FRANKLIN THOMAS FELLOWSHIP - Call for Applications: 2020 - 2021 academic year

The Franklin Thomas Fellowship was established in honour of Franklin Thomas, a former President of the Ford Foundation. The fellowship is funded by monies donated by friends and colleagues of Franklin Thomas on his retirement in 1996, as well as grants from the Ford Foundation, and is administered by the Constitutional Court Trust.

The purpose of the Franklin Thomas fellowship is to provide an opportunity for a South African who has clerked of the Constitutional Court of South Africa to study at an American university towards a one-year graduate programme leading to a Masters of Law (LLM) degree.

Details of the Fellowship

  • One fellowship will be awarded for the 2020 – 2021 academic year.
  • It will be tenable at the University of Notre Dame Law School, Michigan University Law School, OR any other university of choice in the USA (subject to motivation and approval of the trustees.)
  • The fellowship award is specifically intended to cover travel and living expenses associated with studies.
  • The award is subject to the candidate meeting the relevant university’s postgraduate selection criteria and being awarded a scholarship tuition waiver1, or securing adequate funding to cover all tuition and study related costs.


Who is eligible to apply?

  • Applicants must be a South African citizen, preferably 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 and have not had the opportunity to study abroad.

How to apply
Applicants must send their applications to Ms Elizabeth Moloto by email at by Sunday 13 October 2019. All enquiries may also be directed to Elizabeth Moloto.  

Applications should include the following:

  • A 1 - 2 page motivational letter on why you should be awarded the fellowship;
  • A curriculum vitae no longer than 3 pages;
  • University transcripts for all higher education qualifications
  • One example of written work, such as an essay or research memorandum, relevant to your application;
  • 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.

Interviews of shortlisted candidates will take place at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg in late October 2019.