Scholarship?

Your basic information, including your contact information, academic and professional background, and leadership experience.
A personal statement that describes your commitment to solving a particular social challenge. Your vision for your future, and how the Leaders Program can help you achieve your goals.
Two letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your leadership potential and commitment to social change.
A resume or CV.
A transcript of your academic record, if applicable.

When are the application deadlines for the Obama Foundation Scholarships?

The last date to apply for the Obama Foundation Scholarships is December 12, 2024.

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