Now Accepting 2012 Helton Fellowship Applications!

The Arthur C. Helton Fellowship Program, established in 2004 on the recommendation of the ASIL Honors Committee, recognizes the legacy of Arthur Helton, a remarkable ASIL member who died in the August 19, 2003 bombing of the UN mission in Baghdadalong with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio Viera de Mello and 20 others.

Funded in part by contributions from ASIL members and private foundations, Helton Fellowships provide financial assistance in the form of “micro-grants” for law students and young professionals to pursue field work and research on significant issues involving international law, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and related areas.

Helton Fellowship micro-grants are intended to ensure that these individuals have access to modest amounts of funding that can often stand between them and their first professional opportunities to become effective practitioners, experts, and scholars of international law.

Helton Fellowship micro-grants are intended to contribute to paying for logistics, housing and living expenses, and other costs related to the Fellow’s international law fieldwork and research in affiliation with the sponsoring organization.


Fellows must undertake their fieldwork between April 2012 and September 2012 in association with an established educational institution, international organization, or non-governmental organization working in areas related to international law, human rights, and humanitarian affairs.

The Helton Fellowship Program seeks applicants in the early stages of their academic and professional careers who demonstrate the potential to make significant contributions to the use and study of international law around the world.

Law students, practicing lawyers, human rights professionals, scholars, and other individuals seeking assistance in conducting international fieldwork and law-related research are encouraged to apply.

Applicants can be of any nationality but must be current law students or have graduated from law school (at either the undergraduate or graduate levels) no earlier than December 2009.

As mentioned above, applicants must also be sponsored or affiliated, for purposes of completing their project, in some way with an educational institution, international organization, or non-governmental organization working in international law, human rights, humanitarian affairs, or related areas.

Applicants should have contacted the sponsoring organization to discuss their proposal prior to applying for the Helton Fellowship. The name of the sponsoring organization and contact information for its representatives must be included in the application.

Individuals pursuing independent research or fieldwork are not eligible for Helton Fellowships.

Applicants should also identify other potential sources of funding, including their own, to cover costs related to their fieldwork. ASIL does not assist in securing organizational sponsoring or alternative funding for Fellows.

In acknowledgement of Arthur Helton’s commitment to human rights and humanitarian affairs in the field, preferential consideration may be given to applications demonstrating a significant fieldwork component as well as those involving the human rights of refugees, internally displaced persons, and other vulnerable populations. Applications for fieldwork in the area of international criminal law and international humanitarian law are also encouraged.

Application Materials:

Completed applications will consist of the following materials:

  • Online application form, including description of intended project, career statement, and funding sources
  • Writing Sample
  • Current CV or resume
  • Confirmation of law student status and/or date of graduation from a law school
  • Two letters of recommendation/support, including one from sponsoring organization

Writing Sample: The writing sample may take the form of any published or unpublished document which demonstrates in-depth research, critical thinking, and analysis of a topic related to international law. Excerpts of more lengthy documents may also be submitted. However, writing samples should be no longer than 10 pages.

Current CV or Resume: All applicants must submit an updated curriculum vitae or resume, which includes contact information, education, professional employment or volunteer history, and special skills and interests.

Student Status/Date of Graduation: Applicants are required to provide documentation indicating current status or date of graduation. The following documentation will be accepted: photocopy of valid student identification; photocopy or facsimile of current official or unofficial transcript indicating student status; photocopy or facsimile of official or unofficial transcript indicating graduation date; photocopy or facsimile of diploma.

Letters of Recommendation/Support: One letter of recommendation should come from any individual who is in a position to assess academic performance, professional skills and expertise, and any other qualifications for selection as a Helton Fellow (e.g. current or former professor or supervisor). The second should be a letter of support or sponsorship from the educational institution, international organization, or non-governmental organization that has agreed to sponsor the project.

The writing sample, current curriculum vitae or resume, and documentation confirming student status or graduation date should be submitted as a package if possible. Letters of recommendation and support may be submitted separately if necessary.

Applicants will be considered by the Helton Fellowship Selection Committee on the basis of the written materials included in the application package. No interviews, or any other communications with applicants, will be conducted.

Deadlines and Announcement Schedule:

Applicants may submit application materials beginning Tuesday, October 12, 2011. All applications must be received no later than Monday, January 9, 2012.

Incomplete applications and those received after January 9, 2012 will not be reviewed under any circumstances.

ASIL will acknowledge receipt of application materials, and the date they are received, in a timely fashion by email.

Due to administrative constraints, only the first 50 completed applications, submitted on-line, and received in full by the submission deadline will be reviewed. A notice that the application process has closed will be posted on the ASIL website once 50 completed applications have been received.

Awards will be announced by February 17, 2012. The Fellowship Selection Committee is unable to respond to individual requests for information about the status of applications prior to this date.

Applicants are required to complete an online application form and submit related materials in a timely fashion to the Helton Fellowship Program. Materials that can not be transmitted electronically may be faxed to the ASIL Helton Fellowship Program at + 1 202 797 7133.

Online Application:  Applicants are asked to provide basic biographical information and brief descriptions of intended projects and career statements. Emailed or faxed applications forms will not be accepted without prior written approval. The online application should be completed before other application materials are submitted.

Go to the website for additional information and to access the application.