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The Native Leadership Scholarship ("NLS") is an international program of Channel Foundation, based in Seattle, WA, USA. It provides funding to citizens of developing nations and members of indigenous societies for graduate and post-graduate education. NLS support is for study/research that is focused on needs of the student's native population. Research should be based on the student's present or prior experience working with this population, and should aim for community-based, culturally appropriate solutions.

The intent of NLS support is to prepare native leaders to end or alleviate critical social, health, educational, environmental or economic problems/needs of their countries. Examples would be the AIDS pandemic, infant mortality, reproductive health, gender equity, microbial diseases, child exploitation, drug/sex trafficking, war/conflict resolution, environmental protection, agroecology, global fair trade, and sustainable economic development.


The qualified candidate...

1) is a citizen of a developing nation and/or member of an indigenous population.

2) has proof of a bachelor's or higher degree.

3) has at least 3 years of work experience dealing with critical social, health, educational, environmental or economic conditions that threaten life or social stability, that discriminate, or that destroy or deplete the nation's resources.

4) is accepted into a graduate or post-graduate program of an accredited university for full-time study/research related to the work experience.

5) Can show evidence of financial need for educational support.

6) intends to return to his/her home country to work, utilizing training and research acquired in the study program.


NLS awards range up to US$25,000 per year (June through May). 4 - 6 scholarships are granted each year. They help students to meet the costs of tuition and fees, books and educational supplies, housing, maintenance, and travel to/from the home country and institution. (For students in U.S. universities, NLS funding for expenses other than tuition and books is subject to U.S. tax.) Candidates may use NLS funding for graduate study at accredited institutions worldwide. Students from the Global South who plan to enter graduate programs in universities of the Global South are encouraged to apply.


An accredited educational institution is one which maintains a regular faculty and curriculum, and has a regular, organized body of students in attendance on site or through distance learning. NLS award funds are paid directly to the institution for a student's account. Award recipients are selected on an objective and non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, sex or age of the applicant. However, NLS awards do not support programs of study that promote specific religions. Employment status is a factor only in regard to the requirement for at least three years' professional experience in the applicant's proposed field of study or research. A Selection Committee of at least 3 people, including a Channel trustee, a graduate-level university administrator, and a representative of an international NGO determine applicants' eligibility and decide awards. Selection and terms of NLS awards are determined by financial need, evidence that an applicant requires financial support to attain the education planned. Applicants cannot be disqualified persons with regard to Channel Foundation, Selection Committee members, or relatives of either.


NLS awards are monitored by annual or semi-annual reports from the student's department or research advisor showing satisfactory and timely progress. Email communication is maintained with the student, and a brief evaluation is required of him/her following completion of the program of study. Renewal of awards many be made at the discretion of the Selection Committee, based upon satisfactory progress. Students must notify Channel Foundation immediately, in writing, of any change in program, research focus, enrollment status, or career goals. Failure to maintain eligibility requirements results in termination of funding for the next academic period. Channel takes all reasonable and appropriate steps to recover funds not used to further the purposes of the scholarship, or to restore diverted funds to these purposes.


The application period for 2005-06 NLS awards is Jan. 1 to March 26, 2005. Persons who meet the requirements listed above should obtain and submit a NLS pre-application form no earlier than Jan. 1 and no later than March 26. To request a pre-application email: or write to: Scholarship Administrator, Channel Foundation, P.O. Box 24524, Seattle, WA 98124 USA, .



In late March, the NLS Selection Committee meets to screen all pre-applications. (No other documentation is reviewed in this preliminary screening.) The committee chooses the 12 - 15 which most closely match NLS award criteria, and applicants in this group are invited to submit the full NLS application with supporting documentation. In late May, after reading all of the full applications, the committee meets again to decide on the award recipients. The awardees are notified on or about June 1, and award funds are issued in the summer months.

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