Top 10 Fellowship Programs for Social Innovators

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Do you find yourself frustrated by the problems that our country is facing? Do you feel the urge to do something about that? If you answered ‘Yes’, then there are a lot of fellowship programs that can can help. Fellowships are ideal for fresh professionals and budding entrepreneurs to learn the ropes in a new industry. Hence, we have curated a list of ten fellowship programs particularly targeted towards social warriors and innovators.

1. BIRAC SPARSH Fellowship

Application: Yearly

Focus: Bio-tech, Social Entrepreneurs


BIRAC’s social Innovation fellowship/award program is aimed at creating a pool of biotech “Social Innovators” who can identify needs & gaps within communities and then can help bridge the gaps either through an innovative product development or service. It emphasizes on mastering the skills and values that are required to start a social venture. This Fellowship gives a lot of importance towards understanding social problems prevalent in the country thorough their immersion programmes.

Stipend: Rs. 50,000/month

Apply Here: Link

2. The Antara Foundation

Application Deadline: Open year-round

Focus: Entrepreneurship


This is a grassroots program oriented towards providing preliminary experience to budding entrepreneurs. It gives them the opportunity to refine their professional skills, develop their core competencies while exploring the public health and development industries. Fellows get the opportunity to work across several states and will be partnered with program officers at the block or village level.

Requirements: Undergraduate or Postgraduate Degree Holder

Stipend: Provided, value scales as per performance.

Apply Here: Link

3. Ashoka Fellowship

Application Deadline: Open year-round

Focus: Civic Engagement, Social Entrepreneurship, Environment, Human Rights


Ashoka generally considers it’s fellows to be the world’s leading social entrepreneurs; a claim justified by their rigorous selection process. Ashoka evaluates candidates on the basis of 5 selection criteria: Uniqueness of ideas, Societal Impact, Creativity, Entrepreneurial Quality and Ethical Perspectives.

Requirements: Must have a new idea with potential to address various societal or environmental issues.

Stipend: Provided up to three years.

Apply Here: Link

4. SBI Youth for India Fellowship

Application Deadline: April 30th, 2021

Focus: Rural Development


Started in 2011, this fellowship is directed towards urban youth looking to help with the development of rural areas. It aims to ensure availability of resources so that every village can develop itself sustainably and become self-sufficient. Fellows are assigned work with local NGOs and are usually placed on-site in the village to assist with rural development according to their skill set.

Requirements: Must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and be between 21-32 years of age.

Stipend: Rs. 15,000 /month

Apply Here: Link

5. AIF Banyan Impact Fellowship

Application Deadline: May 17th, 2021

Focus: Education, Health, Societal Benefit


The AIF Banyan Impact Fellowship places fellows in a wide variety of developmental organizations across India with the intention to improve the socio-economic status of local communities. AIF has a strong belief that cross-cultural partnerships allow for innovation to thrive among young minds. AIF has brought through over 490 Fellows across 214 partner organizations since 2001 and continues to do so tirelessly.

Requirements: U.S. or Indian Citizen with a bachelor’s degree (minimum).

Stipend: Living stipend is provided based on the region a fellow resides in. AIF further provides health insurance and programmatic benefits to fellows.

Apply Here: Link

6. Teach for India Fellowship

Application Deadline: Register to be notified for 2022 applications.

Focus: Education


This is a 2-year long full-time fellowship where graduates work as teachers in underdeveloped or low-income schools. All students with a bachelor’s degree and even professionals are welcomed to apply for a fellowship with Teach for India. This fellowship is oriented towards providing educational resources and guidance to underprivileged children who don’t have free access to educational material.

Requirements: Must be of Indian origin and have at least a bachelor’s degree

Stipend: Rs. 17,500 /month

Apply Here: Link

7. Young Professionals Programme for Legal Empowerment (YPPLE)

Application Deadline: Will reopen applications for 2022.

Focus: Law


YPPLE aims to educate young legal professionals on the impact of legal empowerment on social change. This 2-year fellowship is aimed at young legal professionals looking to pursue a career in human rights as lawyers, researchers, or academics. A part of a fellow’s responsibilities includes conducting field-based research and contributing to the advocacy work of the firm they have been assigned to.

Requirements: Must be a law graduate/legal professional.

Stipend:  Rs. 25,000 /month

Apply Here: Link

8. Anahad Fellowship

Application Deadline: Open year-round

Focus: Culture Preservation, Folk Musicians


Anahad’s goal in their fellowship program is to preserve the culture and help provide a means of livelihood to folk musicians of the country. They are looking for youth with a desire to bring about a positive change in the community. Anahad supports it’s fellows over 3-month periods during which they carry out research on various cultural communities across five states in India. Fellows are encouraged to learn about different forms of folk music and provide a platform to empower these musicians through contemporary mediums.

Requirements: Minimum 21 years of age. Must have a bachelor’s degree or currently be pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Stipend: Rs. 10,000 /month

Apply Here: Link

9. Azim Premji Foundation Fellowship

Application Deadline: Will reopen for the 2022 program.

Focus: Rural Education


The Azim Premji Foundation provides an opportunity for working professionals from diverse fields to provide their skills in meaningful ways to contribute to social change. This fellowship focusses on the public education system in India, and requires fellows to contribute in their own capacity to help develop a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society.

Requirements: Must have an undergraduate/postgraduate degree and 4 or more years of work experience.

Stipend: Rs. 35,000 /month

Apply Here: Link

10. Bhumi Fellowship

Application Deadline: April 30, 2021. Next deadline will be updated shortly

Focus: Education


The Bhumi Fellowship is a two-year full-time commitment for young graduates with a desire to improve the quality of education offered in India. Fellows are given the responsibility of leading a group of 3-5 schools to redesign the education ecosystem in their community. As fellows will be placed in primarily low-income schools, they will be tasked with identifying problems faced by the community and offering sustainable solutions for it.

Requirements: Fluent in Tamil. Must have at least a bachelor’s degree or be a final year undergraduate student.

Stipend: Rs. 18,000 /month

Apply Here: Link

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